Lemon Law Questions

Georgia Lemon Law Questions

What Are The Lemon Laws?

“Lemon laws” are state and federal laws enacted to provide new car buyers with recourse against the manufacturers of defective cars, also known “lemons.” The lemon laws are different in each state and there is also a “Federal Lemon Law” known as the Magnuson -Moss Warranty Act that a lemon law firm uses when filing a claim against a manufacturer. Georgia lemon law specifics can be found below.

Is There a Lemon Law in Georgia?

Yes, the State of Georgia enforces the Georgia Motor Vehicle Warranty Rights, granting consumers the authority to return lemon vehicles to the manufacturer for either a refund or a replacement. This legislation is applicable to new vehicles exhibiting a defect that significantly undermines their functionality, value, or safety.

For consumer protection under this statute, the defect must be communicated to the manufacturer within the initial 24 months or 24,000 miles of possession, whichever occurs first. A vehicle is deemed a lemon if the manufacturer is unable to rectify the defect after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

In addition to state legislation, Georgians are safeguarded by the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which provides a more extensive time frame for reporting defects, applying to any issues disclosed while the vehicle is under warranty. This ensures consumers have the ability to seek reparation for their lemon beyond the initial two-year ownership period.

In the state of Georgia your consumer protection rights are determined by Georgia’s state lemon law and the warranty that came with the vehicle. Depending upon the claims, this may include the Lemon Law, breach of warranty and unfair trade practices (i.e. damages for failing to repair the vehicle properly). Since each case is different, we tailor the claims to the facts of that specific case. Contact a Georgia Lemon Law Attorney for a free consultation by completing the online form or call 404-315-9936 now.

What Types of Defects Does the Georgia Lemon Cover?

The Georgia Lemon Law covers defects or conditions that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle. Here are the main points regarding the types of defects covered under this law:

  1. Nonconformity: A defect or condition that does not conform to the vehicle’s warranty and significantly impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. This means the problem must be serious enough to affect how the vehicle operates, its market value, or its safety features.
  2. Manufacturer’s Attempts to Repair: The law typically requires that the manufacturer or its authorized service agent be given a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle. In Georgia, this is generally defined as the vehicle being subject to repair four or more times for the same issue within the warranty period, or the vehicle being out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days or more within the warranty period due to repair.
  3. Serious Safety Defects: If the defect is a serious safety defect, the requirements for it to be considered a lemon might be more stringent, with fewer repair attempts required before the vehicle is considered a lemon.
  4. Notification to the Manufacturer: The law requires that the vehicle manufacturer be notified and given a final opportunity to repair the defect before a consumer can proceed with a Lemon Law claim.
  5. Lemon Law Rights Period: The defects must become apparent within a certain period after the vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer, typically within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, although this can vary.

It’s important to note that the Lemon Law covers new vehicles and, in some cases, leased vehicles, but does not typically cover used vehicles unless they are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. The law also does not cover defects that are the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications by the consumer.

What Does Your Georgia Lemon Law Firm do after I call or submit my information?

It is important for you to give us the details of the purchase and the service and repair history of the vehicle including dates and work performed. This enables us to know how the problems have affected the use, value, personal satisfaction or safety of the vehicle and how to proceed to the next step.

What Information Do Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys Need to Investigate A Potential Claim On My Behalf?

In order to assess your potential lemon law claim we would need to know:

  • The full repair history of the vehicle, including all paperwork you received from the dealership or repair facility, dated for each repair.
  • Notes concerning what representations were made by the dealer to the customer at the time of sale.
  • Did the dealer accurately record your complaint?
  • Did the dealer make a good faith attempt to diagnose the problem?
  • To your knowledge, does that model have a history of such problems?
  • Did the dealer say they “could not duplicate” the problem (a typical way of trying to convince the customer there is nothing wrong with the vehicle even though there is)?
  • Was the vehicle involved in an accident before it was sold to the customer and if so, was the damage disclosed before customer delivery? You could be victim of consumer fraud and if this is the case, there are other laws that may offer protection.
  • If there was damage before the customer took delivery of the vehicle, were all the repairs performed properly?
  • Did you get what you paid for or are you unsatisfied with the performance of your vehicle?

What Is Georgia’s “Lemon Law”?

Georgia has a lemon law in place that offers consumers protection against new or leased defective vehicles and other consumer products, Georgia Lemon Law can be found in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 10-1-780.

What Types of Vehicles Does Georgia’s Lemon Law Cover?

Georgia’s lemon law applies to all new motor vehicles that are leased or purchased in Georgia or registered by the original consumer in Georgia. The original motor vehicle title must have been issued to the lessee or purchaser without having been previously issued to any person other than the selling dealer. If a motor home, this law applies only to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis. Further, this law does not apply to motorcycles or trucks of 10,000 pounds or more gross vehicle weight rating. The law does include a demonstrator vehicle as long as a manufacturer’s warranty was issued as a condition of sale.

What Types of Vehicles are Specifically Excluded Under the Lemon Law In Georgia?

Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, mopeds, trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 12,000 pounds and used vehicles. In addition, vehicles that are not self-propelled which includes camper and trailers, are not covered by the Lemon Law in Georgia. There are, however, other consumer protection laws that may be used when pursuing your rights regarding a defective vehicle and subsequent claim if the vehicle does not perform as expected and multiple repair attempts have failed to fix the defect(s).

What Are My Rights Under Georgia’s Lemon Laws?

You have the right to expect the manufacturer, or its dealer or representative to make the vehicle conform to all express warranties by repairing or correcting any defect that substantially impairs the use, or safety of the vehicle. Used vehicles are not covered under Georgia’s Lemon Law, however in some instances and depending upon the case, the Federal Lemon Law (Magnuson-Moss Federal Warranty Protection Act) may apply.

Why Should I Use Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys To Represent Me For My Lemon Law Claim?

The Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys have handled and successfully resolved hundreds of Georgia Lemon Law Claims to date. As Georgia’s Lemon Laws and the “Federal Lemon Law” provide for the payment of attorney’s fees by the manufacturer or defendant in a lemon law case, you can.

How Long Is theLemon Law Rights Period in Georgia and what should consumers be aware of?

Your “Lemon Law Rights Period” ends one year after the date of the original delivery of your new vehicle or the first 12,000 miles of operation after delivery of the new vehicle, whichever occurs first.

In Georgia, consumers have 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, to bring their vehicle in for repairs under the Lemon Law. It is important for consumers to be aware that their vehicle must be repaired during this period in order to qualify for protection under the Lemon Law. Additionally, consumers have an additional 12 months after the Rights Period to file for arbitration.

It is important to note that even if a consumer misses the deadlines for the Lemon Law, they may still be able to file a claim under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This law covers any warranty claims, and if the vehicle is under warranty when the defect is first reported, it is covered. Furthermore, consumers have up to four years after the warranty is breached, or four years after the first failed repair attempt, to file a claim.

Do I Have To Let The Dealer or Manufacturer Repair The Vehicle Or Can I Just Return It and Get A Refund?

This statute creates a “lemon law rights period” which is defined as one year from the date the vehicle is delivered to the purchaser or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. The law gives the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to correct the vehicle’s problems. A “reasonable number” is determined by and dependent upon the type of problem that is diagnosed. The manufacturer has:

(1) the right to attempt to repair at least once any serious defect in the steering or braking system which occurs during the lemon rights period;

(2) two attempts to repair any other serious safety defect in the vehicle during the first 24 months of ownership or 24,000 miles, provided that at least one repair occurred during the “lemon rights period”;

(3) three attempts to repair any other problem during the first 24 months of ownership or 24,000 miles, provided that at least one repair attempt was during the “lemon rights period”;

(4) only 30 days during the first 24 months of ownership or 24,000 miles to keep the vehicle in the shop for any repair if at least 15 days of repair occurred during the “lemon rights period”. These are not cumulative days of repair but count against the manufacturer as days if repairs are for the same problem.

Can I File a Lemon Law Claim on My Own?

You could, however, car manufacturers usually have customer care or quality care departments to deal with consumers that call with complaints. Typically these departments were created to give the customer a “caring, personal approach” when he/she has a concern or problem with a vehicle. However, if the words “lemon law”, “lawyer”, or “replacement vehicle” are interjected into the conversation, it will probably come to an abrupt end. You may hear excuses such as – we need further review of the situation, must confer with your dealer, talk to a superior or just the general runaround. The strategy of many manufacturers is to delay you from doing anything, thus you continue to believe they will resolve the situation.

Many consumers may become frustrated and sell the car or trade it in and buy another one if the situation becomes too difficult to pursue. Then the manufacturer will not have to accept the financial obligation and disclosure requirements that go along with their buying the car back as a “lemon”. Even in those cases when a refund or replacement is offered, the manufacturer may not give you what you are entitled to under the Lemon Law.

If My Vehicle Is Still Outside of the Warranty Period, Could I Still Have a Georgia Lemon Law Claim?

If the final repair attempt to the vehicle by the dealer occurred during the warranty period, you may still be able to file a lemon law claim. Each case is different and other requirements met may qualify the vehicle.  Contact our Georgia lemon law lawyers for a free consultation and for more information.

Can I Trade-in or Sell My Vehicle and Still Pursue a Georgia Lemon Law Claim for Money Damages?

Yes, under the Magnuson-Moss Federal Warranty Act, also know as the “federal Lemon Law”, you can still pursue a lemon law claim even if you have already sold or traded your vehicle. The ordinary measure of damages for a claim brought under this act cover how much you overpaid for your vehicle at the time you originally purchased it plus payment of your attorneys’ fees. Therefore, whether you already traded-in your vehicle or plan on doing so, you can still pursue a claim for substantial money damages AND your attorney’s fees will be paid for by the manufacturer. This translates to your potential overpayment for the vehicle at the time of purchase, due to all of the problems you later experienced.

What Is A Lemon Law Buyback

A lemon law buyback is a repurchase of the vehicle by the manufacturer because it has been proven to be a “lemon”. A repurchase includes  a refund of the total you spent on the purchase or lease of your vehicle, which has now been qualified as a lemon. The money you receive for a lemon law buyback will also include the down-payment, all of your monthly payments (tax and finance charges included) to date, and a pro-rated portion of your registration, minus a usage fee. You will receive reimbursement for any incidental or consequential expenses that were spent as a result of your “lemon” vehicle causing you inconvenience. This would include fees for a rental car and any towing expenses. The balance of the loan for your vehicle will subsequently be paid off in full.

How Do I Contact The Law Firm of Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys?

Contact Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys for a free lemon law consultation regarding your rights. If you believe the manufacturer has failed to correct the problem after the required reasonable number of attempts, we will notify the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address provided by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual. We will keep you informed of the manufacturer’s response and help you every step of the way, working to obtain the best resolution to your lemon law case. As each lemon law case is so different due to the problems and issues involving the vehicle, the outcome will vary.

If you think your car is a lemon and you would like a free lemon law case consultation, you can fill out the Lemon Information form and we will call you back or call us at 404-737-3451, 24/7.