Georgia Lemon Laws
Georgia’s lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after a reasonable number of valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle for a period of 1 year or 12,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever comes first, and if the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Georgia’s state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The law does not apply to used vehicles.
Lemon Eligibility in Georgia
Georgia’s lemon laws protect all vehicle owners who have purchased or leased a vehicle for personal, family or household usage, or an organization that has purchased or leased 3 or fewer vehicles, has 10 or fewer employees and has a net income of $100,000 or less per annum.
New vehicles, including demonstrator model vehicles are covered by this law. The law, however, does not cover the living quarters of motorhomes, vehicles which are not self-propelled, ATVs, motorcycles, mopeds, boats and trucks which weigh over 10,000 pounds. Vehicles which have been transferred to entities other than the original buyer are also not eligible.
For a fault in a vehicle to be considered, it needs to have severely impaired the vehicle’s usability, imposed serious safety issues in the vehicle, or reduced the vehicle’s resale value significantly. The fault needs to be caused by the manufacturer, and not by any actions of the owner such as abuse, neglect, or any alterations to the vehicle without the manufacturer’s involvement.
A Lemon claim may be filed only until a period of 1 year from the vehicle’s delivery, or 12,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever of these occur first.
Georgia Lemon Law on Used Vehicles
Used vehicles are not covered by Georgia’s lemon laws. Any vehicles which have not been directly purchased or leased from the manufacturer, or have any documents which state that the vehicle has been used, or were titled to a person other than the manufacturer before being transferred under your name are considered used vehicles, and the owners of such vehicles are not eligible for claiming lemon aid.
If a vehicle meets the criteria stated above and has a major defect as mentioned, the manufacturer must be given an attempt to repair it within the lemon claim eligibility period. Then on, if the issue remains unresolved, the manufacturer gets 1 additional repair attempt if the fault is life-threatening and is located in the braking or steering systems, 2 attempts if a life-threatening fault is located anywhere else in the vehicle, and 3 attempts for any other faults in the vehicle. These attempts may be carried out for another 1 year from the expiration date of the lemon claim period, or 24,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, whichever comes first.
After these repair attempts, the manufacturer will be provided a final attempt for repairing the vehicle if the fault remains, and they are provided 14 days to do so. If the final attempt fails as well, or if the repairs take over 14 days, the manufacturer must immediately repurchase or replace the vehicle. However, if the manufacturer refuses to do so, the customer may then proceed with either any informal dispute resolution program, or the state’s arbitration program.
In case of leased vehicles, the leasing company needs to be notified with a written notice regarding the failure of the final attempt, and they will then decide whether they’d like to have the vehicle replaced or repurchased. The leasing company needs to make the decision within 30 days from the date of receiving the notice.
Georgia Lemon Law Time Limit
Lemon law is applicable to vehicle for a period of 24,000 miles or 24 months. Whichever comes first.
Lemon Law Compensation in Georgia
Replacement or Repurchase of Lemons in Georgia
The manufacturer needs to be sent a notice regarding the customer’s request, and they will then either repurchase the vehicle, paying them back the initial purchasing cost and including any collateral charges, or replacing the vehicle with a new and identical or comparable model, within 30 days of receiving the notice. In either case, the customer will have to pay a charge for the amount of time the vehicle was used prior to it getting replaced or repurchased, as displayed in the form of miles on the vehicle’s odometer.
If the manufacturer does not comply with the customer’s request within the given period, they have the option to proceed with a certified dispute settlement program. If the customer does not agree with the program’s decision, they may then apply for state arbitration within 60 days of the program’s decision being passed. If the customer is unsatisfied with the state arbitration facility’s decision or the manufacturer objects to it, they then have the option to settle the dispute in a civil court.
Other Georgia Laws