Georgia law specifically states that the General Assembly recognizes that a new car is a significant purchase. They also realize that a defective vehicle can create significant hardship for a consumer.
Lemon laws in Georgia were created as a supplement to federal laws like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to help consumers resolve complaints regarding defective vehicles in a faster and more efficient way.
A lemon law lawyer in Georgia can help you take advantage of this process. Even though it is designed to make a manufacturer comply with its own warranties and related promises, it can still be a confusing process.
Having an attorney assist a vehicle owner to evaluate the situation and file a lemon law claim can increase the likelihood that your claim is successful. Contact a lemon law attorney for a free consultation to evaluate your situation.
How Georgia Defines What a Lemon Car Is
A lemon car under Georgia law means a new vehicle that is either purchased or leased. Georgia does not protect consumers who have bought used cars through lemon laws. The vehicle must also:
- Be used for family or household use or business use, if the consumer purchases 10 or fewer new motor vehicles per year for their business
- If the vehicle is leased, the consumer must also be responsible for repairs as part of the lease
- Be used for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways in Georgia
Georgia Lemon Law Requirements
While federal laws such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act govern product liability and warranties, Georgia lemon laws provide specific protections for owners of new vehicles that are defective.
Here is a list of Lemon Law requirements in the State of Georgia:
- The vehicle must be either new or leased.
- It cannot have “used” marked on the title in any way.
- The defect that occurs must arise within the first two years of owning the vehicle, or within 24,000, whichever comes first.
- Miles that were already on the new car when you bought it do not count toward the miles limitation for lemon laws in Georgia
- If the consumer reports a defect, then the new motor vehicle dealer is allowed a “reasonable” number of attempts to repair and correct the problem. A reasonable number of attempts include:
- A serious safety defect has been subject to repair just one time and has not been fixed or
- The same defect has been repaired three times and is still not corrected or
- The vehicle has been out of service for repairs for a total of 30 days
- A serious safety defect threatens the driver’s ability to operate or control the car for ordinary use or creates the risk of fire or explosion.
- The defect must also impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle or otherwise makes the car so that it does not conform with the manufacturer’s warranty.
- A defect does not arise for purposes of Georgia lemon laws if it was caused by abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification of a new car.
- The repairs must be made by a “new motor vehicle dealer,” who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new cars .
New Car Lemon Law in Georgia
Georgia lemon laws apply to new vehicles. This is true regardless of whether you purchase the vehicle outright or you lease it.
However, if you lease the vehicle, the lease requirements must set out that you are responsible for the repairs of the car, rather than the dealer.
Used vehicles are not covered under Georgia lemon laws.
Breach of Warranty in Georgia
Georgia lemon laws are a type of breach of warranty case. In the case of vehicles, you have an express, written warranty that you should be able to rely upon. It states that the car will work the way that you intend it to work—it will run and operate as it should.
If it does not, it violates your expectations and breaches the written warranty.
An express warranty will:
- Make a specific promise or affirm a fact
- Describe the goods in written form
- Show a sample or model to the buyer
Warranties can, and often are, limited in some way. Warranties for cars, for example, are limited by the miles on the vehicles, time, or to certain parts or damage.
It may also require that you take action to repair the car within a certain time so that the damage does not get worse.
Lemon laws in Georgia operate as a faster way for consumers to use the warranties that come with their vehicles.
Exceptions to Georgia Lemon Laws
Vehicles that are not covered under Georgia’s lemon laws include:
- Any car that is considered “used” when it is purchased (if the car has anyone else’s name on it besides the dealers when it is sold, then it is generally considered used under Georgia law)
- Motorcycles and mopeds
- Trucks that weigh more than 12,000 pounds
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
- Vehicles that are not self-propelled, like campers and trailers
Motor homes can be covered, but only the portion that actually runs. The part in which someone lives is not covered under Georgia lemon laws.
Lemon laws in Georgia also only apply for a limited time. The defect must be discovered within two years of owning the car, or within 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. This is sometimes referred to as the “lemon law period.”
There is also a time limit to start the arbitration process under Georgia law. You must begin within one year of the expiration of the two-year lemon law period.
Georgia Lemon Law Cases
Robison Lemon Law Group, LLC has experience (and success) with a variety of lemon law cases. The team has gone through vehicle problems such as electrical issues, check engine light problems, and steering problems, just to name a few.
If you think your vehicle may qualify to use the lemon law process, have your case evaluated by our team. Every situation is different, and previous wins are not a guarantee of future outcomes.
Talk to an Experienced Lemon Lawyer and Get a Free Case Evaluation
Although you do not necessarily need an attorney to go through the lemon law process in Georgia, it is a good idea. An experienced lawyer will increase the likelihood that you have success in your Georgia lemon law claim.
Get the compensation you deserve for your troubles. Use the Question/Contact form to your right to set up a consultation or get more information.
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