Georgia Lemon Law
While not exceedingly common, sometimes new car buyers end up having to turn to the lemon law in Georgia after discovering a defect in their vehicles. If dealerships or manufacturers unknowingly sell a bad car, lemon law guidelines tell drivers what steps to follow to resolve the mishap.
The federal lemon law gives general guidelines that car owners can follow if they buy a defective car so they can return the vehicle when the nonconformity is not at the fault of the drivers. Sometimes, it helps to hire an attorney to guide drivers through the laws and make sure they do not jeopardize their opportunity for resolution by making a mistake. To learn more about these auto laws review the informative sections below.
What is the Lemon Law in Georgia?
The lemon law in Georgia states that a lemon car only qualifies as such if it is a new vehicle with a nonconformity that cannot be repaired.
The specific details of these laws may vary from state to state, but Georgia lemon laws require that a car be in new condition in order for the vehicle to meet the lemon law definition. Under these laws, vehicles should meet certain criteria, including the following:
- You must have purchased the car in new condition within two years.
- The vehicle must have a significant deficiency. These issues should prove to be extreme and affect the vehicle’s ability to operate.
- A mechanic must have attempted at least three repairs on the car to fix the defective problem OR at least one repair for a safety-related issue.
- The car must have been in the mechanic’s shop and out of service for at least 30 days.
In Georgia, lemon laws are enforced by the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit, which covers both cars and trucks and includes all purchased and leased new vehicles and demonstrator vehicles. These laws also cover problems with the specified warranty of the vehicle that affect its safety, value or use.
Does the Georgia Lemon Law apply to used cars?
Used car lemon law is not offered in the state of Georgia. Residents should instead follow used car laws if they hope to be compensated for the issues. Other vehicles that lemon laws do not cover in Georgia include:
- Vehicles that are titled under any person other than the new car dealership before purchase.
- Motorcycles and mopeds.
- All-terrain vehicles.
- Trucks that weigh more than 12,000 pounds.
- Trailers, campers and other non-self-propelling vehicles.
How does the Lemon Law work in Georgia?
A new vehicle in Georgia is considered a lemon law car if, within two years of its purchase, it shows a problem that does not meet manufacturer’s warranty, if it meets the 30 day lemon law used cars requirement and if at least three attempts by a mechanic to fix the defect failed.
If a vehicle spends a total of 30 cumulative days in a repair shop and the issue still cannot be fixed, drivers can turn to the this law for a solution. To take the first steps forward in solving the problem, drivers can reach out to the manufacturer with a complaint form that:
- Explains the problems with the car.
- Contains copies of the mechanic’s work orders and invoices.
- Contains a request for a new vehicle replacement, a full refund or another resolution.
If the car meets lemon law conditions, drivers will need to complete an Interactive Form for Georgia Lemon Law Complaints form and mail it to the manufacturer of their vehicle. Then, drivers should send the form through overnight or certified mail delivery with a request for a return receipt for proof that the manufacturer received it.
The car manufacturer has 28 days after delivery to the facility to attempt the proper repairs or seven days after delivery of the receipt to refer that driver to an accessible repair shop. Doing this offers the manufacturer one final opportunity to try and fix the car before following the lemon law guidelines to proceed forward.
If the manufacturer refers the driver to a repair shop, the driver will have 14 days to take the car to that repair shop. If the car owner does not complete this step in the given time, the manufacturer’s deadline will be extended for another 14 days. After the allotted 28 days, if the last repair attempt or examination is not complete, Georgia drivers should turn to the GA lemon law for settlement.
If the manufacturer refuses to comply with the aforementioned rules, Georgia drivers can hire a lemon law attorney to defend their case against the manufacturer for due resolution.
When your car is determined to be a lemon, drivers can apply for a state arbitration hearing where a panel can allow them one of two lemon law buyback options from the manufacturer:
- A replacement vehicle
- A full refund
Some drivers do not need a lemon law attorney to work out issues with dealers since most dealerships want high customer satisfaction and do not want to face legal cases. However, some manufacturers may not be open to cooperation, so it is important that drivers understand the rights given to them by this law so they know where to turn if this ever happens.
Drivers can choose between the two options listed above, allowing them to decide if they want a lemon law buyback from the manufacturer or if they would rather receive a replacement car. Georgia residents should contact the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit to begin the process and get compensation from the manufacturer.
For federal lemon law use, drivers should provide proof of eligibility by keeping their documentation record of the mechanic’s service history on their cars showing its problematic status. Furthermore, drivers should maintain correspondence records between themselves and the car dealership, which will come in the case of a legal battle.
Georgia Lemon Law Lawyers
If they want extra support, drivers should look into hiring a lemon law attorney to help guide them through the process of filing your lemon car request if your vehicle is defective. Attorneys who specialize lemon law warranty issues are very well-versed in the process and will understand what actions you should take and how to form a powerful and reasonable argument for your case.
Before working with an attorney, drivers should consider the following information so they know they are doing what is best for themselves:
- Conduct good research: You should always consult multiple lemon law lawyers before deciding which one will represent you in court. Choosing the first attorney you meet with could mean you are not getting the most out of the money you spend.
- Make sure the attorney has past experience: Find a lawyer who has handled lemon law cases in the past and defended them successfully in court. Make sure you question each of the lawyers you meet about their previous cases and attainment rates.
- Find a local lawyer: It is important to hire an attorney who fully understands the Georgia lemon law since these laws are often different in other states.
- Compare fees and terms of payment: Be sure to ask how much each lawyer wants you to pay for their services and make sure it is within your budget. It is vital that you can afford the lemon law attorney cost and that there are no surprising hidden terms or fees later.
Drivers do not understand the GA lemon law very well often discover that there are many great reasons to hire an attorney to represent them in court. Lemon law attorneys are usually good investments to make if a driver can afford them and needs some extra assistance, especially when manufacturers make resolution challenging.
These attorneys can help car owners who just do not want to deal with the hassle of the case, but they can also help drivers with their case by:
- Detailing drivers’ rights and options.
- Making sure the manufacturer obeys the lemon law in Georgia.
- Making sure drivers receive everything to which they are entitled.
- Handling the whole case from start to finish.
- Dealing with all of the drivers’ paperwork.
Additional New and Used Car Laws in Georgia
If a Georgia resident purchases a used car that is not eligible for the GA lemon law, they can instead turn to the Fair Business Practices Act if the vehicle has a major undisclosed defect. This law is comparable to a used car lemon law because it allows drivers to file an Unfair Business Practices claim if the dealer from whom they purchased the vehicle gave them false or misleading information and the car demonstrates a major issue.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
If you are trying to figure out if your car could qualify for the Georgia lemon law, verify whether or not it meets the Georgia lemon standards offered below:
- The car has an extreme nonconformity that appeared within two years after its purchase as a new car.
- The car’s defect is included in the manufacturer warranty.
- The problem cannot be fixed after at least one or three attempts at the mechanic, depending on the type of problem, and 30 days in the repair shop.
Georgia residents with vehicles that meet the status of new car lemon law may find that their vehicles are prone to this type of defect. The car makes and models released in 2018 with the most lemon law issues are provided below.
- Mercedes-Benz B
- Chevrolet Volt
- Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Tesla Model S