Lemon Law in Georgia
What is the Georgia Lemon Law?
Unfortunately, "lemon" cars do exist, but manufacturers are now being held accountable. If you have purchased or leased a new car and experience numerous, continuous problems with that car, you may have bought a lemon. Georgia's lemon law was enacted to protect you and your investment.
Generally, if your new vehicle has major defects that can't be repaired by the manufacturer after a certain number of attempts overs a certain amount of time, you should be entitled to choosing between a replacement vehicle or a refund of your purchase.
On this page you'll find an overview of some of the aspects of Georgia's lemon law and what you can do to get compensated for your lemon or file a complaint.
What is a Lemon Car in Georgia?
If your vehicle is new and has a qualifying defect, you are covered by the lemon law rights for up to 2 years after your purchase or up to 24,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.
You'll need to allow the manufacturer or its authorized dealer a reasonable number of attempts to fix your vehicles defect. A reasonable number of attempts is defined as either:
- 3 attempts for most issues.
- 1 attempt for defects that could cause serious injury or death.
- After being out of service for at least 30 days.
Be sure to keep records of your service orders, receipts, and any correspondence you may have had with the manufacturer.
Vehicles Covered by GA Lemon Laws
In Georgia, only new vehicles are covered under the lemon law, and they must still be in the original owner's possession. This also applies to leased vehicles. If the car has changed ownership, it is no longer eligible for protection under the lemon law.
Additionally, the vehicle must have a defect that:
- Makes the car unsafe to drive.
- Lowers the resale value of the car.
- Causes malfunctions to the vehicle's normal uses.
NOTE: Defects caused by neglect, misuse, abuse, or alterations are not covered by the lemon law.
Vehicles Not Covered
The following vehicles are not covered by Georgia's lemon law:
- Your purchased or leased used vehicle.
- A car whose title indicates it is a used vehicle.
- Trucks weighing 10,000 lbs or more.
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
- Vehicles that do not legally qualify as a motor vehicle.
- The living area of a motorhome.
Filing a Complaint
If after a reasonable number of attempts to fix the vehicle, your car is still not repaired, you'll need to:
- Mail a Final Repair Opportunity Notice by certified mail to your vehicle's manufacturer.
- Submit a Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Request to the vehicle's manufacturer if:
- Your car has been out of service for at least 30 days.
- The manufacturer did not identify a service station within 7 days.
- The defect was not fixed during the final attempt.
Georgia Lemon Law Complaint Process
The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs administers the Warranty Rights Act and offers services to help you with your complaint.
Although the state will arbitrate on your behalf, and most manufacturers will work with you in good faith, some may not. If this appears to be the case, you always have the option of hiring an attorney who specializes in Georgia's lemon law to help you with your claim.
If your vehicle's manufacturer refuses to settle the issue or offers a lesser settlement, you can file a complaint within 1 year after the end of your Georgia lemon law rights period, or within 60 days of the final decision of a manufacturer's informal dispute process.
For more information about how to file a suit and what documents you'll need to provide, please contact the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Protection at (404) 651-8600. or toll free outside of Atlanta (800) 869-1123.
Hiring a GA Lemon Law Attorney
When you're dealing with a potential lemon and a vehicle manufacturer, keep in mind that because of the costs the automakers incur, many are hesitant to designate one of their vehicles as a "lemon".
Because of this, a manufacturer may work hand in hand with a dealer to avoid doing so. In situations like this, it is beneficial to obtain the services of a lawyer.
A lemon lawyer will understand your rights as they pertain to the state's Lemon Law and can work to compel your vehicle manufacturer to provide a refund or replacement of your vehicle.
Tips for Hiring a GA Lemon Lawyer
When you search from all the lemon law attorneys available, be sure to ask about their:
- Specific experience regarding the lemon law.
- Success with lemon law cases.
- Process for retaining fees.
In addition to finding an experienced lemon law attorney, you should also look for one you feel comfortable with. If something makes you unsure about a potential lawyer, just continue your search until you find one that is a proper fit.