The Georgia Lemon Law
Georgia's lemon law is designed to help you get a defective vehicle repaired by the manufacturer. If your motor vehicle cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, the law requires the manufacturer to replace or buy back the vehicle.
The complete text is referred to as Georgia Code Section 10-1-780 et seq.
What vehicles are covered?
The law covers vehicles under manufacturer warranty that are bought or leased new in Georgia or registered in Georgia by the original owner, including demonstrator vehicles and self-propelled motorhomes (chassis and coach).
Used vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, boats, trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight (G.V.W.) rating of more than 12,000 pounds, and vehicles that are not self-propelled (such as trailers or campers) are not included.
Who is covered?
Consumers are covered if they:
Purchase or lease a new motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use.
Purchase or lease no more than ten new motor vehicles a year for business purposes other than limousine rental services.
The Georgia lemon law covers the following issues:
Any defect that creates a serious safety hazard. This means a life-threatening defect or a malfunction that impedes the consumer’s ability to control or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.
Any other defect or condition that:
Substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer; or
Renders the new motor vehicle nonconforming to the manufacturer’s express warranty.
The law does not include a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition resulting from abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.
What is considered a “reasonable” number of repair attempts?
The defect or condition must occur and be reported to the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s authorized dealer within two years after the date of the original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer, or the first 24,000 miles of operation after delivery to the original consumer, whichever comes first. This is known as the lemon law rights period.
The Georgia law states that a manufacturer’s attempts to repair is reasonable, if:
A serious safety defect has not been corrected after one repair.
The same nonconformity has not been corrected after being subject to repair three times; or
The car was out of service for repairs of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days. Weekends and holidays count toward those 30 days if your vehicle is in for repair.
Note: If the lemon law rights period expires while the vehicle is being repaired, the timeframe is extended until that repair attempt has been completed.
Final Opportunity to Repair
If the manufacturer is unable to repair and correct the defect after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer must allow the manufacturer a final opportunity to repair, as follows:
- The consumer must notify the manufacturer by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the need to repair and correct the nonconformity. Note: the address is provided in the owner’s manual and remember to keep receipt of delivery.
- The manufacturer then has twenty-eight days from receiving the consumer’s notice to complete the final repair.
- Within seven days of receiving the notice, the manufacturer must notify the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility to take the car for the final repair attempt.
Note: If the consumer takes the vehicle to the facility more than 14 days after the manufacturer received the initial consumer notice, the 28-day period is extended to allow the manufacturer 14 days from the date the consumer delivers the vehicle to the repair facility to complete the final repair attempt.
Also, the final opportunity to repair is not required if the vehicle is out of service for 30 days within the lemon law rights period for the repair of one or more nonconformities.
What is the manufacturer’s duty to repurchase or replace a vehicle?
If the manufacturer, through its agent or dealer, is unable to correct a nonconformity after the final repair attempt, or if the vehicle was out of service by reason of repair to one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days within the lemon law rights period, the consumer must request (by certified mail, return receipt requested, or statutory overnight delivery) that the manufacturer either repurchase or replace the vehicle (consumer’s choice). The manufacturer must, within 20 days of receipt of this last request, abide by the request.
In Georgia, the lemon law allows the manufacturer to charge the consumer a fee for use of the new vehicle during the time when it was not defective if the vehicle is ultimately repurchased by the manufacturer. This fee is called the “reasonable offset for use” and is calculated by multiplying the car’s purchase price by the miles attributed to use on the date the consumer first delivered the vehicle for the repair of the nonconformity and dividing by 120,000.
How can BBB AUTO LINE help me?
If you have an unresolved dispute involving a defect that is covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty, BBB AUTO LINE may be able to assist you. BBB AUTO LINE is an out-of-court mediation and arbitration dispute resolution process in which many automobile manufacturers participate.
Questions?Contact the dispute resolution team
Resolve your warranty or lemon law dispute with your manufacturer for free with BBB AUTO LINE.
Is your manufacturer eligible? Check here.
Gather the following information:
- Owner’s name and address
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Make, model and year
- Description of the problem
- Current mileage
- Owner’s name and address