Georgia Lemon Law for New Cars

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Lemon laws have now been enacted in all but 2 states. The Georgia Lemon Law is found in Georgia Code Section 10-1-780. The Georgia Legislature significantly amended this law in 2008.

In enacting this law, the Georgia legislature found that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defectively manufactured new motor vehicle, a lemon car, is likely to create hardship for, or may cause injury to, the consumer.

In Georgia, the law defines lemon cars and requires that manufacturers (not dealers) remedy the defects. The law creates a lemon rights period of 24 months and 24,000 miles. The defects must occur sometime in this period.

The Georgia Lemon Law contains a three-pronged definition of when a manufacturer has had a sufficient number of attempts to repair, entitling the consumer to a refund or a replacement. A reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer if, during the lemon law rights period:

  1. A serious safety defect has been subject to repair one time and the serious safety defect has not been corrected;
  2. The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three times, and the nonconformity has not been corrected; or
  3. The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days.

The Georgia Lemon Law allows the manufacturer to charge the consumer a fee for his/her use of the new vehicle during a time when it was not defective. This “Reasonable offset for use” means an amount calculated by multiplying the purchase price of a vehicle by the number of miles directly attributable to consumer use as of the date on which the consumer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer for repair of a nonconformity and dividing the product by 120,000.

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