Helping You Fix
What’s Broken In Your Life
headshot of Attorney T. Michael Flinn
  1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Lemon Laws
  4.  | Federal Lemon Law

What To Know About Federal Lemon Law

Attorney Michael Flinn calls this the “three strikes and you’re out” principle, and he has argued this successfully in a number of Georgia lemon car trials. He has argued successfully to Georgia juries that the lemon manufacturers should be given three attempts to repair the defect. If they can’t, the new car purchaser should not be required to continue to allow attempts to repair indefinitely.

What Is The Magnuson-Moss Warranty?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty is an important federal law that protects the rights of consumers regarding the sale of lemon vehicles. It protects your rights when working with auto manufacturers. The law also has certain requirements when it comes to manufacturers advertising their warranties and what they must disclose to you prior to the transaction. This new car lemon law supplements and improves Georgia warranty law and has been quoted and relied upon by the Georgia Supreme Court in cases such as Freeman v. Hubco Leasing, a case involving a lemon Delorean automobile. For lemon car purposes, the law significantly affects the rights of Georgia car buyers. For any product which has a written warranty, if the product or any part thereof contains a defect after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to repair the defect, the warrantor must permit the consumer to elect either a refund for or replacement of the product.

What New Car Lemon Laws Mean For Consumers

A consumer may file a legal action in any court of general jurisdiction in Georgia to enforce his rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty law. If the consumer finally prevails, he or she will be entitled to recover attorney’s fees based on actual time spent. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty law allows the prevailing consumer to collect attorney’s fees in cases of breach of warranty under state law too. The Georgia appellate courts have upheld significant attorney fee awards, even in cases with smaller damages based upon this law. The provision allowing attorney’s fees provides substantial economic pressure on the manufacturer to settle consumer disputes prior to court to keep its expenses down. For example, in a case decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals, one retired Atlanta gentleman bought a motor home in which he planned to travel during his golden years. He had problems with the motor home and eventually sued for breach of warranty. The jury awarded him $1,500.00. The court awarded his attorneys $15,000 in attorney’s fees based on their successful presentation of his claim. The Georgia Appellate Court upheld that award finding that it would be impossible for many consumers to bring their claims if attorneys were not properly compensated for their time.

What The New Lemon Law Means For Warrantors

A warrantor often includes the dealer selling or attempting to repair the vehicle. Most new car warranties provide that the dealer will perform repairs on the vehicle at no charge to the consumer if the vehicle is returned to the dealer for service. For example, Mr. Freeman bought a DeLorean from Hub Motor Company. He immediately had problems with the car overheating, with the door ajar, light coming on among others. He took the car to Hub for repairs. Hub attempted to repair but eventually refused additional attempts when DeLorean Motors went bankrupt and failed to pay Hub for the repair attempts under the warranty. The Georgia Court held that Hub was a warrantor because it had delivered the written warranty and had agreed to make repairs under that warranty and that it must therefore replace the vehicle or refund the price. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prevents any warrantor giving a written warranty from excluding or modifying implied warranties applicable to the consumer goods under the Uniform Commercial Code. Implied warranties include the warranty of merchantability or fitness for ordinary use.

Get The Law To Work For You

Mr. Flinn can advocate for your rights under the federal lemon law. Find out if your new car is protected by lemon laws with a free case evaluation. Call 770-832-0300 or use the contact form to provide details about your case.