You bought a new car. You thought that you wouldn't have any problems after purchase. Maybe one of the reasons you purchased a new car is because you didn't want to have to deal with any mechanical or repair issues. But, now something is wrong with the vehicle and you are having problems that shouldn't be happening with a new car. Now what? How do you know for sure if the vehicle you purchased is indeed a lemon and what steps do you take next?
In Georgia, your vehicle might qualify as a lemon if your vehicle cannot be repaired in a reasonable numbers of attempts. If your vehicle is a lemon, the manufacturer of the vehicle is required to either replace your vehicle or buy it back. Many people falsely assume that any vehicle can be a lemon, but there are very specific requirements that have to be met in order for your vehicle to qualify as a lemon under Georgia Statute. In order to determine if your vehicle could qualify as a lemon, answer these five questions:
- Are you a consumer? Consumer means a person who purchases or leases a vehicle for personal or family use. If you purchased the vehicle for primarily business use or for anything other than personal or family use, it would not qualify as a lemon under Georgia law.
- Are you the original owner? If your vehicle has been sold to anyone other than you, it would not qualify as a lemon under Georgia Statute. You must be the first titled owner of the vehicle.
- Is the vehicle new? Vehicles that are sold as "used" do not qualify for lemon law protection. You can determine if your vehicle was sold as new or used by reviewing your bill of sale or purchase agreements. Additionally, to qualify as a lemon, the vehicle must have less than 24,000 miles or incur problems within two years after purchase. Whichever comes first.
- Does the vehicle have a substantial defect? In order to qualify as a lemon vehicle, your vehicle must have a substantial defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle to you. This does not include conditions that are the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications to the vehicle.
- Have there been repair attempts? In order to qualify for lemon law protection, you must provide the dealer and/or manufacturer a reasonable number of repair attempts to fix the defect or the vehicle must have been out of service for a total of 30 days as a result of the defect. The 30 days does not have to be consecutive, but it can be cumulative.
If you answered yes to all four questions above, your vehicle could be considered a lemon under Georgia Law. If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon under Georgia Law, you can petition the manufacturer to replace or repurchase the vehicle through the Georgia Motor Vehicle Arbitration Panel. You can find more information about this process here.
Embry Legal does not currently charge a fee for handling Lemon Law cases. If you need help in determining whether your vehicle is a lemon or need assistance in pursuing a claim against the manufacturer, we can help. Contact us today! 678-631-7744 or [email protected]