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Lemon Law keeps car purchases from going sour

POSTED: December 20, 2007 5:02 a.m.
“Consumers who purchase, register or lease a new motor vehicle in the state of Georgia are eligible for protection against recurring defects under Georgia’s Lemon Law,” Joseph Doyle, administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, said.
 Motor vehicles are covered under the law for the first 12 months after the delivery date or the first 12,000 miles of the consumer’s use, whichever comes first.
In 2006, consumers recovered over $12.3 million in repurchases or replacements of motor vehicles as a result of Georgia’s Lemon Law.
The law was designed to help consumers get defective vehicles repaired. If the manufacturer fails to repair a recurring problem after a reasonable number of attempts and the consumer meets certain eligibility requirements, he may apply for an arbitration hearing.
An arbitrator or arbitration panel hears complaints and decides whether the consumer is entitled to a replacement vehicle or a refund. It is not necessary to hire an attorney for this procedure, but consumers are free to do so if  they wish.
An updating of the Lemon Law, which is supported by OCA, is before the House Judiciary committee as House Bill 470.
The bill is designed to improve the processes within the law and make it fairer to all involved parties.
The Lemon Law is a self-help process, which calls for the consumer to follow certain steps, which are described in detail on the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs Web site.
To review these steps or for additional information about Georgia’s Lemon Law, go to: www.consumer.ga.gov/lemonlaw.
 

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