What Are My Options For Action Under The Lemon Law?
If the manufacturer either fails to make a final attempt to repair the defect, or if the defect still exists after such an attempt, you may seek to receive a replacement vehicle or a refund via the following options:
Arbitration: Also known as informal dispute settlement, arbitration is an informal process consumers may use to obtain speedy resolution of a warranty dispute without having to go to court, and it is legally binding. At an arbitration hearing, the seller and buyer testify before an arbitrator about the defects and repair history of the vehicle. There are two types of arbitration for new cars:
- Manufacturer`s Arbitration Program: Although Georgia law does permit you to file a lawsuit or to use the state`s arbitration program under the Lemon Law, before you may do so the law requires that you first use the manufacturer`s arbitration program, if it has one that is certified in Georgia.
You can find out if your manufacturer sponsors a certified arbitration program by reading the information accompanying your warranties, asking your dealer for information, or contacting the Governor`s Office of Consumer Affairs, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 356, Atlanta, GA 30334
8008691123 (from within GA only) or 4046563790.
Once the arbitration program has made its decision, you have the right to either accept or reject their decision.
If you reject the decision and decide to apply for statesponsored arbitration, you must submit a state arbitration application within 60 days from the date of your rejection.
- Staterun Arbitration: If the manufacturer does not have a certified program, if the certified program fails to render a decision within 40 days, or if you are dissatisfied with the certified program`s decision, you may submit your dispute to the state`s New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. The law requires that you use this program before you may file a lawsuit under the Lemon Law. Contact the Governor`s Office of Consumer Affairs to receive an application form.
Court Action: If you have met the Lemon Law requirements listed above and are not satisfied with results from the manufacturer`s arbitration program, or if the manufacturer does not have an arbitration program that meets federal requirements and regulations, then you may go to court. If you do seek court action, you should consult an attorney.
If the court rules in your favor, in addition to receiving a refund or replacement, you may be able to also receive attorney fees.