Lemon laws in Georgia are laws that provide protection to consumers by bounding their vehicles to fall into certain limits according to the standards of quality and performance. These laws prevent them from violating such standards. Lemon laws are not necessarily applicable to the used or leased vehicles.
Pendergast & Jones, P.C.
- Pendergast & Jones, P.C.
- Gary Leshaw and Associates
- GA Code 10-1-780
- 10-1-781 – Legislative Intent
- 10-1-782 – Definitions
- 10-1-783 – Dealers To Provide Owner’s Manual With Customer Service Information; Written Statement Of Consumer’s Rights; Reporting Nonconformity; Copies Of Reports; Refusal To Diagnose Or Repair; Extension Of Lemon Law Rights And 30 Day Out-Of-Service Periods.
- 10-1-784 – Nonrepair Of Vehicle; Contractual Obligations Between Lessor And Consumer; Replacement Of Vehicle; Attempts To Correct Nonconformity; Duration Of Lemon Law Rights Period; Liability Of Dealer Or Distributor; Enforcement Of Violations; Election Of Remedies; Effect Of Article On Dealer Franchise Or Distributor Agreement.
- 10-1-785 – Resale of Nonconforming Vehicle
- 10-1-786 – New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Panel
- 10-1-787 – Arbitration Procedure
- 10-1-788 – Appeal of Arbitration Decision
- 10-1-789 – Collection of Consumer Fee for Operating Arbitration Program
- 10-1-790 – Violation of Article
- 10-1-791 – Waiver of Rights under Article as Contrary to Public Policy
- 10-1-792 – Other Rights and Remedies
- 10-1-793 – Informal Dispute Resolution Settlement Mechanism
- 10-1-794 – Establishment and Operation Of Arbitration Panels; Panel Membership; Staff
The law firm, Pendergast & Jones, P.C., is sited at 115 Perimeter Center Place Suite 1000, Atlanta, Georgia. The firm comprises of a team of four attorneys, Howell A. Hall, Ezra B. Jones III, William J. Layng Jr. and John F. Pendergast Jr. All these attorneys possess vast expertise in a wide range of law. Attorney Ezra Jones deals in lemon law area. He is a renowned Georgia lemon law attorney. All the attorneys are well-known for their result-oriented legal representation. Mr. Jones did his BBA in 1978 and completed his education in law from the University of Georgia in 1981 and joined the bar of Georgia, the same year.
Areas of Practice
- Lemon Law
- Real Estate
- Creditors Rights
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Petroleum Marketing
Located at Commerce Plaza, Suite 800, 755 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia, Gary Leshaw and Associates is a law firm of two attorneys working in various legal areas and having lemon law as center of attention. Both these lawyers have earned themselves prominent names among Georgia lemon law attorneys. Attorney Leigh Braslow Altman earned degree in jurisprudence from Florida State University College of Law in 1997 and was admitted to the bar, the same year. On the other hand, attorney Gary Leshaw completed his J.D. in 1976 and LLM in 1980 from Emory University. In 1976 Gary was admitted to Georgia and Florida bars and later in 1981 he joined the bar in District of Columbia. He is an active member of DeKalb, Atlanta and American Bar Associations, State Bar of Georgia, The Florida Bar, District of Columbia Bar and The Atlanta Lawyers Club.
Areas of Practice
- Lemon Law
- Consumer Protection
- Fair Housing
- Construction Law
- Civil Practice
Georgia Lemon Laws
GA Code 10-1-780
This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Warranty Rights Act.”
(Code 1981, § 10-1-780, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
The general assembly admits that the motor vehicle is one of the key consumer purchases. Incase if the vehicle has nonconformities then it gradually transforms into suffering for consumers. It is also the intent of the legislature that an authorized dealer or repairing agent is entitled to fix the defects within the specified warranty period. It also provides the statutory procedures through which a consumer can receive a replacement or a refund. Nothing in this chapter can limit or expand the rights of the consumer.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-781, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
- “Administrator” means,
- Someone who manages a government agency or department
- The administrator appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-395.
- “Collateral charges” are the charges incurred to acquire the motor vehicle which includes manufacturer-installed or agent-installed items or service charges, earned finance charges, sales taxes, and title charges.
- “Consumer” means,
- A person who is involved in the transfer or lease of a motor vehicle to fulfill personal, family, or household needs
- The term shall also mean and include any sole-proprietorship or partnership who is a commercial owner or lessee of no more than three new motor vehicles and which has ten or fewer employees and a net income after taxes of $100,000.00 per annum or less for federal income tax purposes.
- “Court” means an assembly where the judicial hearings are conducted
- “Distributor” means
- a person who is authorized by the manufacturer to distribute motor vehicles to the dealers
- Who is licensed or otherwise authorized to utilize trademarks or service marks associated with one or more makes of motor vehicles in connection with such distribution.
- “Express warranty” means a warranty which is expressed in writing by the manufacturer.
- “Incidental costs” means those charges to the consumer which are directly incurred due to the nonconformity of the motor vehicle.
- “Informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism” means any procedure to resolve the dispute between the manufacturers and consumers regarding warranty.
- “Lemon law rights period” means,
- The period ending one year after the date of the delivery
- The first 12,000 miles after the delivery of vehicle.
- “Manufacturer” is
- A person engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling or distributing automobiles, who under normal business conditions during the year, manufacture at least 10 new automobiles
- A person or firm engaged in the business of transforming raw material into motor vehicle for sale
- “New motor vehicle” is,
- A self-propelled vehicle which is used for the transportation over the highways and whose title has not been assigned to anyone yet.
- In case of recreational vehicles, the law applies only to chassis and vehicle but not to the parts designed for recreational conveniences like, mobile dwelling, office, or commercial space.
- “New motor vehicle dealer” means,
- A person who is authorized by the manufacturer for dealing with the sale, purchase or repair of new and used vehicles
- A person engaged in leasing new motor vehicles to the consumers
- A person who is entitled to make use of trademark associated with one or more makes of motor vehicles in connection with such sales.
- “Nonconformity” means a defect which affects the utilization, value and safety of a motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition that is the result of abuse of the new motor vehicle.
- “Panel” means a new motor vehicle arbitration panel as designated in Code Sections 10-1-786 and 10-1-794.
- “Purchase price” means,
- The cash paid against the acquisition of a new motor vehicle
- The price appearing on the sale agreement inclusive of trade-in allowance.
- “Reasonable offset for use” means the amount directly imputable to utilize by the consumer before the consumer requests repurchase or replacement by the manufacturer pursuant to Code Section 10-1-784. The amount of reasonable offset for use shall be computed by:
(Number of miles that the vehicle traveled * the purchase price /100,000)
- “Reasonable number of attempts” under the lemon law rights period means the definition as provided in Code Section 10-1-784.
- “Replacement motor vehicle” means a new motor vehicle with same capability and functions and which is identical or equivalent to be replaced by a lemon vehicle.
- “Serious safety defect” means a life-threatening malfunction or nonconformity.
- “Substantially impair” means which affects reliability of a new vehicle, or to diminish the resale value of the new motor vehicle.
- “Warranty” means any express written warranty by the manufacturer or dealer assuring that the vehicle doesn’t have any defect or in case any defect arises, the manufacturer would be responsible for its repair.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-782, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 10.)
10-1-783 – Dealers To Provide Owner’s Manual With Customer Service Information; Written Statement Of Consumer’s Rights; Reporting Nonconformity; Copies Of Reports; Refusal To Diagnose Or Repair; Extension Of Lemon Law Rights And 30 Day Out-Of-Service Periods.
- It’s the responsibility of a dealer to provide an owner’s manual to every consumer which contains address and contact number of manufacturer or repairing agent who is authorized for the repairs.
- The dealer, at the time of purchase of a motor vehicle, will give a written explanation of the consumers’ rights, written by the administrator.
- Under this article, if a new motor vehicle is found to be a lemon or has a nonconformity which impairs the use and value of the vehicle and the consumer reports the condition within the lemon law rights period, then it’s the responsibility of the manufacturer to remove those defects as soon as possible.
- A consumer can ask for receipt of anything like, a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer’s field or zone representative regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test-drive.
- according to section 10-1-783 of Georgia lemon laws, “each time the consumer’s vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired under the lemon law rights period or under a warranty, the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide to the consumer a fully itemized, legible statement or repair order indicating any diagnosis made, and all work performed on the vehicle, including but not limited to a general description of the problem reported by the consumer or an identification of the defect or condition, parts and labor, the date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair, and the date when the vehicle was made available to the consumer”.
- The law doesn’t allow any manufacturer or repairing agent from refusing to diagnose or repair any nonconformity for the purpose of avoiding liability.
- Incase of strike, war, invasion, fire, flood, or other natural disaster, the lemon law rights period and 30 day out-of-service period shall be extended.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-783, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
10-1-784 – Nonrepair Of Vehicle; Contractual Obligations Between Lessor And Consumer; Replacement Of Vehicle; Attempts To Correct Nonconformity; Duration Of Lemon Law Rights Period; Liability Of Dealer Or Distributor; Enforcement Of Violations; Election Of Remedies; Effect Of Article On Dealer Franchise Or Distributor Agreement.
- After a reasonable number of attempts, if the manufacturer or repairing agent fails in correcting the nonconformity of a new motor vehicle, then, the consumer should notify the manufacturer through certified mail or return receipt requested. After the receipt of complaint, the manufacturer should send a reply to a consumer within seven days and within 14 days, conform the motor vehicle to the warranty. After 30 days, if the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle, then, the consumer will get either replacement or refund.
- Incase, if a lessor chooses replacement, the contractual commitment, except for those terms of the contract which classify the vehicle, between the lessor and the consumer shall not be altered. But if a lessor elects repurchase, it will refund the consumer, the amount equal to the allowance for any trade-in, and down payment made by the consumer, and all future obligations of the consumer to the lessor shall cease. In the event a lessor elects to require the manufacturer to repurchase a leased vehicle, the consumer will remain liable for all lease obligations arising prior to the date that the lessor elects such replacement, but will have no future obligations under the lease, and will be liable for no penalty for early termination. A lessor must elect either a repurchase or replacement within 30 days of receiving written notice from the consumer that such an election is desired; if the lessor fails to make such an election within the 30 days, the consumer may make the election to repurchase or replace and the lessor shall be bound by the consumer’s election.
- As stated in Georgia lemon laws, “the replacement motor vehicle shall be identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced. Such replacement shall include payment of all collateral charges which the consumer or lessor will incur a second time which would not have been incurred again except for the replacement, and any and all incidental costs incurred by the consumer or lessor. In the case of a replacement motor vehicle, the reasonable offset for use shall be paid by the consumer to the manufacturer. Compensation for a reasonable offset for use shall be paid by the consumer to the manufacturer in the event that a replacement motor vehicle is elected. In the case of a lease where the consumer either has no option to purchase the motor vehicle at the end of the lease term, or the consumer has an option to purchase the motor vehicle at the end of the lease term but does not exercise the option, the lessor shall refund to the consumer the lesser of (A) the offset for use paid by the consumer to the manufacturer at the time of delivery of the replacement vehicle, or (B) the gain realized by the lessor by reason of the difference, if any, between the anticipated residual value of the original motor vehicle as determined at the inception of the lease and the realized value of the replacement motor vehicle at the end of the lease. If the lessor does not realize any gain from the disposition of the replacement vehicle, there will be no refund due to the consumer from the lessor. The foregoing rules apply only to leases where the consumer performs all of the consumer’s obligations under the lease agreement and the lease terminates upon the scheduled expiration of the lease term as set forth in the lease agreement or any mutually agreed upon extension of the lease term. The administrator may provide by rule under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” for determining the manner of calculating the amount of any further charges or refunds that may apply in the case of leases terminated prematurely either by the voluntary election of the parties, or involuntarily by the lessor in the event of the lessee’s default, the loss or destruction of the vehicle, or for any other reason”.
- If the manufacturer is repurchasing the vehicle, it will refund all collateral charges and incidental costs less a reasonable offset for use.
- It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to correct the nonconformity if,
- A serious safety defect in the braking or steering system has been arrived at least once during the lemon law rights period and has not been corrected
- During 24 months or less, or 24,000 miles or less, whichever completed early, any serious protection defect has been subject to repair two or more times, and at least one of the defects arises during the lemon law rights period, and the nonconformity continues to exist
- During 24 months or less, or 24,000 miles or less, whichever completed early, any serious protection defect has been subject to repair three or more times, and at least one of the defects arises during the lemon law rights period, and the nonconformity continues to exist
- If the vehicle is out of service or is in custody of the repairing agent for reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days, at least 15 of them during the lemon law rights period. If less than 15 days remain under the lemon law rights period when the new motor vehicle is first brought in for diagnosis or repair, the lemon law rights period as regards the problem to be diagnosed or repaired shall be extended for a period of 90 days.
- For purposes of this article, the lemon law rights period regarding nonconformities on all new motor vehicles sold in this state shall be for 12 months following the purchase of the vehicle or for 12,000 miles following the purchase of the vehicle, whichever occurs first.
- According to 10-1-784 of Georgia lemon laws, “this article shall not create and shall not give rise to any cause of action against and shall not impose any liability upon any new motor vehicle dealer or distributor except as provided in this Code section. No new motor vehicle dealer or distributor shall be held liable by the manufacturer or by the consumer for any collateral charges, damages, costs, purchase price refunds, or vehicle replacements, and manufacturers and consumers shall not have a cause of action against a new motor vehicle dealer or distributor under this article. A violation of any duty or responsibility imposed upon a new motor vehicle dealer or distributor under this article shall constitute a per se violation of Code Section 10-1-393; provided, however, that enforcement against such violations shall be by public enforcement by the administrator and shall not be enforceable through private enforcement under the provisions of Code Section 10-1-399, except that a knowing violation of Code Section 10-1-785 shall be enforceable through private enforcement under the provisions of Code Section 10-1-399.The provisions of Code Sections 11-2-602 through 11-2-609 shall not apply to the sale of a new motor vehicle if the consumer seeks to use the remedies provided for in this article. A consumer shall be deemed to have used the remedies provided for in this article when he or she completes, signs, and returns forms prescribed by the administrator for the submission of disputes to an informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism or to a panel, whichever occurs first. Such forms shall contain a conspicuous statement clearly advising the consumer of the rights the consumer is waiving by participating in the procedures under this article. A consumer may not use the remedies provided for in this article if the consumer has already sought to use the remedies provided for in Code Sections 11-2-602 through 11-2-609, unless the nonconformity did not exist or was not known at the time of using the remedies provided for in such Code sections. Manufacturers and consumers may not make new motor vehicle dealers or distributors parties to arbitration panel proceedings or any other proceedings under this article”.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-784, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 10.)
- Any vehicle which has any nonconformity shall not be resold or transferred by any manufacturer unless the defect has been removed and the transferor provides the manufacturer’s written warranty under this Code section to the consumer.
- The manufacturer shall notify the administrator, replacement or repurchase of a defective motor vehicle. If such defect has been removed, the manufacturer shall notify the administrator in the same manner of such correction.
- Upon the resale or transfer of title of a defective motor vehicle, which has not been corrected and which was previously returned after a final determination, the manufacturer shall carry out and deliver to the transferee before transfer to a consumer an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity in a manner to be specified by the administrator; the transferor shall deliver the instrument to the consumer before transfer.
- Georgia lemon laws states that “upon the resale, either at wholesale or retail, lease, transfer of title, or other transfer of a motor vehicle found to have a nonconformity under this article which has been corrected, the manufacturer shall warrant in writing on forms prescribed by the administrator upon the transfer that the nonconformity has been corrected, and the manufacturer, its agent, the new motor vehicle dealer, or other transferor shall execute and deliver to the transferee before transfer an instrument in writing setting forth information identifying the nonconformity and indicating in a manner to be specified by the administrator that it has been corrected and providing an express manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle regarding the nonconformity for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first”.
- The term “settlement” is used as an agreement between the manufacturer and the consumer which takes place after the dispute has been submitted to an informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism or has been deemed eligible by the administrator for arbitration before a panel.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-785, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
- The administrator has the right to establish a new motor vehicle arbitration panel to resolve disputes between consumers and manufacturers. The panel shall not comprise of any person affiliated with manufacturer and shall have available the services of persons with automotive technical expertise to assist in resolving disputes under this article.
- The administrator may adopt rules under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” for the uniform conduct of arbitrations by panels and by informal dispute resolution settlement mechanisms under this article, which rules may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- The administrator shall provide by rule for oral hearings, when appropriate, in panel or informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism proceedings
- Procedures for production of records and documents requested by a party which the panel finds are reasonably related to the dispute
- Procedures for issuance of subpoenas on behalf of the panel by the administrator, which shall be enforced by the superior courts
- Procedures regarding written affidavits from employees and agents of a dealer, a manufacturer, any party, or from other potential witnesses and the consideration of such affidavits by a panel
- Records of panel proceedings and hearings shall be open to the public.
- A consumer shall exhaust any certified informal dispute resolution settlement procedure under Code Section 10-1-793 and the new motor vehicle arbitration panel remedy before filing any superior court action pursuant to Code Section 10-1-788.
- The administrator may adopt rules under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” to implement this article. Such rules may include uniform standards by which the panel and any informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism under Code Section 10-1-793 shall make determinations under this article, including but not limited to rules which may provide for:
- Determining the existence of a nonconformity
- Determining that a reasonable number of attempts to repair a nonconformity have been undertaken
- Determining that a manufacturer has failed to comply with Code Section 10-1-784.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-786, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 10; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 10.)
- To request arbitration, a consumer should submit an application in writing to the administrator. The administrator after determining the request may provide necessary information to the consumer regarding the consumer’s rights and remedies. The administrator may adopt rules under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” regarding the eligibility of requests for arbitration. The administrator shall assign a dispute he deems eligible to a panel.
- The law restricts manufacturers in submitting to arbitration under this article if the consumer’s dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the administrator and by the panel.
- The panel has the right to reject any request if it determines to be playful or fraudulent. Any dispute rejected by the panel due to insufficiency of evidence may be reconsidered by the panel upon the remaining information. The administrator may adopt rules under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” governing rejection of disputes by a panel. A decision to reject any dispute for arbitration shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the consumer and the manufacturer.
- If the panel finds a nonconformity and reasonable number of attempts have been made to correct it, then, the panel will award attorney’s fees and technical or expert witness costs to a consumer.
- It is an affirmative defense to the manufacturer, if:
- The nonconformity does not substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the new motor vehicle to the consumer
- The alleged nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the new motor vehicle.
- The panel will send its decision to the consumer through certified mail. The consumer may the decision within 30 days of receipt of the panel’s decision. The panel shall notify the manufacturer the consumer has accepted, rejected, or has been deemed to have accepted.
- After the receipt of the panel’s notice, the manufacturer will be awarded 40 calendar days to conform to the arbitration panel decision or to file a petition of appeal in superior court.
- If, at the end of the 40 calendar day period, neither compliance with nor a petition to appeal the panel’s decision has occurred, the administrator may impose a fine of up to $1,000.00 per day until compliance occurs or until a maximum penalty of double the value of the vehicle or $100,000.00, whichever is less, accrues. If the manufacturer can provide clear and convincing evidence either that any delay or failure was beyond its control, or that any delay was acceptable to the consumer, the fine shall not be imposed. If the manufacturer fails to provide such evidence or fails to pay the fine, the administrator may initiate proceedings against the manufacturer for failure to pay any accrued fine and may initiate proceedings on behalf of the state to require specific performance of an arbitration decision under this article. The administrator shall deposit any fines in the state treasury.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-787, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
- Both the consumer and the manufacturer will have 40 days to request a trial from the beginning in superior court, after having received the notice of the consumer’s acceptance or rejection.
- If the manufacturer appeals, the court may require the manufacturer to post security for the consumer’s financial loss due to the passage of time for review.
- If the consumer succeeds, then the court will award the monetary value of the award, collateral charges, incidental costs and attorney’s fees to the consumer.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-788, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
- According to section 10-1-789 of Georgia lemon laws, “effective July 1, 1990, a fee of $3.00 shall be collected by the new motor vehicle dealer from the consumer at completion of a sale or a lease of each new motor vehicle. The fee shall be forwarded quarterly to the Office of Planning and Budget for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account created in the state treasury. The first quarterly payments are due and payable on October 1, 1990, and shall be mailed by the dealer not later than October 10; thereafter, all payments are due and payable the first of the month in each quarter and shall be mailed by the dealer not later than the tenth day of such month. Moneys in the account shall be used for the purposes of this article, subject to appropriation. Funds in the new motor vehicle arbitration account shall be transferred to the general treasury at the end of each fiscal year. One dollar of each fee collected shall be retained by the dealer to cover administrative costs”.
- At the year end, the administrator generates a report listing the annual revenue generated and the expenses incurred on the arbitration program. The Office of Planning and Budget shall provide the administrator with the figures regarding revenue generated.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-789, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 604, § 1.)
In accordance with the Georgia lemon laws, “a violation of this article, or any failure of any person, including a manufacturer or its agents, to honor any express warranty, automotive or otherwise, issued by that person, regardless of whether or not such warranty was purchased as a separate item by the consumer and regardless of whether or not any dispute under the warranty is deemed eligible for arbitration under this article, shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice and a consumer transaction under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter. In determining whether there is an unfair and deceptive act or practice under this Code section, the principles in this article regarding a reasonable number of attempts may serve as guidelines. All public and private remedies provided under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter shall be available to enforce this article, subject to the affirmative defenses provided in Code Section 10-1-787, and except as provided in Code Section 10-1-784”.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-790, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 10.)
It is strictly prohibited to enter into any agreement that waives, limits, or disclaims the terms set forth in this article shall be void as contrary to public policy.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-791, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
Nothing in this article shall limit anyone from pursuing other rights or remedies under any other law, except as otherwise provided in this article.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-792, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)
- If a manufacturer has started an informal dispute resolution settlement under Georgia lemon laws and is working according to the rules publicized by the administrator, a consumer first submit the dispute to the informal dispute resolution settlement procedure before submitting it to the new motor vehicle arbitration panel. The administrator may adopt rules consistent with this article under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” regarding the informal dispute resolution settlement mechanisms. Such rules must be complied with prior to certification.
- Informal dispute resolution settlement mechanisms shall take into account the principles contained in this article and in any rules promulgated thereunder and shall take into account all legal and equitable factors germane to a fair and just decision. A decision shall include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances, including repair, replacement, refund, reimbursement for collateral and incidental charges, and compensation for loss of value. For purposes of this Code section, the phrase: “Take into account the principles contained in this article” means to be aware of the provisions of this article, to understand how they might apply to the circumstances of the particular dispute, and to apply them if it is appropriate and fair to both parties to do so.
- At any time the administrator has reason to believe that a certified informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism is not acting in conformity with this article or with rules promulgated thereunder, he may initiate proceedings under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” to revoke the certification of the informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism. An informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism shall keep such records as prescribed by the administrator in rules under this article and shall submit without notice to inspection and copying of these records by the administrator’s employees. Expenses of any copying shall be borne by the informal dispute resolution settlement mechanism.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-793, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 10.)
On January 2, 1991, the new motor vehicle arbitration panel began its operation. The administrator in his judgment may establish and operate the panel or panels under any of the following procedures,
- Constricting with private or public entities to conduct arbitrations
- Appointing private citizens to serve on a panel or panels
- Hiring employees to work on the panel. Every new motor vehicle arbitration panel consists of three members, and none of them will have any relation with the manufacturer or consumer. All the panel members must have a certified degree from an American Bar Association Accredited School of Law or shall have at least two years’ experience in professional arbitration. All administrative staff appointed by the administrator shall be in the unclassified service and compensated at a salary determined by the administrator.
(Code 1981, § 10-1-794, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1013, § 1.)