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The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Improves Georgia Warranty Law

19th September 2011
By johnkevin in Lemon Law
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The Magnuson-Moss Warranty law is a federal law and it gives Georgia consumers substantial rights in dealing with manufacturers of Georgia lemon cars. Since car manufacturers have begun to advertise and compete on the basis of their warranty the Magnuson-Moss Warranty law significantly affects the rights of Georgia car buyers. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty law provides certain minimum requirements of warranties and warrants the disclosure of warranties to a Georgia car consumer prior to its sale.

If a Georgia car or any of its parts with a written warranty continues to be defective after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to repair the defect, the warrantor must allow the Georgia car consumer to elect between a refund and replacement Georgia car. The Georgia lemon manufacturers should be given three attempts to repair the defect/s in the Georgia lemon vehicle. If they fail to fix the defect/s in the Georgia lemon vehicle, the new car purchaser is not obliged to allow more attempts to repair the defect by the manufacturer.

A Georgia car consumer may file a legal action in any court of general jurisdiction in Georgia to claim his rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty law. If the Georgia car consumer prevails, he will be entitled to recover attorney's fees based on actual time spent. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty law allows the prevailing Georgia car consumer to collect attorney's fees under state law too, in case of breach of warranty. The Georgia Appellate courts have upheld significant attorney fee awards, even in cases with smaller damages under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty law. The Georgia Appellate courts feel that it would be impossible for many Georgia car consumers to bring their claims if attorneys are not properly compensated for their time.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act supplements and improves Georgia warranty law. Most new Georgia car warranties mandate the dealers to perform repairs on the Georgia vehicle at no cost to the consumer if the vehicle is returned to the Georgia dealer for service.

The Magnuson-Moss Act prohibits implied warranties, so-called "tie-in sales" provisions and deceptive or misleading warranty terms.

The Code of Federal Regulations (16 CFR 700.10):

* Section 102(c) prohibits tying arrangements which condition coverage under a written warranty on the consumer’s use of a service unless it is provided without cost to the consumer

* Under a limited warranty that provides only for replacement of defective parts and no portion of labor charges, section 102(c) prohibits a condition that obliges a consumer to use service identified by the warrantor only to install the replacement parts

* A warrantor or his designated representative may not provide parts under the warranty in a manner which stalls a consumer's choice of necessary labor to install them

No warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts for non-warranty service and maintenance.

These provisions are deceptive under section 110 of the Act as they violate the section 102 (c) ban against tying arrangements as a warrantor. He cannot avoid liability under a written warranty where a defect is unrelated to the use by a consumer of ‘‘unauthorized’’ service.

This does not prevent a warrantor from expressly excluding liability for defects or damage caused by such "unauthorized" service, nor does it prevent the warrantor from denying liability where he can demonstrate that the defect or damage was caused by such "unauthorized" service.

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