Step 4: Request for Repurchase or Replacement

When you have met the requirements of Steps 1 and 2 for your purchased vehicle, or Steps 1, 2 and 3 for your leased vehicle, you can request that the manufacturer either repurchase your vehicle (buy it back; that is, give you a refund) or give you a replacement vehicle.

Whether you bought or leased the vehicle, a replacement would be identical or reasonably equivalent to your present vehicle.  You would be responsible for paying the manufacturer a deduction (offset) for use, based on a formula that includes the miles you put on the vehicle up until the time you made the request to the manufacturer.  [(Miles × purchase price) ÷ 100,000]

A refund to you for a vehicle you leased would include:

  • Your down payment or any initial balloon payment;
  • The amount allowed for any trade-in; and
  • Incidental costs associated with the repair of the vehicle, such as towing, alternate transportation or repair charges.

A refund for a vehicle you bought would include:

  • The purchase price (the amount you agreed to pay before taxes were added and any trade-in value or down payment subtracted);
  • Collateral charges (including but not limited to sales tax and other government charges, dealer charges, dealer-installed items, extended warranty, and all interest you paid on any loan from a lending institution); and
  • Incidental costs associated with repairing the vehicle, such as towing, alternate transportation or repair charges;
  • Minus a deduction or offset for the miles you put on the vehicle, up until the time of your request that the manufacturer buy back the vehicle.  [(Miles × purchase price) ÷ 100,000]    

For leased vehicles only

If the leasing company made an election in Step 3, you the consumer are bound by the lessor’s choice.  You must indicate that choice by completing the Replacement or Repurchase Request form or by writing the manufacturer.  (See section below: How do I make my request to the manufacturer?

The leasing company is not responsible for notifying the manufacturer of its decision; you are.

If the leasing company did not notify you of its election within 30 days, it has given up its opportunity to make such an election.  In that case, it is your choice whether you want the manufacturer to repurchase or to replace the vehicle.

What should I consider when choosing between a repurchase and a replacement of my vehicle?
If the authorized dealer is unable to repair the problem in the required number of attempts, you should keep these considerations in mind when deciding whether you would like the manufacturer to replace or buy back your vehicle:

  • Am I in a financial position to buy another vehicle with the refund I may receive?
  • Would I be happy to have another vehicle from the same manufacturer?
  • In the event of a replacement, is the same model available?
  • Can I afford to pay for the accrued mileage if my vehicle is replaced?

If I am leasing my vehicle, what happens to my lease agreement if the manufacturer replaces or buys back my vehicle?
If your vehicle is replaced, the terms of your lease agreement will remain the same, except that the vehicle information will be updated.  If your vehicle is repurchased, your lease agreement will be terminated without any future obligation or early termination penalty.   

How do I make my request to the manufacturer?
For either a purchased or a leased vehicle, you would notify the manufacturer of your choice on the Replacement or Repurchase Request form.  If you prefer, you may write a letter requesting repurchase or replacement that includes the following information:

  • Your contact information (address and phone numbers);
  • The vehicle make, model, year and identification number (VIN);
  • The date you originally took delivery of the vehicle;
  • The current odometer reading; and
  • That the defect or condition still exists.

Your request form or letter must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the manufacturer at the address provided in the owner’s manual.  After the manufacturer signs for the certified letter acknowledging receipt, the Post Office will send you a green certification card which you should keep with your records.   

Important note to consumers with
motor homes or conversion vans

If you are filing a claim for a motor home or a conversion van, you would also write a letter or use the Replacement or Repurchase Request form.  Your request must be sent to all known manufacturers of the motor home or conversion van, including both the vehicle and the chassis, regardless of which manufacturer is responsible under the warranty for repairing the defect.  You should call the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit if you have any questions about this procedure.

What happens after I send my request for repurchase or replacement of my vehicle?
From the date the manufacturer signs the certification card, the company has 30 days to honor your request.

IMPORTANT:  It is not uncommon for the manufacturer to contact you during this step in an effort to settle your dispute.  The offer could honor your request for a replacement or repurchase of your vehicle; OR it might include some lesser remedy, such as another repair attempt, an extended warranty, or a cash payment where you keep the vehicle.  Carefully evaluate any offer you may receive, and remember that papers you sign will usually affect your ability to proceed under the Lemon Law, in the event you are later dissatisfied. 

Before you sign any papers, or if you have questions, please call our office at 404-651- 9397.  While we cannot provide you legal advice or represent you in settlement negotiations, we can help you compare the terms of the settlement offer with the relief the Lemon Law would provide.  

   What to Do Next

  • Proceed to Step 5 if the manufacturer did not honor your request for repurchase or replacement and your vehicle was made by:
  • As of December 8, 2009, no manufacturer is certified in Georgia.  Skip Step 5 and proceed to Step 6. 
  • Proceed to Step 6 if the manufacturer did not honor your request for repurchase or replacement and your vehicle was made by a manufacturer not listed above.
  • If you accepted a settlement offer in which the manufacturer takes back your vehicle, your Lemon Law complaint is resolved.
  • If you accepted any other type of settlement, please call us at 404-651-9397.