Step 3:
Request for Repurchase or Replacement

When you have met the requirements of Steps 1 and 2, or you met the requirements of Step 1 and your vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of thirty (30) days within the Lemon Law rights period, you can request that the manufacturer either repurchase your vehicle (buy it back; that is, take it back and give you a refund) or provide you with a new replacement vehicle.

Whether you purchased or leased your new motor vehicle, a replacement vehicle would be identical or at least equivalent to that vehicle.  The manufacturer would also pay you an amount equal to any reasonable incidental expenses associated with the repair of your vehicle, such as towing, alternate transportation or repair charges, plus any charges you might incur as a result of the replacement transaction.  You are not responsible to pay an offset for use.

If your vehicle is repurchased, a refund to you for a vehicle you bought would include:

  • The purchase price (the cash price of the vehicle indicated in the contract, including any reasonable allowance for a trade-in vehicle);
  • 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);
  • Incidental expenses associated with repairing the vehicle, such as towing, alternate transportation or repair charges;
  • Minus a deduction or offset for use based on a formula that includes the purchase price and the miles you put on the vehicle up until the time of the first repair visit for the defect or condition [(Purchase Price x Miles) ÷ 120,000].

If your vehicle is a motor home, the formula is (Purchase Price x Miles) ÷ 90,000.

If your purchase was financed, the manufacturer, at the time of repurchase, would pay the amount you owe on the remaining balance (principal) to the lending institution.  This amount would be subtracted from the refund to you.

If your vehicle is repurchased, a refund to you for a vehicle you leased would include:

  • All payments made by you under the lease agreement;
  • The amount allowed for any trade-in;
  • Incidental expenses associated with the repair of the vehicle, such as towing, alternate transportation or repair charges;
  • Minus a deduction or offset for use based upon a formula that includes the purchase price (which is the agreed-upon value of the vehicle shown in the lease agreement) and the miles you put on the vehicle up until the time of the first repair visit for the defect or condition [(Purchase Price x Miles) ÷ 120,000].

If your vehicle is a motor home, the formula is (Purchase Price x Miles) ÷ 90,000.

You would have no further obligations to the leasing company, provided you did not owe the company any past-due charges.

If your vehicle is repurchased, any credit card or other awards program points you used to purchase or lease your vehicle will be credited back to that account.

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 repurchase your vehicle:

  • In the event of a replacement, is the same model with identical or similar features available?
  • Would I be satisfied to have another vehicle from the same manufacturer?
  • Am I in a financial position to buy another vehicle with the refund I might receive?

The mathematical calculations could make a repurchase of your vehicle less attractive in some situations:

  • Were you upside-down on the car you traded in?  If you carried negative equity over into your purchase transaction, it will most likely be subtracted from your vehicle repurchase award.
  • Do you have a substantial number of miles on your vehicle?  If you put thousands of miles on your vehicle prior to your first repair attempt for the problem at issue in your case, the reasonable offset for use could be $1,000, $2,000 or even more.  This offset for use amount would be deducted from your vehicle repurchase award.
  • Did you receive a rebate, credit or other incentive when you purchased your vehicle?  An arbitrator has the discretion not to include incentives in your vehicle repurchase award.

In the above situations, if you elect and receive a vehicle replacement award, your new replacement vehicle will be substituted in your loan agreement for the vehicle being replaced; any negative equity will continue to be handled as originally negotiated; and any rebate, credit or incentive benefit would remain in the deal.  Since there is no offset for your use, you will receive a new vehicle, possibly one from a newer model year, without incurring any additional cost to you. 

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 Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Request (Form B).  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);
  • Whether the vehicle was purchased or leased;
  • The name and address of the selling or leasing dealer;
  • The date the vehicle was originally delivered to you;
  • The date the vehicle was registered in Georgia, only if purchased or leased in another state;
  • The odometer reading on the delivery date;
  • The odometer reading at the time of the first repair visit for the defect or condition;
  • The date and mileage on the 30th day the vehicle was out of service for repair (if applicable); and
  • The date the manufacturer received your request for a final repair attempt (if applicable) and an indication that the defect or condition was not corrected on the final attempt.

Your request form or letter must be sent by overnight mail delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the manufacturer at the address provided in the owner’s manual.  (You should also send a copy of your letter or Form B to us for our records.  Mail it or fax it to 404-656-3569.)  After the manufacturer receives the form or letter, you will receive a green card or other receipt or you can get proof-of-delivery information from the overnight courier service.  The card, receipt or delivery information will show the date the manufacturer was notified of your request to repurchase or replace the vehicle.  Keep this document for your records.

Important note to consumers with motor homes
If you are filing a claim for a motor home, you would also write such a letter or use the Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Request form.  Your request must be sent to all known manufacturers of the motor home, including both the vehicle and the chassis, regardless of which manufacturer you believe was responsible for repairing the problem.  You should call OCP 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 receives your notice, it has 20 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 made to you, and remember that any settlement you agree to receive may affect your ability to proceed under the Lemon Law.

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

 
  • At this time, no manufacturer is certified to offer an informal dispute settlement program for Georgia.  Call us or check our website when you reach this step to verify that a program offered by the manufacturer of your vehicle has not become certified.  If your manufacturer’s program is still not certified, skip to Step 5.  If the manufacturer’s program has become certified, follow the instructions you will be provided.
  • 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.

VERY IMPORTANT:  As you proceed to either Step 4 or Step 5, a deadline applies; you must file your claim within one (1) year of the expiration of your Lemon Law rights period.