2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1 - SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 22B - RECREATIONAL VEHICLE DEALERS
§ 10-1-679.10 - Required specification of obligation for warranty service; compensation; time allowances; reimbursement for warranty parts; denial of claims; violations; damage to new recreational vehicles delivered to dealers
. Required specification of obligation for warranty service; compensation; time allowances; reimbursement for warranty parts; denial of claims; violations; damage to new recreational vehicles delivered to dealers
(a) Each grantor or warrantor, where applicable, shall specify in writing to each of its recreational vehicle dealers licensed in Georgia the dealer's obligation for preparation, delivery, and warranty service on its products; shall compensate the dealer for warranty service required of the dealer by the grantor or warrantor; and shall provide the dealer the schedule of compensation to be paid to such dealers for parts, work, and service in connection with warranty service and the time allowances for the performance of such work and service. In no event shall such schedule of compensation fail to include reasonable compensation for diagnostic work as well as repair service and labor.
(b) Time allowances for the diagnosis and performance of warranty work and service shall be reasonable and adequate for the work to be performed. In the determination of what constitutes reasonable compensation under this Code section, the principal factors to be considered shall be the actual wage rates being paid by the dealer and the actual retail labor rates being charged by the dealer in the community in which the dealer is doing business. In no event shall such compensation of a dealer for warranty labor be less than the retail rates charged by the dealer for like service to retail customers for nonwarranty labor and repairs as long as such rates are reasonable.
(c) A grantor or warrantor, where applicable, shall reimburse the dealer for warranty parts at actual wholesale costs plus a minimum 30 percent handling charge and the cost, if any, of freight to return warranty parts to the grantor or warrantor. Warranty audits of dealer records may be conducted by the grantor or warrantor, where applicable, on a reasonable basis. A grantor or warrantor, where applicable, must disapprove warranty claims in writing within 30 days of the date of submission by the dealer in the manner and form prescribed by the grantor or warrantor. Claims not specifically disapproved in writing within this 30 day period shall be construed to be approved and shall be paid within 45 days.
(d) Dealer claims for warranty compensation shall not be denied except for good cause, such as performance of nonwarranty repairs, lack of material documentation, fraud, or misrepresentation. Claims for dealer compensation must be submitted within 45 days of completing the work. The dealer must notify the warrantor verbally or in writing if the dealer is unable to promptly perform material or repetitive warranty repairs. All claims shall be paid within 30 days of dealer submission or rejected in writing for stated reasons.
(e) It shall be a violation of this article for any grantor or warrantor, where applicable, to:
(1) Fail to perform any of its warranty obligations with respect to a recreational vehicle and recreational vehicle components;
(2) Fail to assume all responsibility for any liability resulting from structural or production defects;
(3) Fail to include written notices of factory recalls to vehicle owners and dealers and the expected date by which necessary parts and equipment will be available to dealers for the correction of such defects. The grantor or warrantor, where applicable, may ship parts in quantity to the dealer to effect such campaign work, and if such parts are in excess of the dealer's requirements, the dealer may return unused parts to the grantor or warrantor for credit after completion of the campaign;
(4) Fail to compensate any of its recreational vehicle dealers licensed in Georgia for repairs effected by such dealer of merchandise damaged in manufacture or transit to the dealer where the carrier is designated by the grantor, factory branch, distributor, or distributor branch;
(5) Fail to compensate its recreational vehicle dealers licensed in this state for warranty parts, work, and service in accordance with the schedule of compensation provided the dealer pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section if performed in a timely and competent manner, or for legal costs and expenses incurred by such dealers in connection with warranty obligations for which the grantor or warrantor, where applicable, is legally responsible or which the grantor or warrantor imposes upon the dealer;
(6) Misrepresent in any way purchases of recreational vehicles that contain warranties with respect to the manufacture, performance, or design of the vehicles which are made by the dealer, either as warrantor or co-warrantor; or
(7) Require the dealer to make warranties to customers in any manner related to the manufacture of a recreational vehicle.
(f) Notwithstanding the terms of any agreement, it shall be a violation of this article for any grantor or warrantor, where applicable, to fail to indemnify and hold harmless its recreational vehicle dealers against any losses or damages arising out of claims, costs, judgments, and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, or suits relating to the manufacture, assembly, or design of recreational vehicles, parts, or accessories, or other functions by the grantor or warrantor beyond the control of the dealer, including, without limitation, the selection by the grantor or warrantor, where applicable, of parts or components for the recreational vehicle or any damages to merchandise occurring in transit to the dealer where the carrier is designated by the grantor or warrantor. The dealer shall give notice to the grantor or warrantor of pending suits in which allegations are made which come within this subsection whenever reasonably practicable to do so. Any recreational vehicle dealer franchise agreement issued to, amended, or renewed for recreational vehicles in Georgia on or after July 1, 2005, shall be deemed to incorporate provisions consistent with the requirements of this subsection.
(g) On any new recreational vehicle, any uncorrected and significant damage, or any corrected damage exceeding 5 percent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price or $500.00 or more in paint damage, must be disclosed to the dealer in writing prior to delivery. Factory mechanical repair and damage to glass, tires, and bumpers is excluded from disclosure when properly replaced by identical manufacturer's or distributor's original equipment or parts.
(h) Whenever a new recreational vehicle is damaged in transit when the carrier or means of transportation is determined by the manufacturer or distributor or whenever a recreational vehicle is otherwise damaged prior to delivery to the recreational vehicle dealer or if a new recreational vehicle is found to have substantial box or chassis defects upon arrival at the recreational vehicle dealership, the dealer must notify the grantor or distributor of such damage or such defects within three business days from the date of delivery or within a reasonable amount of additional time or such time as specified in the recreational vehicle dealership franchise agreement and either:
(1) Request from the grantor, warrantor, or distributor authorization to replace the components, parts, and accessories damaged or otherwise correct the damage; or
(2) Reject the vehicle within the three day grace period.
If the dealer exercises the option to refuse delivery of the vehicle, the recreational vehicle grantor must immediately repurchase such vehicle.
(i) If the grantor, warrantor, or distributor refuses or fails to authorize repair of such damage within ten days after receipt of notification or if the dealer rejects a recreational vehicle because of damage, ownership of the new recreational vehicle shall revert to the grantor or distributor and the recreational vehicle dealer shall have no obligations, financial or otherwise, with respect to such recreational vehicle.
(j) It shall be a violation of this article for any recreational vehicle dealer to:
(1) Fail to perform predelivery inspection functions, if required, in a competent and timely manner;
(2) Fail to perform warranty service work, authorized by the vehicle warrantor, in a reasonably timely and competent manner on any transient customer's vehicle of the same line-make, whether sold by that dealer or not;
(3) Intentionally misrepresent the terms of any warranty.
(k) All grantors, warrantors, and distributors of recreational vehicle components shall be subject to the provisions of this article.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer