2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1 - SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 29 - FARM TRACTOR WARRANTY ACT
§ 10-1-816 - Informal dispute settlement procedures; remedy for violation
. Informal dispute settlement procedures; remedy for violation
(a) If a manufacturer has established, or participates in, an informal dispute settlement procedure which substantially complies with the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Part 703, as amended, and the requirements of this Code section, the provisions of Code Section 10-1-814
concerning refunds or replacement do not apply to a consumer who has not first used this procedure.
(b) The findings and decisions in an informal dispute settlement procedure shall address and state in writing whether the consumer would be entitled to a refund or replacement under the presumptions and criteria set out in Code Section 10-1-814
, and are admissible as nonbinding evidence in any legal action and are not subject to further evidentiary foundation requirements.
(c) If, in an informal dispute settlement procedure, it is decided that a consumer is entitled to a replacement farm tractor under Code Section 10-1-814
, then the consumer has the option of selecting and receiving either the replacement farm tractor or a full refund as authorized by Code Section 10-1-814
. Any refund selected by a consumer shall include all amounts authorized by Code Section 10-1-814
(d) (1) In any informal dispute settlement procedure provided for by this Code section:
(A) No documents shall be received by any informal dispute settlement panel unless those documents have been provided to each of the parties in the dispute prior to the panel's meeting, with an opportunity for the parties to comment on the documents in writing, or with oral presentation at the request of the panel;
(B) Nonvoting manufacturer or dealer representatives shall not attend or participate in the informal dispute settlement procedures unless the consumer is also present and given a chance to be heard or unless the consumer previously consents to the manufacturer or dealer participation without the consumer's presence and participation;
(C) Consumers shall be given an adequate opportunity to contest a manufacturer's assertion that a nonconformity falls within intended specifications for the farm tractor by having the basis of the manufacturer's claim appraised by a technical expert selected and paid for by the consumer prior to the informal dispute settlement hearing;
(D) No disputes shall be heard where there has been a recent attempt by the manufacturer to repair a consumer's farm tractor, but no response has yet been received by the informal dispute panel from the consumer as to whether the repairs were successfully completed. This provision shall not prejudice a consumer's rights under this Code section nor shall it extend the informal dispute panel's 40 day time limit for deciding disputes, as established by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Part 703; and
(E) The manufacturer shall provide and the informal dispute settlement panel shall consider all information relevant to resolving the dispute, such as the prior dispute records and information required by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Part 703.6, and any relevant technical service bulletins which may have been issued by the manufacturer or lessor regarding the farm tractor being disputed.
(2) A settlement reached under this Code section is binding on all participating parties.
(e) No consumer shall be required to participate in an informal dispute settlement procedure before filing an action in court if the informal dispute settlement procedure does not comply with the requirements of this Code section, notwithstanding the procedure's compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Part 703.
(f) Any consumer injured by a violation of this Code section may bring a civil action to enforce this Code section and recover costs and disbursements, including reasonable attorney's fees.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer