(a) In every case where a corporation chartered under either the general or private laws of the State of North Carolina has continued or shall continue to act and conduct affairs as a corporation after the expiration of its period of existence as theretofore fixed in its charter and has thereafter filed in the office of the Secretary of State an amendment to its charter to extend or renew its corporate existence, such amendment is hereby validated and made effective for all intents and purposes to the same extent and with the same effect as if the amendment has been made within the period of such corporation's existence as theretofore fixed in its charter.
(b) No action or proceeding shall be brought or defense or counterclaim pleaded later than July 1, 1958, in which either the continued existence of the corporation or the validity of any of the contracts, acts, deeds, rights, privileges, powers, franchises, and titles of the corporation is attacked or otherwise questioned on the grounds that the amendment was not filed within the period of the corporation's existence as theretofore fixed in its charter.
(c) In no event shall the limitation provided in subsection (b) of this section bar any action, proceeding, defense, or counterclaim based upon grounds other than those mentioned in subsection (b) of this section, unless the grounds set out in subsection (b) of this section are an essential part thereof.
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