Lemon Law in Tennessee
- Lemon Law in Tennessee
- Who is covered under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
- What are Tennessee’s Lemon Law criteria?
- Tennessee Lemon Law Restrictions
- What are your rights under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
- Tennessee Lemon Law Procedures
- What vehicles are covered under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
- How to Pursue a Lemon Law Claim in Tennessee
- How to build a Lemon Law case in Tennessee
- How to get a replacement or refund for a Lemon vehicle in TN
- What to do if your Lemon Law claim is denied
- Final thoughts on Tennessee’s Lemon Law
If you’ve recently purchased a vehicle in Tennessee that has turned out to be a lemon, you may have heard of a law called the Tennessee Lemon Law. This law was put in place to protect consumers who have unknowingly purchased defective vehicles.
Currently, there are 71 titles of the Tennessee state code. Within these titles are basically the categories of the various laws that cover everything from taxes, public utilities, divorce, and wills. For any issue that deals with cars, you’ll have to search through Title 55: Motor and Other Vehicles. And for the official legal information regarding Tennessee Lemon Laws you’ll be reading through (55-24-101 – 55-24-112): “Motor Vehicle Warranties.”
Want to know how a Tennessee legislature refers to a lemon? It goes something like this:
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties and the consumer reports the nonconformity, defect or condition to the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer during the term of protection, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer shall correct the nonconformity, defect or condition at no charge to the consumer, notwithstanding the fact that the repairs are made after the expiration of the term.
Translation: if you got stuck with a lemon, you can get it fixed, get your money back or get a new car.
Who is covered under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
Tennessee’s Lemon Law provides protection to consumers who purchase or lease new vehicles in the state of Tennessee. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles purchased for personal or household use. However, the law does not apply to used vehicles or those purchased for business purposes.
To be covered under the Tennessee Lemon Law, the vehicle must have a defect or non-conformity that impairs its use, value, or safety. This defect or non-conformity must occur within the first year of ownership or the first 12,000 miles driven, whichever comes first. Additionally, the defect must not be able to be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts by the manufacturer or authorized dealer.
It’s important to note that the Tennessee Lemon Law only applies to defects or non-conformities that occur during the vehicle’s original warranty period. If the vehicle is still under warranty, the manufacturer is required to either replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price. If the warranty has expired, the manufacturer is not obligated to provide any compensation.
What are Tennessee’s Lemon Law criteria?
Before you can even think about taking advantage of Tennessee’s Lemon Law, you must first understand the criteria that make a vehicle a “lemon” in the eyes of the law. The Tennessee Lemon Law applies to new or leased vehicles that were purchased, leased, or registered in the state of Tennessee.
To be considered a lemon, the vehicle must meet the following criteria:
- The vehicle has a substantial defect or series of defects covered by the warranty that occur within one year of the purchase or the warranty period.
- The vehicle has been taken in for repairs at least four times for the same issue or defect or has been out of service for repairs for a total of 30 or more business days.
- The defect or issue is not caused by owner misuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications.
Tennessee Lemon Law Restrictions
The Tennessee Lemon Law deals with any car sold or leased in the state after 1987 that has a repair problem that renders the car inoperable. The law requires that the manufacturer or its authorized dealer must get at least four attempts at making the problem right. If the car can’t be fixed after four tries or it has been sitting idle for over 30 days, then you are entitled to a new car or a refund for any mileage use you might have incurred.
In order to apply for this type of refund, the defect with your car needs to have occurred within one year of buying the car or for as long as the warranty lasts. The Tennessee Lemon Law only applies to new cars or new car leases. Sorry, but if you have problems with a used or “certified pre-owned” car you won’t be covered under the Tennessee Lemon Law.
What are your rights under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
Tennessee’s Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers who have purchased or leased a defective vehicle. Under this law, if a new vehicle has a defect or condition that impairs the vehicle’s use, safety, or value, and the manufacturer is unable to repair it after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer may be entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle.
The law applies to new vehicles purchased or leased in Tennessee within the first year of ownership or the first 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It’s important to note that Lemon Laws only applies to defects that occur within the warranty period, and the consumer must give the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect.
If the manufacturer is unable to repair the defect after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle, minus any applicable deductions for use.
It’s important to keep detailed records of all repairs and communication with the manufacturer, as this will be used as evidence in any potential Lemon Law claim.
Tennessee Lemon Law Procedures
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being stuck with a lemon, you will need to follow certain procedures to resolve the matter. First, you need to inform the manufacturer of the problem with old-school snail mail that is certified. This is the maker of the auto, not the dealership. This written notice allows the automaker the chance to try and fix the problem within 10 days.
Unless you go through the formal verification process you might not be eligible for the refund. If the automaker decides to dispute your claim in court and then loses you could be entitled to repayment of all the court and lawyer fees. You may also be able to collect what is referred to as collateral charges. These will be those additional charges associated with the purchase of a car like sales taxes, license and registration fees, or title charges.
If you are leasing a car, the same procedures apply. When it has been determined that your leased car is a lemon, you will be entitled to get back all the payments you’ve made up to that point in addition to any extra fees that were paid as part of the original contract.
What vehicles are covered under Tennessee’s Lemon Law?
Tennessee’s Lemon Law provides protection for new vehicles that have been purchased, leased, or registered in the state of Tennessee. This includes cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, and motor homes that are still under the original manufacturer’s warranty.
The Lemon Law also covers vehicles that have been purchased or leased for personal use or for business use with five or fewer vehicles. Vehicles that are used for commercial purposes with more than five vehicles are not covered under the Tennessee Lemon Law.
It is important to note that the Lemon Law does not cover used vehicles or vehicles that have been modified after purchase. Additionally, the Lemon Law only applies to defects that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. Cosmetic defects or minor issues are not covered under the law.
It is also important to understand that the Lemon Law only applies if the manufacturer has been given a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect. This typically means that the manufacturer has attempted to repair the same issue three or more times, or the vehicle has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 or more days.
How to Pursue a Lemon Law Claim in Tennessee
If you believe that your vehicle is a lemon, and it meets the requirements set forth under the Tennessee Lemon Law, you can pursue a claim against the manufacturer. Tennessee’s Lemon Law provides legal recourse for consumers who have purchased or leased a new motor vehicle that has substantial defects that impair the use, safety, or value of the vehicle.
To pursue a claim under the Tennessee Lemon Law, you must first provide written notice to the manufacturer. The notice should include specific information about the vehicle, the defects, and the repairs that have been attempted. It is important to keep detailed records of all repairs and attempts to fix the defects.
Once the manufacturer receives the notice, they have a reasonable opportunity to repair the defects. If they are unable to do so, they must either replace the vehicle or refund the purchase price. If the manufacturer refuses to comply with the Tennessee Lemon Law, you may need to seek legal assistance to pursue your claim.
It is important to note that there are strict deadlines for pursuing a claim under the Tennessee Lemon Law. You must file your claim within one year from the date of delivery of the vehicle or the expiration of the manufacturer’s warranty, whichever comes first.
How to build a Lemon Law case in Tennessee
Building a Lemon Law case in Tennessee can be overwhelming, but it’s essential in order to receive compensation for a defective vehicle. The first step is to gather all necessary documentation related to the vehicle, such as purchase agreements, repair invoices, and warranty information.
It’s important to keep track of all repairs made to the vehicle, including dates and the number of times it has been to the repair shop for the same issue. This information will be crucial in building your case.
Next, you’ll need to notify the manufacturer of the defect and give them the opportunity to repair it. In Tennessee, the Lemon Law requires that the manufacturer has four attempts to repair the same issue, or the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 days.
If the issue is not resolved after these attempts, you can proceed with filing a Lemon Law claim. This involves submitting a written complaint to the manufacturer and providing them with all necessary documentation.
How to get a replacement or refund for a Lemon vehicle in TN
If you’ve purchased a vehicle in Tennessee that qualifies as a lemon, you may be entitled to either a replacement or a refund. The first step is to notify the manufacturer of the defect in writing and allow them a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue. In Tennessee, this is typically 3-4 attempts or 30 days out of service. If the issue isn’t resolved after these attempts or time has passed, you can proceed with filing a claim.
To file a claim, you will need to provide the manufacturer with a written statement outlining the issues with your vehicle, the date of purchase, and the number of repair attempts made. It’s important to keep records of all repair attempts, including the date and a description of the repair work done.
The manufacturer will then have the opportunity to inspect the vehicle and either offer a replacement or a refund. If they refuse to do so, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. It’s important to note that the Lemon Law in Tennessee only covers new vehicles, not used ones.
What to do if your Lemon Law claim is denied
If your Lemon Law claim is denied, don’t panic. There are still steps you can take to seek justice. First, review the denial letter carefully to understand the reason for the denial. If the reason is something that can be corrected, such as insufficient documentation or a missed deadline, you may be able to resubmit your claim with the correct information.
If the reason for denial is more complex, such as a dispute over the severity of the defect, you may need to take legal action. Consider hiring an experienced Lemon Law attorney to help you navigate the appeals process and build a strong case. An attorney can also help you understand your rights and options under the law.
Final thoughts on Tennessee’s Lemon Law
The Tennessee Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers from defective vehicles that cannot be repaired despite multiple attempts by the manufacturer or dealer. It is important to note that the Lemon Law does not cover all types of vehicles, such as motorcycles and used cars, and has specific criteria that must be met in order to qualify for protection.
If you believe that you have purchased a lemon vehicle, it is important to keep detailed records of all repair attempts and to work with an experienced Lemon Law attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a claim. Remember, you have rights as a consumer and should not be stuck with a defective vehicle that puts your safety at risk.
It is also important for manufacturers and dealers to understand their obligations under the Lemon Law and to take swift action to repair or replace defective vehicles. Failure to do so can result in lengthy and costly legal battles that can damage the reputation of the manufacturer or dealer.