Lemon Law in Tennessee
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 Title 55 Chapter 24: “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.
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 in operable. 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 new car or a refund 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.
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 auto maker 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 determiend that your leased car is a lemon, you will be entitled to getting 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.