TN Lemon Law Statutes

Tennessee Lemon Law Qualifications

Vehicles Covered

The Tennessee lemon law covers a passenger motor vehicle and a motorcycle that is sold in Tennessee and is subject to registration and title in Tennessee or any other state.

The Tennessee lemon law does not cover motor homes used as a dwelling place, living abode or sleeping place; garden tractors; recreational vehicles or off - road vehicles; and vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Consumers Covered

The lemon law covers the following "consumers":

  • The purchaser (other than for purposes of resale) or the les see of a motor vehicle;
  • Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty for that vehicle; or
  • Any other person entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.

The lemon law covers a subsequent transferee, but does not cover any governmental entity or any business or commercial entity that registers three or more vehicles.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any nonconformity to the warranty, defect or condition that substantially impairs the motor vehicle. This is referred to as a nonconformity.

"Substantially impair" is defined to mean to render a vehicle unreliable or unsafe for normal operation or to reduce its resale market value below the average resale value for comparable vehicles.

It is an affirmative defense if the manufacturer can show that the alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair the motor vehicle, or the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the vehicle by a consumer.

Term Of Protection

The lemon law defines "term of protection"to mean the term of applicable express warranties or the period of one year following the date of the motor vehicle's original delivery to a consumer, whichever comes first.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The Tennessee lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to conform the motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if either of the following occurs:

  • The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer, its agents or authorized dealers during the term of protection, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days during the term of protection.

The term of protection and the 30 day period are extended by any period during which repair services are not available because of war, invasion, strike or fire, flood or other natural disaster.

Tennessee Arbitration Requirements

If the manufacturer has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure that complies with 16 C.F.R. Part 703 and with the provisions of the lemon law, and the manufacturer causes the consumer to be notified of the procedure, then the provisions requiring refund or replacement do not apply unless the consumer has first resorted to the informal dispute settlement procedure. The Tennessee Attorney General must, upon application, issue a determination whether the informal dispute settlement procedure qualifies under the lemon law.

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