Tennessee Lemon Law Statutes...
Tennessee Lemon Laws and the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) provide for compensation to Tennessee consumers of defective automobiles and trucks and other vehicles and products including motorcycles, RV's, boats, computers and other consumer appliances and products. To qualify under the Tennessee Lemon Law or the Federal Lemon Law, you must generally have a product that suffered multiple repair attempts under the manufacturer's factory warranty. Lemon Law compensation can include a refund, replacement or cash
Tennessee State Statutes
55-24-201 to 55-24-212
used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Consumer" means the purchaser (other than for
purposes of resale) or the lessee of a motor vehicle, any
person to whom such motor vehicle is transferred during the
duration of an express warranty applicable to such motor
vehicle, and any other person entitled by the terms of such
warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.
"Consumer" does not include any governmental
entity or any business or commercial entity which registers
three (3) or more vehicles;
"Lessee" means any consumer who leases a motor
vehicle pursuant to a written lease agreement by which a
manufacturer's warranty was issued as a condition of sale or
which provides that the lessee is responsible for repairs to
such motor vehicle;
"Motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined
in 55-1-103, which is sold and subject to the registration
and certificate of title provisions in chapters 1-6 of this
title in the state of Tennessee, and classified as a Class C
vehicle according to 55-4-111. For the purposes of this
part, "motor vehicle" does not include motorized
bicycles as defined in 55-8-101, motor homes as defined in
55-1-104, lawnmowers or garden tractors, recreational
vehicles or off-road vehicles and vehicles over ten thousand
(10,000) pounds gross vehicle weight;
"Substantially impair" means to render a motor
vehicle unreliable or unsafe for normal operation or to
reduce its resale market value below the average resale
value for comparable motor vehicles; and
"Term of protection" means the term of applicable
express warranties or the period of one (1) year following
the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a
consumer, whichever comes first; or, in the case of a
replacement vehicle provided by a manufacturer to a consumer
under this part, one (1) year from the date of delivery to
the consumer of the replacement vehicle.
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
such repairs are made after the expiration of such term. Any
corrections or attempted corrections undertaken by an
authorized dealer under the provisions of this section shall
be treated as warranty work and billed by the dealer to the
manufacturer in the same manner as other work under warranty
Replacement or repair of vehicles.
- Refinancing agreements - Defenses.
The manufacturer must replace the motor vehicle with a
comparable motor vehicle or accept return of the vehicle
from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full
purchase price if:
The nonconformity, defect or condition substantially impairs
the motor vehicle; and
The manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer is unable
to conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express
warranty after a reasonable number of attempts.
For purposes of this section:
"Collateral charges" means manufacturer-installed
or agent-installed items or service charges, credit life and
disability insurance charges, sales taxes, title charges,
license fees, registration fees, any similar governmental
charges and other reasonable expenses incurred for the
purchase of the motor vehicle;
"Comparable motor vehicle" means a new motor
vehicle of comparable worth to the same make and model with
all options and accessories, with appropriate adjustments
being allowed for any model year differences;
"Full purchase price" means the actual cost paid
by the consumer, including all collateral charges, less a
reasonable allowance for use; and
"Reasonable allowance for use" means that amount
directly attributable to use by a consumer prior to such
consumer's first report of the nonconformity to the
manufacturer, agent or dealer and during any subsequent
period when the vehicle is not out of service by reason of
repair, plus a reasonable amount for any damage not
attributable to normal wear.
A reasonable allowance for use shall not exceed one half
(1/2) of the amount allowed per mile by the internal revenue
service, as provided by regulation, revenue procedure or
revenue ruling promulgated pursuant to 162 of the Internal
Revenue Code, for use of a personal vehicle for business
purposes, plus an amount to account for any loss to the fair
market value of the vehicle resulting from damage beyond
normal wear and tear, unless the damage resulted from
nonconformity to an express warranty.
Refunds shall be made to the consumer, and lien holder, if
any, as their interests appear. The provisions of this
section shall not affect the interests of a lien holder;
unless the lien holder consents to the replacement of the
lien with a corresponding lien on the vehicle accepted by
the consumer in exchange for the vehicle having a
nonconformity, the lien holder shall be paid in full the
amount due on the lien, including interest and other
charges, before an exchange of automobiles or a refund to
the consumer is made.
In instances where a vehicle which was financed by the
manufacturer or its subsidiary or agent is replaced under
the provisions of this section, the manufacturer, subsidiary
or agent shall not require the consumer to enter into any
refinancing agreement which would create any financial
obligations upon such consumer beyond those imposed by the
original financing agreement.
It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this
That an alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair
a motor vehicle; or
That a nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or
unauthorized modifications or alterations of a motor vehicle
by a consumer.
Leased vehicles - Refunds.
In the case of a leased vehicle, refunds will be made to the
lessor and lessee as follows: The lessee will receive the
lessee cost and the lessor will receive the lease price less
the aggregate deposit and rental payments previously paid to
the lessor for the leased vehicle.
For purposes of this section:
"Lease price" means the aggregate of:
Lessor's actual purchase cost;
Freight, if applicable;
Accessories, if applicable;
Any fee paid to another to obtain the lease; and
An amount equal to five percent (5%) of subdivision (b)(1);
"Lessee cost" means the aggregate deposit and
rental payments previously paid to the lessor for the leased
vehicle less service fees; and
"Service fees" means the portion of a lease
payment attributable to:
An amount for earned interest calculated on the rental
payments previously paid to the lessor for the leased
vehicle at an annual rate equal to two (2) points above the
prime rate in effect on the date of the execution of the
Any insurance or other costs expended by the lessor for the
benefit of the lessee.
of protection - Notice to manufacturer.
It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts
have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the
applicable express warranties, if:
The same nonconformity has been subject to repair four (4)
or more times by the manufacturer or its agents or
authorized dealers, but such nonconformity continues to
The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a
cumulative total of thirty (30) or more calendar days during
the term of protection.
The term of protection and such thirty-day period shall be
extended by any period of time during which repair services
are not available to the consumer because of a war,
invasion, strike or fire, flood or other natural disaster.
It shall be the responsibility of the consumer, or the
representative of the consumer, prior to proceeding under
the provisions of 55-24-203, to give written notification by
certified mail directly to the manufacturer of the need for
the correction or repair of the nonconformity. If the
address of the manufacturer is not readily available to the
consumer in the owner's manual or manufacturer's warranty
received by the consumer at the time of purchase of the
motor vehicle, such written notification shall be mailed to
an authorized dealer. The authorized dealer shall upon
receipt forward such notification to the manufacturer. If,
at the time such notice is given, either of the conditions
set forth in subsection (a) already exists, the manufacturer
shall be given an additional opportunity after receipt of
the notification, not to exceed ten (10) days, to correct or
repair the nonconformity.
Informal dispute settlement procedure.
If a manufacturer has established or participates in an
informal dispute settlement procedure which complies with
the provisions of Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations,
Part 703, as those provisions read on November 3, 1983, and
of this part, and causes the consumer to be notified of the
procedure, the provisions of 55-24-203 concerning refunds or
replacement shall not apply to any consumer who has not
first resorted to such procedure. The attorney general and
reporter shall, upon application, issue a determination
whether an informal dispute resolution mechanism qualifies
under this section.
The informal dispute settlement panel shall determine
whether the motor vehicle does or does not conform to all
applicable express warranties.
If the motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable
express warranties, the informal dispute settlement panel
shall then determine whether the nonconformity substantially
impairs the motor vehicle.
If the nonconformity does substantially impair the motor
vehicle, the informal dispute settlement panel shall then
determine, in accordance with this part, whether a
reasonable number of attempts have been made to correct the
If a reasonable number of attempts have been made to correct
the nonconformity, the informal dispute settlement panel
shall determine whether the manufacturer has been given an
opportunity to repair the motor vehicle as provided in
If the manufacturer has been given an opportunity to repair
the motor vehicle as provided in 55-24-202, the panel shall
find that the consumer is entitled to refund or replacement
as provided in 55-24-203(a).
The informal dispute settlement panel shall determine the
amount of collateral charges, where appropriate.
Statute of limitations.
Any action brought under this part shall be commenced within
six (6) months following:
Expiration of the express warranty term; or
One (1) year following the date of original delivery of the
motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the later date.
The statute of limitations shall be tolled for the period
beginning on the date when the consumer submits a dispute to
an informal dispute settlement procedure as provided in
55-24-206 and ending on the date of its decision or the date
before which the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized
dealer is required by the decision to fulfill its terms,
whichever comes later.
Recovery of costs and expenses - Attorneys' fees.
a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under this
part, such consumer may be allowed by the court to recover
as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount
of costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees based on
actual time expended, determined by the court to have been
reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection
with the commencement and prosecution of such action.
Copy of repair order to consumer.
manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer shall provide
to the consumer, each time the consumer's vehicle is
returned from being serviced or repaired, a copy of the
repair order indicating all work performed on the vehicle,
including, but not limited to, parts and labor provided
without cost or at reduced cost because of shop or
manufacturer's warranty, the date the vehicle was submitted
for repair, the date it was returned to the consumer, and
the odometer reading.
Election of remedies.
Nothing in this part shall in any way limit the rights or
remedies which are otherwise available to a consumer under
any other law.
In no event shall a consumer who has resorted to an informal
dispute settlement procedure be precluded from seeking the
rights or remedies available by law. However, if the
consumer elects to pursue any other remedy in state or
federal court, the remedy available under this part shall
not be available insofar as it would result in recovery in
excess of the recovery authorized by 55-24-203 without proof
of fault resulting in damages in excess of such recovery.
Any agreement entered into by a consumer for, or in
connection with, the purchase or lease of a new motor
vehicle which waives, limits or disclaims the rights set
forth in this part shall be void as contrary to public
policy. These rights shall inure to a subsequent transferee
of such motor vehicle.
Commencing actions against sellers or lessors.
action shall be commenced or maintained under the provisions
of this part against the seller or lessor of a motor vehicle
unless the seller or lessor is also the manufacturer, or
unless the manufacturer of the motor vehicle is not subject
to service of process in the state of Tennessee, or service
cannot be secured by the long-arm statutes of Tennessee, or
unless the manufacturer has been judicially declared
Manufacturer's warranty - Disclosure to purchaser.
business entity which purchases a fleet of new motor
vehicles, titles such motor vehicles in the business
entity's name and sells such vehicles to an individual
purchaser shall disclose in writing any remaining
manufacturer's warranty on such motor vehicles to such