Tennessee Lemon Law Questions

Posted in: Other Areas of the Law

Are you having problems with a car that seems to be in the shop more often than not?  You may have heard of such a car being referred to as a “lemon.”  Many states, including Tennessee, have a statute that protects owners of such cars called the Lemon Law (Tenn. Code Ann. 55-24-101 et al).

How do you determine if the Tennessee Lemon Law applies to your vehicle?  First, see if any of the following points apply in your situation:

  • The Lemon Law only applies to new cars.  If your vehicle was purchased used, you may still have certain protections available to you under the terms of a warranty.
  • The car has manufacturing defects that appear during the first year that you own the car.
  • The defects are reported to the manufacturer (or the dealership that sold the car), and they have had three opportunities to repair the defects.
  • The defects have caused your car to be out of service for 30 or more days.
  • The defects substantially impaired your use of the car.  Per the statute, this means that the car was “unreliable or unsafe for normal operation” or has a reduced resale value.

If you believe you have a case under Tennessee’s Lemon Law, contact an attorney to discuss your options.  You cannot file a lawsuit immediately – you have to follow certain steps, including sending notification to the manufacturer, keeping copies of your repair orders, and participating in arbitration.