Lemon Law in Tennessee
Did that cherry of a hot rod turn out to be a lemon of a clunker? There's good news―under Tennessee's Lemon Law, you are protected against being stuck with what you thought was a smart purchase.
Tennessee Lemon Law Protection
According to Tennessee, a "lemon" is a motor vehicle that falls into each of these categories:
- Sold or leased after January 1, 1987.
- Has a problem that impairs safe use of the vehicle, or reduces resale market value.
- Can't be repaired (by the dealer or manufacturer) after 3 attempts, or is unable to be used for a cumulative period of 30 days or more while under warranty.
Filing a Lemon Law Claim
You should contact the manufacturer of the vehicle through certified mail with information about your possible lemon. If they can't repair your vehicle within 10 days, you must begin the informal dispute procedure provided by the manufacturer (if they provide one) before your vehicle is replaced or your money is refunded.
If you think you have a lemon, you can contact a Lemon Law attorney to begin formal legal action. Report it as soon as you can within 1 year from the date of delivery of the vehicle or the beginning of the warranty term.
You can initiate a lawsuit within 1 year from when you took delivery of your vehicle or within 6 months of when your warranty has expired (this doesn't include extended warranties), whichever is the later date. You should consult your attorney before your time expires, to preserve your rights.
Hiring a Tennessee Lemon Law Attorney
Lemon law attorneys can help you better understand the relevant laws and the procedures you'll have to follow to claim a refund or get a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.
You may choose to hire a lawyer with experience in lemon law and consumer protection cases so that you don't overlook any requirements or deadlines.
In addition to ensuring that your case is handled correctly, a lemon law attorney can also:
- Help you decide the best course of action in working with the manufacturer.
- Ensure that you gather repair evidence and other important documents.
- Communicate with the manufacturer on your behalf.
An attorney is a valuable resource when dealing with complex laws, especially when something as expensive as a car is on the line.
Choose a TN Lemon Law Attorney
To find a lawyer who specializes in consumer protection and lemon law cases, you might start by asking friends and colleagues for recommendations.
Once you have a few names, you can schedule a consultation with each lemon law attorney to talk with them about your case.
During a consultation, you should find out:
- What experience the lawyer has. Ask about the types of cases they've taken or how long they've practiced this type of law.
- How the lawyer can help you. Learn what your attorney can and cannot do and what your responsibilities are.
- The attorney's fees. Be sure you know how much the lawyer will charge you and when you'll be expected to pay.
Talking with a few lemon law attorneys and learning more about how they might handle your case can help you decide which lawyer to hire.
For more detailed information about the Tennessee Lemon Law, or if you feel you may have purchased a lemon, visit the Department of C&I section of the official State of Tennessee website. You may also contact the Division of Consumer Affairs at (615) 741-4737 or (800) 342-8385.