Learn about the Tennessee Lemon Law

What Types of Cars Qualify as a “Lemon”?

The state of Tennessee has a Lemon Law to protect consumers if they purchased a faulty vehicle. The Lemon Law applies to only new vehicles that were purchased or leased. In Tennessee, the Lemon Law does not apply to used vehicles.

If you purchased a used vehicle, you typically purchase that vehicle “as is.” That means that if you purchased a used vehicle, drive off the parking lot and it subsequently breaks down; you are responsible to pay for that repair.  The only exception to this will be if you signed a warranty contract with the person you bought your used car from.

When buying a used vehicle, it is always a good idea to have that used vehicle evaluated by a mechanic that you trust before you purchase or negotiate a warranty deal with the person you are buying the used car from.

Can I Return a Car Within 3 Days of Purchase?

There is not a law in Tennessee that allows you to return a car within three (3) days if you decide not to purchase that car. However, CarMax does allow a consumer to do that, but that is an exception, not the rule. In my opinion, CarMax is where I would go to buy a used car because the three days rendered to return the vehicle is very convenient. 

What is the Definition of a “Lemon” Under Tennessee Law?

1) In order to be defined a “lemon” under Tennessee state law, there must be three (3) attempts to fix the same problem on the vehicle.  For example, if the air conditioner does not work, and you have attempted to fix the air conditioner three (3) times, and it is still broken, your vehicle is classified as a lemon. 

2) Your vehicle is also considered as a “lemon” if it has been in an automotive repair shop for thirty (30) or more days for the same problem.  For example, if your car has been in the shop a total of thirty (30) days for a broken air conditioner, you have a lemon.

My Car is a Lemon! What Now?

If you have a vehicle that meets these qualifications in Tennessee and is a lemon, your legal responsibility is to give written notice to the manufacturer.  The manufacturer’s address can typically be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or online.

The manufacturer should replace your vehicle or refund your purchase price. Typically these disputes can be worked out through mediation, without the need for a lawyer.

Have You Tried to Get Your Vehicle Fixed or Replaced but the Manufacturer is Refusing to Help You?

If you have any questions about the Tennessee Lemon Law or if your vehicle manufacturer is refusing to acknowledge that your vehicle is a lemon, do not hesitate to email C. Mark Warren at cmark@warrenandgriffin.com or call our office at (423) 265-HURT (4878).