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
"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
"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
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 is billed.
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
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
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 part:
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
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
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 lease; and
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 exist; or
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
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
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 nonconformity.
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 55-24-202.
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
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 insolvent.
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 purchaser.