In Tennesse, consumers have protections in place against automobiles with defects. Automobile safety is a serious concern for Tennessee passengers as well as drivers. The Motor Vehicle Safety Administration requires that automobile manufacturers replace parts that are deemed unsafe. This has resulted in more than 390 million vehicles, 46 million tires, and 42 million automobile seats have been recalled since the 1966 act took effect.
Tennessee motorists should know the state and federal laws that govern these recalls. Below is an overview of the laws regarding automobile defects.
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (NHTSA) may recall vehicles deemed unsafe due to a defect found in the vehicle. These defects could include the ignition, carburetor, gas tank, tires, airbags, heated seats, windows, or door locks. It could be anything that causes the car to be considered a hazard to its driver, passenger, or other travelers who might encounter it.
A recall entitles the owner or leaseholder of the vehicle to a cost-free repair or replacement from the car manufacturer for the faulty part. If the entire car were to be recalled, the manufacturer would owe the driver a vehicle replacement or a refund.
Lara Gass, a law student on the way to an externship, died because of an automobile recall and manufacturer negligence. Her family used the tragedy to advocate for stricter laws governing car recalls. On January 1. 2017, Lara’s Law went into effect. It states that dealerships must run vehicles through their database before selling them.
There are stop-sale-stop-drive recalls now that require the car to be repaired before they can be sold or safely operated. The onus is on the dealership when they find that a vehicle has been recalled to ensure the repairs and replacements are carried out before it is sold.
When there are safety recall issues, the dealers must either ensure the repairs are made or that the consumer is aware of the recall.
Some vehicles come off the assembly line with defects due to design or manufacturing flaws. Each state has its own lemon law stipulations. The Lemon Law in Tennessee requires that the car meets the following conditions.
If a person has a “lemon,” they may take it to the car’s manufacturer for a refund or a replacement vehicle. A written request must be submitted to the manufacturer so that they have an opportunity to repair the defective condition. They then must complete the repairs within ten days.
The owner is allowed to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer within six months of their warranty ending or a year from the date the vehicle was originally delivered.
Defects can be dangerous and deadly, and they have claimed the lives of and caused injuries to many drivers and passengers. If you or someone you love has been affected by an automobile defect, The Law Office of Christopher Eads is ready to help. Contact us with any questions that you may have about recalled vehicles, manufacturer defects, or a “lemon” you may have purchased.