Illinois Lemon Law


Could the Illinois lemon law help you resolve your car issue? If you have purchased or leased a defective new automobile, understanding if the lemon law of Illinois applies to you could be the first step toward receiving compensation. The term lemon law refers to consumer products that are defective or develop issues even after numerous repairs.

The lemon law Illinois has been implemented to protect consumers. Different states have different laws pertaining to if a vehicle qualifies as a lemon. Below you’ll find a summary of the Illinois lemon law, what you should do if you think your car is a lemon, and lemon law resources.

New Vs. Used Car

One of the main things to consider as to whether Illinois’ lemon law applies to your case is whether your vehicle is new vs. used. A majority of lemon law state statutes apply only to new cars. However, some states do have provisions under their used car lemon laws.

The issue is specifically linked to your vehicle’s warranty. New cars are sold with vehicle warranties that specify coverage for a specified number of miles or months. It is under the umbrella of this warranty that the lemon law generally applies. For used cars sold by dealers with warranties, coverage under the lemon law Illinois may apply. If your state does not have specified lemon laws for used cars and you purchased your used car with a warranty, federal lemon laws may apply.

Summary of Lemon Law Illinois

The following are the key aspects of the Illinois lemon law. In order for your car to qualify under the lemon law, the following conditions must be met:

• The law applies to passenger cars, vehicles under 8,000 lbs. and recreational vehicles, used primarily for personal, household, or family purposes, excluding camping trailers or travel trailers or motorcycles.

• In order to qualify, the vehicle must have had a minimum of 4 repair attempts - 30 business days out of service. • The coverage period is 1 year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

If the above conditions are met, under the lemon law Illinois the manufacture or dealer is required to do the following:

• If after a reasonable number of attempts the seller is unable to conform the new vehicle to any of its applicable express warranties, the manufacturer shall either provide the consumer with a new vehicle of like model line, if available, or otherwise a comparable motor vehicle as a replacement,

• or accept the return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price or lease cost of the new vehicle, including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for consumer use of the vehicle.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Car Is A Lemon?

First, if you are considering making a lemon law claim, documentation is important. Keep detailed records of all problems, repairs performed, and the amount of time you are unable to use the vehicle while repairs are being made. Without these documents, proving your car qualifies as a lemon will be a challenge. If you did not collect documents when problems first arose, ask the dealer for the repair records.

To help you organize your documentation, click on this link for a repair log: Lemon Law Repair Log Second, in order to potentially make a lemon law Illinois claim, you must communicate with the dealer attempting to fix the vehicle that you feel your car qualifies. If the dealer is not complying, contact the manufacturer directly, detailing the problem. When contacting the manufacturer, specifically ask for their procedure for making a lemon law claim.

A final step you can take is to hire a lemon law attorney. The good news is that the lawyer fees are generally free to the consumer. If an attorney who specializes in the lemon law Illinois loses your case, they don’t get paid. If they win, the manufacturer pays the legal fees. Thus, if you do not feel like the dealer or manufacture has provided sufficient restitution, consulting a lemon law attorney is worth the effort.

Illinois Lemon Law Resources

If your situation does not fall into the realm of the lemon law Illinois, there are other options. Another potential resource is the federal lemon law. This statute is called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In general it falls under the breach of warranty (BOW) theory. Restitution under this act is different than under than lemon law Illinois. Instead of reimbursement for the vehicle, restitution is the difference between the Kelly blue book value of the car in excellent conditions vs. good or poor condition.

Again, if you are unclear if the Illinois lemon law applies to your situation, a lemon law attorney can be hired at no cost to you to determine if the federal lemon law applies to your case.

If you have specific questions regarding the lemon law Illinois, you can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at the following address:

Chicago Main Office
100 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-3000
TTY: 1-800-964-3013

You can also visit their website at: Illinois Attorney General

The Better Business Bureau also has a printable summary of the Illinois lemon law: BBB Lemon Law State Statutes

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