Illinois Lemon Law
While infrequent, drivers who purchase new vehicles may realize that they need to use the lemon law in Illinois if their new car is defective. If you buy a new vehicle from a manufacturer and it is a bad car, lemon law guidelines are set in place to help you find a satisfactory solution.
The federal lemon law was made for drivers in such situations so they can return a faulty vehicle when the nonconformity is not their fault and cannot be fixed. Drivers can better their return opportunities by hiring an attorney to help them follow the rules set by the laws. For more information about this law, read through the following useful guides.
What is the Lemon Law in Illinois?
The lemon law in Illinois explains that any vehicles with nonconformity issues that are irreparable are considered lemons. Different states enforce varying versions of the laws, but the lemon law definition in Illinois states that vehicles covered by this law include:
- New vehicles and new leased vehicles.
- Vehicles purchased in Illinois.
- Vans and trucks that weigh under 8,000 pounds.
- Recreational vehicles except trailers.
- Vehicles that are less than one year old or under 12,000 miles (whichever happens first).
The Illinois Attorney General enforces these laws in Illinois, which include purchased and leased new vehicles, as well as any nonconformities with the linked warranty of the vehicle from the manufacturer.
Does the Illinois Lemon Law apply to used cars?
There are used car laws available in Illinois, but they vary from the new lemon car guidelines. If an Illinois resident purchases a used car that is not eligible for protections under the lemon law, he or she can instead turn to the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act through the Illinois Attorney General.
This law is essentially a used car lemon law because it allows drivers to file a claim if the dealer from whom they purchased the vehicle gave them false or misleading information and the car demonstrates a major issue that was not disclosed before purchase.
The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act lemon law states that, if a driver purchases a used car, it must come with an implied warranty. The warranty protects the driver’s rights to file a lemon claim if the vehicle demonstrates a defect within the first 15 days after the purchase or the first 500 miles, whichever happens first.
The lemon law for used cars does not apply to vehicles purchased with over 150,000 miles or those with a “rebuilt” title. Additionally, the IL lemon law for new vehicles does not extend to:
- Modified vehicles
How does the Lemon Law work in Illinois?
Illinois residents’ vehicles are considered lemons if, under the Illinois lemon laws, vehicles meet the following qualifications:
- You must have purchased the car in new condition within one year OR 12,000 miles, whichever happens first.
- The vehicle must demonstrate a significant deficiency. These defects must be extreme and must affect the vehicle’s operation ability, safety or value.
- A mechanic must have attempted at least four repairs on the car to fix a nonconformity problem.
- The car must have been in the mechanic’s shop and out of service for at least 30 days.
To resolve the issue, drivers should begin by contacting the vehicle manufacturer or dealership with a lemon law written notice describing:
- The problems with the car.
- Copies of the work orders and invoices.
- A request for a replacement vehicle, a refund or another solution.
If their car meets these lemon law conditions, drivers can send the complaint to the car dealership or manufacturer by certified mail with a request for a return receipt. Before moving forward with the lemon law, this offers the dealership one last chance to make the necessary repairs or inspect the vehicle.
Illinois drivers can also hire a lemon law attorney to defend their case and get their return if the manufacturer does not want to comply. Sometimes, manufacturers may not want to offer their prearranged amenities, so drivers should always know what rights they have through the law so they know what options are available to them.
Drivers can apply for a state arbitration hearing where a Dispute Board can grant them one of two lemon law buyback options from the manufacturer if their car is determined to be a lemon:
- They can get a replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.
- They can get a refund from the manufacturer.
Illinois residents can contact the Illinois Attorney General to go through the lemon law process and get the compensation they deserve. If residents are not satisfied with the Dispute Board’s decision, they can fight it, but the manufacturer cannot.
As proof of eligibility for federal lemon law use, it is important that drivers keep record documentation and copies of their vehicle’s repair history that show its defective status. Additionally, drivers should keep communication records between themselves and the car manufacturer or dealership, which will be useful in case of a lawsuit.
Illinois Lemon Law Lawyers
For some expert assistance or in cases when manufacturers do not want to cooperate, a lemon law attorney can help drivers understand and get through the lemon law process, from requesting that their defective vehicle be classified as a lemon to getting their owed compensation from the dealership.
Lawyers for lemon law warranty issues are extremely knowledgeable on the laws and will know what drivers should do throughout the process and how to form the strongest argument for their case. Before hiring an attorney and beginning to work on your case, keep the following tips in mind to ensure you get the best assistance possible:
- Conduct good research: You should consult a decent selection of lemon law lawyers before moving forward with one. If you hire the first lawyer you meet with, you might not get the best service for your case or your money.
- Check past experience: It is important to hire a lawyer with lemon law case experience in their past. Ask any lawyers you meet with how much experience they have dealing with this law and inquire about their success rates.
- Find a local lawyer: Hire an attorney who specifically understands the laws in Illinois, since these laws usually differ between the states.
- Compare fees and terms of payment: Ask how much the attorneys want you to pay for their services before you choose one to hire. It is significant to make sure the cost of a lemon law attorney is within your budget and that you are not surprised by unexpected costs later.
Drivers who do not know what the Illinois lemon law states often realize that hiring an attorney is one of the best decisions they could make in these instances. Lemon law attorneys are great investments for drivers who have some room in their budget for the extra costs, especially when manufacturers do not make the process easy. While also understanding the laws drivers need to follow, attorneys can help drivers through the case by:
- Detailing their rights and options to them.
- Making sure the manufacturer obeys the law in Illinois.
- Making sure they receive everything they are owed.
- Handling the entire case from the beginning to the end.
- Handling with all of the paperwork for them.
How to Tell if Your New Car Is a Lemon
Those who are struggling to determine if the Illinois lemon law may apply to their new vehicles can check for the specific qualities listed below.
- The vehicle has a significant nonconformity that appeared within one year or 12,000 miles after you got it.
- The vehicle’s nonconformity is covered by a warranty.
- The vehicle’s nonconformity cannot be repaired, after you tried getting it fixed at least four times.
Illinois residents with vehicles that meet the new car lemon law can usually get a lemon law buyback from the dealership, but it is always good to be aware which cars are most prone to having these types of issues. In 2018, the car makes and models with the highest number of nonconformity complaints were:
- Mercedes-Benz B
- Chevrolet Volt
- Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Tesla Model S