Lemon Law in Illinois
The term "Lemon Law" refers to the many laws designed to protect consumers against seriously flawed new vehicles. Some states use the term to cover other high-ticket items, or to cover used cars as well. In Illinois, the Lemon Law covers only new cars and some other vehicles.
Essentially, the Lemon Law assures new-car buyers that if the vehicle has a serious flaw that can't be repaired, the owner is entitled to a refund or a replacement.
Illinois Lemon Law Details
The following types of vehicles are covered:
- New cars.
- Light trucks and vans under 8,000 lbs.
- Vehicles 1 year old or less, or within its first 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- Vehicles purchased in Illinois.
The following types of vehicles are NOT covered:
- Used cars.
- Vehicles that have been modified or altered
Even if your type of vehicle is not covered under the Lemon Law provisions, you may still have warranty protection rights conferred by the state of Illinois.
The Illinois Lemon Law covers leased vehicles as well as purchased vehicles. The same requirements and restrictions apply, so document any problems with a leased car the same way you would document problems with a car you already own or are buying (see below).
Filing a Lemon Law Claim in IL
Whether you fight for your rights alone or with an advocate at your side, these hints will help you prepare your case:
- Begin documenting any problems immediately, and keep all your repair receipts. In general, it is good practice to keep a logbook on all vehicle repairs for the life of the vehicle.
- Once you notice a pattern of problems, continue to keep accurate records. A car must be out of service for 30 business days to qualify as a lemon.
- Illinois requires 4 attempts to repair the car before it qualifies as a lemon.
- Usually only repairs by the manufacturer or the dealer will count toward the 4 attempts total, though some authorized service centers may also be included.
Once these attempts have been made, you must begin the claim process with the Illinois Dispute Board. Contact the Attorney General for information.
Hiring an IL Lemon Law Attorney
If you're having difficulty getting compensation for your lemon from the manufacturer, hiring a lemon law attorney may be your best option. A lawyer who knows the IL lemon law well can help you with your case against the car manufacturer and take the stress out of claiming your refund or replacement vehicle.
Ask the following questions when picking your lemon law attorney:
- Have you handled other lemon law cases in Illinois similar to mine?
- What is your track record of winning claims?
- Do you have any testimonials or recommendations from other clients?
- How much do you charge and what are the terms of payment?
While lemon law attorneys can't guarantee any outcomes, they can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of compensation.
Benefits of Lemon Law Attorneys
Chances are, you won't know the details of the Illinois lemon law as well as an experience lawyer. This is why hiring a lemon law attorney is a good idea.
Good lawyers can:
- Make sure the manufacturer isn't trying to shortchange you.
- Expedite the court process.
- Explain the lemon law to you.
- Help you gather any required documents to help your case.