Under Illinois law, eligible new vehicle owners (or lessees) who believe they have been sold a Lemon Car – a vehicle with an irreparable manufacturer defect – are entitled to financial remedies including the repurchase or replacement of their vehicle.
The Illinois lemon law claims process includes specific and complex vehicle, time period, repair attempt and dispute resolution requirements that play a significant role in a vehicle owner’s eligibility to bring a claim and their probability of winning.
Consulting with a qualified and experienced lemon law attorney, like those of the Robison Lemon Law Group, can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful lemon law claim.
In order to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation, you’re entitled to under Illinois lemon law, contact our dedicated team of attorneys for your free consultation today.
How Illinois Defines What a Lemon Car Is
A lemon car, commonly understood as a vehicle with a recurring and irreparable manufacturer defect, is explicitly defined by the New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act (Illinois lemon law) as a new vehicle that fails to “conform to all express warranties applicable to such vehicle, which failure substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of that vehicle.”
Eligible vehicles under Illinois lemon law include:
- Passenger cars
- Light trucks
- Vans (under 8,000 pounds)
- Recreational vehicles (excluding trailers)
- Vehicles purchased or leased by a fire department or fire protection district
All vehicles must be purchased or leased in the state of Illinois in order to qualify for coverage under Illinois lemon law.
Unlike lemon laws in other states, used cars are not covered under Illinois lemon law. Modified vehicles, motorcycles and boats are also ineligible for coverage under Illinois lemon law.
Used vehicle owners in Illinois may still be eligible for protection and compensation under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Illinois Lemon Law Requirements
While federal laws such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act govern product liability and warranties, Illinois lemon laws provide specific protections for owners of new vehicles that are defective.
Illinois lemon law contains a series of requirements related to the types of vehicles and consumers covered, the problems eligible for lemon law protection, the required number of repair attempts a vehicle must undergo prior to being considered a lemon, and the time periods for identifying defects and filing claims.
New Car Lemon Law in Illinois
In order to qualify as a lemon under Illinois lemon law, a vehicle must:
- Be purchased or leased (for at least one year) for primarily personal, household or family purposes
- Exhibit “nonconformity” with all express warranties which substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of the vehicle
- Identify and undergo all repairs within 12 months or 12,000 miles of original purchased (whichever comes first)
- Be subject to at least 4 unsuccessful repair attempts (by the manufacturer) for the same issue
- Be out of service for at least 30 business days during repair
Notably, in addition to the aforementioned requirements, a vehicle is not eligible for lemon law protections unless prior written notice of the alleged defect was provided to the manufacturer by the vehicle owner.
As a result, it is extremely important that vehicle owners keep all repair and service orders related to the vehicle defect and immediately notify their vehicle manufacturer of such issues to protect their lemon law eligibility.
Breach of Warranty
For vehicle owners who believe they purchased a lemon, but do not meet the eligibility requirements of Illinois lemon law, breach of warranty cases present a potential alternative for a financial remedy under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
In the context of vehicles, a breach of warranty takes place when:
- A seller (vehicle manufacturer or dealer) fails to fulfill promises made in the warranty provided at purchase (or lease) of a vehicle
- A vehicle has been subject to at least 3 unsuccessful repair attempts for the same issue
- A vehicle has been out of service for 30 or more cumulative days (for repair)
Unlike lemon law claims, breach of warranty claims have an eligibility period that extends throughout the entire length of a manufacturer’s original warranty period. Moreover, breach of warranty claims do not require that defects be extreme enough to impair a vehicle’s safety nor are they restricted to exclusively new vehicles.
In order to bring a breach of warranty claim in Illinois, vehicle owners must simply notify the manufacturer and seller (in writing) of the defect and provide them a reasonable time period to make repairs or replace the product.
Exceptions to Illinois Lemon Laws
Vehicle owners are ineligible to bring lemon law claims in Illinois if:
- The claim is filed more than 18 months following the original delivery date of the vehicle to the owner or lessee
- The “defect” is determined to be the result of abuse, misuse, or neglect of the vehicle
- The vehicle was altered or modified in any way following purchase
Illinois Lemon Law Cases
The Robison Lemon Law Group has successfully litigated lemon law cases on a widespread collection of vehicle issues including engine failure, electrical failure and malfunction, engine noise, airbag failure and vehicle shaking.
While previous results are not a guarantee of future outcomes, working with an experienced lemon law attorney is the best strategy for maximizing the award in your lemon law case.
Talk to an Experienced Lemon Lawyer in Illinois and Get a Free Case Evaluation
The lemon law claims process can be daunting for vehicle owners; especially when considering the extensive requirements vehicle owners must meet prior to filing a claim.
If your new vehicle has undergone repeated unsuccessful repair attempts for the same issue, you may qualify for lemon law repurchase or replacement.
If you believe your vehicle may qualify as a lemon, discussing the eligibility of your claim and potential reward with a qualified attorney is an important first step in the lemon law process.
Contact the Robison Lemon Law Group for your free consultation today.
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