Illinois Lemon Law

Summary of Illinois Lemon Law

Illinois’ lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after 4 valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout a period of 1 year from the vehicle’s delivery, or 12,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer, and if the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria as specified by Illinois’ state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The repurchase costs will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle, and no extra charges will be incurred in case of a replacement. The law does not protect used vehicles. 

Lemon Eligibility in Illinois

In order to be eligible for a lemon claim, a vehicle must be purchased or leased and licensed in Illinois for household, personal or family purposes, or for the usage of the fire department. The law protects passenger cars, motor vehicles designed to carry more than 10 people, living quarters of motor homes, vehicle converters, recreational vehicles and vehicles used for towing purposes. The law, however, does not cover trailers, motorcycles, boats, altered vehicles, vehicles which weigh over 8000 pounds or have undergone change in their ownership. 

The lemon law covers vehicles with ‘nonconformities’, i.e. vehicles with a significant defect which impairs their usability, induces safety risks and/or impairs the market value of the vehicle significantly. This damage should entirely be the manufacturer’s fault and should in no way be caused due to the actions of the owner or due to accidents. The claim may only be filed within a period of 1 year from the vehicle’s initial delivery, or 12,000 miles on its odometer, whichever of these comes first. 

Illinois Lemon Law on Used Vehicles

The lemon law is not applicable to used vehicles. Vehicles which have undergone any change in ownership, or were previously under the name of a different owner before being transferred to the name of the current owner, or have any kind of documentation which state the vehicle as ‘used’ are ineligible for claiming lemon aid. 

Repair Attempts

Before proceeding for dispute resolution, the manufacturer needs to be given a minimum of 4 repair attempts to fix the nonconformity. If these repair attempts are unsuccessful, the customer should then send a written notice to the manufacturers stating the vehicle’s condition. The manufacturer then gets a final attempt to repair the vehicle. If this final attempt proves to be unsuccessful as well, or if the vehicle remains with the manufacturer for repair purposes for over 30 days (not necessarily consecutive), the owner may then proceed to resolve the matter through arbitration.

Lemon Law Arbitration in Illinois

The customer is eligible for arbitration only if the aforementioned written notice has been provided to the manufacturer prior to filing for the claim. If the arbiter finds the customer’s case to be valid and eligible, he may then either order the manufacturer to issue a refund or replace the faulty vehicle as per the customer’s preference. However, the arbiter’s decision is not binding, and the case may proceed to a civil court if either party is unsatisfied with the decision. The case in the civil court must be filed within a period of 18 months from the vehicle’s original delivery, but this period may increase with regard to the time taken during the arbitration process.

Compensation for Lemon – Illinois

In case of a refund, the customer will be paid back the full purchasing or leasing price of the vehicle, including all additional costs charged from him. However, a fee will be deducted for the owner’s usage of the vehicle prior to the date of the nonconformity getting reported for the first time. 

In case of a replacement, the manufacturer will be providing the owner with a new and identical, or comparable model of the faulty vehicle. No additional charges will be incurred, and the customer is also not required to pay the fee for using the vehicle as in case of a refund.

Other Illinois Laws

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