What is Lemon Law?
Lemon Law refers to a set of state and federal laws that protect consumers who have purchased defective goods, specifically automobiles. These laws provide a legal recourse for consumers who have purchased a car that has repeated mechanical issues, or defects that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.
The Lemon Law in Illinois
Illinois has one of the strongest Lemon Laws in the country. The law applies to new and used cars, leased vehicles, and even motorcycles. In order for a car to be considered a “lemon,” it must meet certain criteria:
The car must have a defect that is covered under warranty, and the defect must affect the safety, value, or use of the vehicle. Examples include issues with the engine, transmission, brakes, and steering.
Attempts to Repair
The car must have been taken to the dealership for repairs a certain number of times (usually three or four) within a certain period of time (often within the first year of ownership or 12,000 miles driven).
Time without Use
The car must have been out of service for a certain amount of time due to repairs (usually 30 days or more).
The Lemon Law Process
If you believe you have purchased a lemon, the first step is to contact the dealership and the manufacturer. You should keep detailed records of all repairs and communications with the dealership and manufacturer.
If the dealership and manufacturer are unable to repair the defect, or refuse to do so, you may be eligible for a refund or replacement vehicle. You will need to file a claim with the Illinois Attorney General’s office or hire an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law cases.
Exceptions to Lemon Law
There are some exceptions to Lemon Law, including if the defect is caused by abuse, neglect, or modifications made by the owner. Additionally, if the car was purchased for business purposes, the Lemon Law may not apply.
Other Consumer Protections in Illinois
Illinois has other laws in place to protect consumers, including the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Commercial Code. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or a deceptive business practice, you should contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office.
Tips for Protecting Yourself as a Consumer
When purchasing a car, it is important to do your research and shop around for the best deal. You should also read and understand all contracts and warranties before signing. Additionally, you should keep detailed records of all repairs and communications with the dealership and manufacturer, in case you need to file a Lemon Law claim in the future.
The Lemon Law in Illinois is an important tool for protecting consumers who have purchased defective vehicles. If you believe you have purchased a lemon, you should take action as soon as possible to protect your rights and seek a refund or replacement vehicle.
Remember to keep detailed records and contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office or an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law cases for assistance.