Illinois Lemon Law and the federal Lemon Law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) provide for compensation to Illinois consumers of defective automobiles and trucks and other vehicles and products including motorcycles, RV’s, boats, computers and other consumer appliances and products. To qualify under the Illinois Lemon Law or the federal Lemon Law, you must generally have a product that suffered multiple repair attempts under the manufacturer’s factory warranty. Lemon Law compensation can include a refund, replacement or cash compensation.
Illinois Lemon Law Summary
The Illinois lemon law covers the following new motor vehicles:
- Passenger cars
- Motor vehicles with a vehicle weight of under 8,000 pounds that are designed for carrying more than 10 persons or used for living quarters, for pulling or carrying freight, cargo or implements of husbandry
- A vehicle purchased or leased by a fire department or fire protection district; and Specified recreational vehicles
The Illinois lemon law does not cover used vehicles.
- The Illinois Lemon law applies to any written express warranty on the vehicle for one year or 12,000 miles driven, whichever is shorter
- If the warranty has already expired, the Lemon Law does not apply
- The manufacturer or dealer must repair a vehicle in accordance with the warranty if the defect or problem is covered by the warranty and the owner reports it within the warranty period or 12 months after delivery of the vehicle, whichever comes first
- As long as the problem is reported within the warranty period, the manufacturer or dealer must make repairs, even if the warranty subsequently runs out
Reasonable number of attempts of repairs
A presumption that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a new vehicle to its express warranties shall arise where, within the statutory warranty period:
- The same nonconformity has been subject to repair by the seller, its agents or authorized dealers during the statutory warranty period, 4 or more times, and such nonconformity continues to exist
- The vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair of nonconformity for a total of 30 or more business days during the statutory warranty period
If after a reasonable number of attempts the seller is unable to conform the new vehicle to any of its applicable express warranties, the manufacturer shall
- Either provide the consumer with a new vehicle of like model line or otherwise a comparable motor vehicle as a replacement
- Accept the return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price or lease cost of the new vehicle
The refund cost should include
- All collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for consumer use of the vehicle
- The collateral charges do not include taxes paid by the purchaser on the initial purchase of the new vehicle
If the vehicle is converted, modified or altered from the manufacturer’s original design, the party which performed the conversion or modification shall be liable under the provisions of the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act.
The Illinois Lemon law has special provisions for vehicles with serious problems:
- If the dealer or manufacturer is unable to repair a vehicle’s problem after a reasonable number of attempts, the buyer or person leasing the vehicle has a right to go to the manufacturer’s arbitration program or to court and seek a replacement vehicle or a full refund of the purchase or lease price
What constitutes a reasonable number of attempts depends on the problem:
- A reasonable number is four or more unsuccessful attempts to correct the same problem
- More than one unsuccessful attempt to correct a problem that causes a complete failure of the steering or braking system if the defect is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm
- Any warranty repairs that cause the vehicle to be out of service for repairs for 30 or more business days
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as legal advice. Please direct your specific questions to K&M attorneys and know more about your lemon law rights. If you want to pursue your lemon law claim, call 1-800 US LEMON® (800-875-3666) toll free, to reach Krohn & Moss for your FREE initial consultation. Or submit your information online for your free case evaluation.