Lemon Law in Illinois
The state of Illinois has a long and proud history of sharing with the rest of the country their diversified culture, delectable cuisine, strong manufacturing centers and many notable politicians such as our current President. Of course folks in Illinois also don’t mind sharing “da Bears.”
As with the rest of the nation, residents of the state are also protected by various regulations meant to provide cover for a consumer against a company who hasn’t lived up to their obligations. That’s the essence of the Illinois Lemon Law. On the state law books this law is called the New Buyer Protection Act (Chapter 815, Section 380), but we all know it’s all about the lemons.
Illinois Lemon Law Qualifications
First and foremost, to be considered a lemon in Illinois the car has to be newly bought or leased. The lemon can also be a light truck, van, or RV. Motorcycles, boats or any car that has been modified aren’t covered. The defect with the car needs to have shown up within the first 12 months of ownership or the first 12,000 miles whichever one of those occurs first.
The problem with your car should have caused you to take it into the shop on at least four separate occasions. And it has to be the same problem. If your car was also out of commission for at least 30 days in that first year, congratulations: you have a lemon!
Illinois Lemon Law Procedure
After you have determined that your car is indeed a lemon, you’ll get a chance to present your case to the Industry Third Party Dispute Resolution Program. This was actually set up by the car makers themselves. You’ll have to notify them of your problems by certified mail in order to schedule your own hearing.
At the hearing you’ll be able to present all the evidence you have that could prove your car is a lemon. This should include any written repair estimates or invoices. It can also include notarized statements from your mechanics that support your claim. You’ll also need to show the board all the receipts of any money you’ve spent on repairs, towing and the initial purchase price of the car.
On their side, the car makers won’t remain silent. They’ll have just as much opportunity to present their own evidence to prove they aren’t at fault. It then falls to the board to decide who is right and who is wrong in the matter.
If the board decides you have prevailed, you’ll have the choice to either get a total refund or a replacement. The refund should include whatever you’re out of pocket for at this point. The replacement will be the same make and model of the car you purchased. You can’t upgrade to a Porsche!
If you’re not completely satisfied with the board’s ruling, you then have the option to take the matter to a civil court. Once you go down that road, you’ll more than likely be paying lawyer’s fees. And if you are ruled against in a civil matter, you might end up paying the lawyers for the other side.