- The Illinois lemon law might help you turn your lemon into lemonade.lemon juice image by Amornrat Makbodee from Fotolia.com
Buying a new car in Illinois can be a risky investment. The Illinois legislature attempts to protect consumers from faulty vehicles, otherwise known as lemons, by way of a statute called a lemon law. If you purchase a new car in Illinois that repeatedly winds up in a repair shop, it will pay to know about the rights afforded you by law and the qualifications for winning a claim.
- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reports that the lemon law covers purchased or leased new cars, trucks, vans and RVs. Vehicles must fall within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles after purchase, whichever occurs sooner and you must have purchased the vehicle in Illinois to qualify for a claim under the law. The lemon law requires your new vehicle to have a defect that dramatically reduces the use and market value and safety of the car. The dealer or manufacturer must make at least four unsuccessful repair attempts for the same repair or the car must be unusable for 30 or more business days.
Filing a Claim
- In order for your claim to qualify for consideration, you must file it through the proper legal channels within the 12-month or 12,000 mile time frame. Attorney General Madigan warns consumers that many people have lost the opportunity to file a lemon law claim because they believed it would happen automatically through the vehicle dealer. Do not file a claim with your dealer. Contact the vehicle manufacturer to initiate an Industry Third Party Dispute Resolution Program claim evaluation. The manufacturer's representative will provide you with necessary forms and documents to continue with your claim. Seek qualified legal counsel to assist you in deciding on the right course of action, to make sure your vehicle qualifies and to increase your chance of winning the claim.
Winning A Claim
- In order to win a claim under the lemon law it is extremely important for you to keep detailed records of the vehicle purchase and repairs. Keep track of the exact number of time your vehicle is in the shop for repairs and instruct mechanics to make detailed notes of the repairs they make on the car. If you win your claim, the state of Illinois will generally award you a replacement vehicle of equal value or order the manufacturer to buy the vehicle back from you minus the value of the miles driven.