Lemon Law


The Illinois Vehicle Buyer Protection Act (“Lemon Law”) applies to new motor vehicles (new passenger cars and second division vehicles that weigh 8,000 pounds or less) and recreational vehicles. The Act extends certain guarantees of protection to new vehicle buyers or lessors (more than 1 year) during the duration of the new vehicle warranty. Some of the conditions that must be met include:

  1. The vehicle must be used only for personal, family, or household purposes. Vehicles used commercially are not covered. 
  2. The non-conformity complaint must occur during the statutory warranty period of 12 months or 12,000 miles after date of delivery, regardless of the terms of the manufacturer warranty on the vehicle. 
  3. Action brought by the purchaser must be brought within 18 months following delivery. 
  4. Persons electing to proceed and settle under this Act are barred from a separate cause of action under the Uniform Commercial Code. 

The law provides that a new vehicle is a “lemon” if the vehicle:

  1. Fails to conform to express warranties and the failure substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle; and 
  2. Has been brought in for repairs for the same non-conforming condition to the manufacturer or to any of its authorized dealers at least 4 times during the warranty period of 12 months, or 12,000 miles, whichever is sooner, and the non-conformity still exists; or 
  3. Has been out of service by reason of the non-conformity for a total of at least 30 business days during the 12-month/12,000 mile period.    

If reasonable attempts to repair the defect or condition fail, these procedures must be followed:

  1. The consumer must resort to any available manufacturer dispute mechanism that complies with specific federal laws or provides equal or greater protection than federal standards. The customer must get written notice of the dispute mechanism and is not bound by the decision of the dispute mechanism panel. 
  2. Within the dispute mechanism procedure, or if no such procedure is available, the customer may petition the manufacturer direct for a new vehicle of like model, if available; a comparable motor vehicle as a replacement; or a refund of the purchase price including collateral charges but less a reasonable depreciation for customer use of the vehicle. It is the manufacturer`s option as to which replacement course of action is taken, if any. 
  3. In the event the manufacturer refuses the consumer petition, the consumer may bring civil action against the manufacturer. 

The seller of the new vehicle shall upon delivery of the vehicle to the consumer provide a written statement setting forth certain information about the rights provided by the lemon law.  To purchase such  notices please call IADA (217)-753-0220 and ask for the Buyer Protection Act Notifications (Lemon Law) or print off an order form and fax it to IADA (217-753-3424).

A manufacturer may not resell a vehicle that has been determined to be nonconforming under the New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act or a similar law of another state unless the manufacturer corrects the nonconformity and issues a disclosure statement prior to the resale that the vehicle was repurchased or replaced under the New Vehilce Buyer Protection Act or similar statute and warranting that the nonconformity has been corrected. The disclosure statement must accompany the vehicle through the first retail sale and be signed by the buyer.

The disclosure statement must be in at least 8-point type in substantially the following form:


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): (Insert VIN Number); Year: (Insert Year); Make (Insert Make); Model (Insert Model). This vehicle was previously sold as new. It was subsequently ordered as having a nonconformity by final decision of court proceeding or State run arbitration. It was subsequently repurchased by its manufacturer because it did not conform to the manufacturer`s express warranty and the nonconformity was not cured within a reasonable time as provided by Illinois law. The following nonconformities have been corrected (a minimum of 5 numbered lines shall be provided to describe the nonconformity or noconformities).

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