Off topic: An Overview of Illinois Lemon Laws for Vehicles — Turning Your Lemon into Lemonade

People are always asking me about other areas of the law, and car troubles and their legal ramifications have come up more than once! Sergei Lemberg, an attorney specializing in lemon laws, is guest blogging today. I hope you find his article about lemon laws in Illinois informative!

If you’ve ever bought a new car, you know what a rush it is. There’s the new car smell, the feeling of power as you hit the accelerator, and the peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a reliable ride for a long, long time.

But what happens when that new car isn’t so reliable? When you wake up one morning and have to come to terms with the fact that you’ve bought a lemon? Well, Illinois lemon law can help.

Every state has a lemon law, but that each of them is different. Under Illinois’ lemon law, some vehicles qualify as lemons and others don’t. If you’ve bought a new passenger vehicle, SUV, van, or truck, with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,000 pounds you’re covered – if the vehicle is used for personal (as opposed to business) purposes. If you’ve bought a used car during the new car warranty period, you’re covered. If you’ve bought a new motor home, you’re covered. And, if you’ve purchased, leased, or licensed your new vehicle in Illinois – yep, you’re covered.

Now, on to definitions. In order to be considered a “lemon,” your vehicle’s defects have to affect its use, safety, or value. In other words, if it’s something minor, you don’t have a case. The other catch is that the defects have to occur during the first year from the delivery date or the first 12,000 miles on the odometer – whichever comes first. In addition, the vehicle must have been taken in four times for the same problem or been out of service for 30 business days. Plus, the manufacturer has to have the opportunity to repair the vehicle one last time.

It’s important to remember that manufacturers have teams of lawyers that do nothing but fight lemon law claims, and that battling them will be much easier with a lemon law attorney at your side. Because Illinois state law says that, if you pursue remedies under the lemon law, you give up your rights under the Uniform Commercial Code, it’s really important to consult an attorney about which is the best option for you. With the help of a lawyer, you can often get a refund, replacement vehicle, or cash settlement without having to go through the entire lemon law process – and get your attorney’s fees covered in the process.