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Illinois Lemon Laws

There’s no feeling quite like driving your new car off the lot. And there’s no dread like calling a tow truck for your new car. You just got this great automobile -- why is breaking down already? And what can you do about it? Lucky for you, Illinois is one of many states that have laws protecting new car owners. Here is your guide to these “lemon laws” in Illinois.

State Lemon Laws

A new car with a major defect or recurring problems that cannot be fixed is referred to as a "lemon." Most states have lemon laws in place to protect consumers from being stuck with defective automobiles, often setting time and/or mileage limits for defects to be remedied. Illinois lemon laws are codified in the New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act, which sets a one year (or 12,000 mile) time limit for manufacturers to remedy a major or recurring automobile defect.

Lemon Laws in Illinois

Learn about the basics of Illinois lemon laws in the table below.

Code Section

815 ILCS 380/1, et seq.

Title of Act

New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act

Definition of Defects

Nonconformity to applicable express warranties which significantly impair the use, value, or safety of motor vehicle

Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair

Within statutory warranty period: the period of one year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first after date of delivery of a new vehicle to consumer


Replace with new vehicle of like model line, if available, or otherwise a comparable motor vehicle or accept return and refund consumer full purchase price of new vehicle, including all collateral charges, less a reasonable allowance for consumer use of vehicle

In order for your car to be covered by the Illinois Lemon Law, it must:

  • Have a non-conformity that both substantially impairs its use, safety, or market value; and
  • The non-conformity is not repairable by the dealer or manufacturer in at least four attempts for the same repair; or
  • Be out of service for a total of 30 or more business days.

Illinois lemon law coverage includes new cars (purchased or leased), light trucks and vans under 8,000 pounds, and recreational vehicles (excluding trailers). The coverage lasts for the first 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first and the vehicles must have been purchased in Illinois.

Unfortunately for residents who have purchased new-to-them cars, the lemon doesn’t cover used cars. Illinois lemon law protection also doesn’t cover altered or modified vehicles, motorcycles, or boats. No matter the case, you should be familiar, with your warranty and how lemon laws can help you generally.

Illinois Lemon Laws: Related Resources

It’s never fun finding out you’ve got a lemon on your hands can be tough. If you would like to consult an attorney about a lemon law case, you can contact a lemon law attorney in Illinois. You can also find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's lemon law section.

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