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A “lemon car” describes a Illinois vehicle that you purchased that has a manufacturing defect that cannot be repaired, and which has resulted in reducing the usability, safety, or value of the car. 

Under the Illinois lemon law, it is the car manufacturer’s responsibility to make things right if your vehicle qualifies as a lemon. 

This page will provide you with a simple overview of the lemon law requirements, criteria, and process in Illinois. 

For more information regarding your own vehicle, be sure to contact legal counsel or your state’s consumer’s affairs office. 

What is the Illinois Lemon Law?

The Illinois lemon law sets requirements for car manufacturers to refund or replace vehicles that have safety or quality defects that cannot be repaired. 

If your vehicle qualifies, you can typically choose to either:

  • Have the vehicle replaced with a new one. 
  • Be refunded for the purchase of the lemon. 

Vehicles that have been modified are excluded from the Illinois lemon law.

Does lemon law apply to used cars in Illinois?

No, used cars are not included in the IL lemon law. 

Lemon Law Criteria in Illinois

In order to qualify for Illinois’s lemon law, the vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • 4 failed repairs or out-of-service for 30 business days. 
  • Issues occur within 1 year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

What to Do if Your Car is a Lemon in Illinois

If you believe you’ve purchased a lemon car in Illinois, the process will go something like this:

  1. Make the necessary attempts to have the issue repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. 
  2. Keep records and documentation of all service, communication, and estimates from the dealer, manufacturer, or other authorized agent. 
  3. If you believe the vehicle meets the criteria of a lemon, notify the manufacturer to begin the lemon-law remedy process. 

For official information or legal advice pertaining to your specific circumstances, please contact your attorney or the Illinois consumer protection agency.