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How do you file an Illinois lemon law claim?

The purchase of a vehicle usually represents a huge investment, so it can be enormously disheartening for you to discover that an automobile you recently purchased has some sort of defect or flaw that prevents it from running properly, keeping it in the shop more often than it is on the road. You may be able to get recourse through Illinois' lemon law, but only if you meet the requirements for filing and your vehicle is eligible.

First of all, it is important to direct your complaint to the proper entity. According to the Illinois Attorney General, you cannot file a lemon law claim through the dealership where you bought the vehicle. Rather, you need to take your complaint directly to the automobile manufacturer. The owner's manual that accompanied your purchase can provide instructions on how to contact the third-party dispute resolution program associated with the manufacturer. Once you get in contact, a representative will forward you the paperwork necessary to initiate action. 

It is to your advantage to keep meticulous records regarding your vehicle's purchase and subsequent repairs, particularly in regard to dates. Knowing the exact date that you purchased your automobile is crucial to the success of your claim. The window of opportunity in which to file under the lemon law is within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of your purchase date, whichever comes first. You also need to have purchased the vehicle within the state of Illinois.

Illinois' lemon law does not apply to every vehicle. Frustratingly for many purchasers, it only covers new cars or pickups, not used ones. The law also does not cover boats, motorcycles or automobiles with modifications or alterations. However, with the exception of camper trailers, the law does apply to recreational vehicles.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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