In 1974 the U.S. Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that guaranteed consumer rights regarding the sale of products issued with warranties. The law does not require that products be sold with a warranty in place. However, it does define the mechanisms and requirements that warranties must possess. Most warranties cover new high-ticket items such as automobiles. Some cover lesser items such as drill presses, and power sanders. The unfortunate outcome was confusion among consumers about their rights and how to utilize them.
The Illinois Lemon Law was not passed until 1984, nor was it enacted until 1985. During the intervening years between the enactment of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Illinois Lemon Law, consumers were at the mercy of Federal regulatory agencies where the movement of cases clogged and stalled. Finally, with the enactment of the Illinois Lemon Law, Illinois citizens could take auto manufacturers the court within the state. The result was an awakening of citizens to their rights under the law and the establishment of a quick solution to grievances.
The question remains, what took so long to protect consumers at the state level in Illinois?
The answer to that question lies in the quagmire of political manipulation. Illinois auto representatives grouped to lobby against the enactment of state-level lemon laws. The lobbyists cited the existence of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and argued that the citizens of Illinois already had the protection of the Federal government. Many state-level representatives did not wish to take up legislation that would merely mirror a Federal law, and the effort to extend state-level influence to consumer protections died in legislation every year. The legislature of Illinois did not act on the subject until the Illinois Consumer Commission advocated the establishment of the state’s authority to protect, inform, and assist consumers to seek restitution for perceived warranty misstatements. Follow the Lemon Law attorney on Facebook.