Wisconsin has one of the strongest lemon laws in the United States. But often, Wisconsin consumers are enticed to buy new motor vehicles out of state. I often talk to Wisconsin residents who bought a car, RV, large truck or other new vehicle out of state after they have had serious problems with the vehicle which can't be repaired. I am often forced to tell those consumers that they made a mistake buying out of state.
If you purchase a new motor vehicle from an out of state dealer and take delivery out of state, you will not be covered by Wisconsin's Lemon Law. Wisconsin's Lemon Law covers motor vehicles, including RVs, motorcycles and large trucks which are purchased from a Wisconsin dealership or which are delivered to the consumer in Wisconsin. If you purchase the vehicle out of state and take delivery in Wisconsin, you are covered by Wisconsin's Lemon Law. Likewise, if you purchase the vehicle from a Wisconsin dealership, but take delivery out of state, you are still covered under Wisconsin's Lemon Law.
The consequences of buying from an out of state dealer and taking delivery out of state can be very severe when you experience problems with your vehicle. For example, if you buy a vehicle in Illinois and take delivery there, its lemon law doesn't require the manufacturer to pay your attorney fees when you win your lemon law case. Under Wisconsin's Lemon Law, if you win your case in court, the manufacturer pays your attorney fees.
Practically speaking, Illinois new motor vehicle buyers are left with almost no real consumer protection, even if they are residents of Wisconsin. Many other states' lemon laws have other serious weaknesses which hurt consumers.
Keep this in mind if you are a Wisconsin resident thinking of buying a new motor vehicle. If you have serious problems with your new purchase, buying out of state could cost you.
If you have questions about the Wisconsin Lemon Law, call Terry Polich at Lawton & Cates.I've been helping consumers and winning Lemon Law cases for over 20 years.