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In Illinois - is it illegal to sell a car that will not pass an emissions test?

Chicago, IL |

A used car was purchased from a dealership (no warranty). The next day, the check engine light went on. The car was looked at by a mechanic and we were told it would not pass an emissions test and one of the cylindars is not firing. Can the dealership legally sell us this car?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

They can legally sell it but that's not the real question. The real question is can you legally cancel the sale. And the answer to that is probably yes. Most states have an emissions law that says if you buy a car and it won't pass a mandatory emissions test, then you may have the right to cancel the sale. Some sellers and car dealers generally will try to talk you out of it, but these laws generally apply to all sellers and not just car dealers. Cancelling the deal would mean giving them back the vehicle and getting back all of your money. If you are happy with the car, then you may want to try to talk the seller into doing any necessary repairs so that you will keep the car. It’s all negotiable, but if you can’t work it out agreeably, then to find out what your state law says for sure, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please check the box below.


Yes, a car can be sold as is which means there is no warranty that it operates, will pass an emission test, is in good repair or bad repair. The sale means Buyer Beware because all risks of purchase are upon the buyer.

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