Dear Attorney Zeigler, I purchased a used car two months ago, and it came with a free 90-day warranty. I thought that all I had to do was take the car back to the dealership if I had problems. The car has been in the shop a few times since I bought it. The dealership keeps telling me that they can’t find anything wrong, but the car shifts rough and the engine roars. I’m worried that the dealership either won’t find the problem or they don’t want to pay to fix it. Is this warranty worthless?
First, it was smart to buy a used car that came with a warranty. The purpose of the warranty is to protect you in case the car has any mechanical issues within a certain time frame after you buy a car. But, when the dealership can’t diagnose your problem, spending time going back and forth to the dealer can become very frustrating when there seems to be no end in sight.
Second, some dealerships benefit from getting you to buy a car with the promise of a warranty and then save money by failing to fix issues under that warranty. There may be some things you can do to get your car fixed, free of any additional charge, if the dealership won’t honor its warranty. A warranty is worthless if it doesn’t lead to your car getting repaired. These steps may be more difficult than if the dealer simply honored its warranty, but they will help you get results.
- Review the warranty terms. Read the warranty documents to confirm that the issue you think the car is experiencing is actually covered by the warranty. Many car warranties exclude certain systems, like the electrical system. You must know what your warranty covers to be sure your repair costs are most likely covered.
- Describe the problem in writing. If the issue only occurs when the car has been sitting for long periods of time or when you’re driving over 50 miles per hour, then put that complaint in writing and give it to the repair facility or email it to your service advisor. Ask the repair technician to try to recreate the problem under the conditions in your written description.
- Make a video or take pictures. Many times the dealership’s repair technicians will claim that they cannot locate an issue or duplicate a problem. It can be helpful to record or take pictures of the problem. For example, if you hear a ticking sound when the car is running, record the sound on your phone and send a copy to your service advisor. Keep a copy for yourself.
- Contact the warranty company. If your warranty is provided by a third party, call the warranty company and ask for assistance. The warranty company may be able to put pressure on the dealership to honor the warranty.
If the dealership refuses to honor a valid warranty after you follow the steps listed above, then the dealership may have committed auto fraud. An Auto Fraud Attorney makes it as easy as possible for you to take action and get the warranty service you were promised when you purchased the car. Call The Zeigler Firm today at 770-580-9013 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We will discuss your rights and help you get the dealership to honor your warranty.