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A guide explaining car repair warranty laws

A guide explaining car repair warranty laws

So you want to buy a car. Before you do, decide on what type of car model you want, go through the explanations about car repair warranties, and judge by this article how very important they are. It’s vital for your sense of budget, convenience, and peace of mind.

About the warranty of any product

When a major purchase is made, a company or manufacturer gives the customer a written guarantee. This is called a warranty, stating the company’s assurances that the functionalities of the product will be guaranteed for a specific length of time. If any problems have occurred with the product the company will be responsible for either repair or replace the faulty product or refund the warranty. The U.S. federal law requires that warranties be available for customers to be read before they purchase any expensive or major item, even when they are shopping through mail-order catalogs or through the Internet. These laws are also referred to as car repair warranty laws.

Since there will be many companies selling products of the same category, customers can compare the warranties given by different companies, and decide which warranty coverage is the best. Like any customer who compares the style, price, color, and other characteristics of a product, customers can do the same with warranties. Now the same particularities of a warranty will make up car repair warranty law which will be discussed now.

Car repair warranty considerations

The car repair warranty, given by the auto dealer to the buyer, assures the buyer that the vehicle’s condition and performance will last for a specified number of years or that it can cover a specified mileage. The warranty will also state that the manufacturer will repair the major parts of the vehicle within or up to a certain date after the purchase is made according to the car repair warranty laws. A customer must understand that the biggest difference between buying a used car and a new vehicle is the warranty coverage given for a new automobile, but a used vehicle has no warranty coverage and if any problems with the car occur, the new owner will have to pay for the repairs.  Used cars never have any warranty and the warranty that was given to its original owner may or may not be able to be transferred to the new owner. The cost of repairs in the initial years of ownership will be covered by the manufacturer’s auto warranty. However, auto warranty terms differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. There are extended car repair warranties that are given by manufacturers for an additional cost to the customer. These warranties can cover the repairing of any part of the car or to cover the vehicle for a longer duration than a normal auto warranty does.

Auto warranties for new automobiles are made up of two main parts; the comprehensive part and the powertrain part specified in the warranty coverage. This part of the warranty really deals with the car repair warranty.

The comprehensive part of the warranty deals with replacing parts and labor costs that will come under repairs. Specific coverage against corrosion might also be mentioned here. However, this part of the warranty might not include scheduled maintenance service, dealing with wear-and-tear parts like filters, brake pads, windshield wiper blades, and any other failures caused by improper or careless maintenance by the owner. The tires, bulbs, and window panes are usually not covered in the auto warranty too.

The powertrain part of the auto warranty coverage deals with all the main mechanical features of the car; the engine, the driveshaft, differentials, transmission parts, and the axles, and the final drive; all the mechanical parts from the engine to the wheels of the vehicle.

The vehicles today are usually very corrosion resistant compared to their predecessors, however, automobile company warranties also include specific coverage against corrosion, which could also be mentioned under the powertrain section of the warranty. And under federal car repair warranty laws, all parts of equipment that deal with the emissions, and that includes a catalytic converter, are covered for at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. Hybrid and electric vehicles have warranty coverages for their battery packs too, which is federally mandated to be for at the least 8 years or 100,000-miles.

Some manufacturers are including in their warranties; roadside assistance options and free scheduled maintenance programs for all their automobile models or for only specific models for a specified time period or for a set number of visits. These are usually sales promotion tactic that do attract and benefit the customer but is usually done for a specified time period to lure buyers for their vehicles.

Car repair warranty laws in detail

A need for a car repair will happen no matter how careful a driver is. Therefore, the owner must know all the details about car repair warranty laws and the general issues that can have a bearing on the repairs of the vehicle and the financial expenses to the owner of the car.

Below are some general considerations a customer must have before getting the vehicle repaired so as to avoid any problems later on.

  • What type of vehicle does the customer have?
  • Does it have warranty coverage?
  • Does the vehicle have a minor problem?
  • Must it go to a large mechanic shop for a major repair?
  • Can it be repaired by any mechanic shop?

Now when the owner takes the car or gets it toured to a mechanic shop, the owner can face a number of problems if he/she is not aware of the malpractices that are played out by some mechanics. But rest assured, there are car repair warranty laws in place to safeguard the owner. The mechanic shop also has to abide by car repair warranty laws. Below are a number of situations car owners can find themselves in:

1- Refusing to pay for repairs

If for some reason you refuse to pay for the repair service, the owner of the shop has a legal right to take the car. The owner of the shop can get a mechanic’s lien after complying with applicable car repair warranty laws that require estimates. This lien is a legal claim on a property that had been serviced, repaired, improved or customized. The mechanic or owner of the mechanic shop has the legal right to take possession of or sell the vehicle if the owner of the vehicle does not pay the bill by a specified time.

2- Unfair/deceptive acts and practices statutes (laws)

All states in the US have laws addressing consumer protection rights against deceptive/ unfair acts and practices (sometimes called UDAP). UDAP varies from state to state. The laws address a variety of malpractices that include:

  • Unauthorized repairs performed

if besides the repairs the owner wanted to be done, the mechanic does additional repairs, the owner can sue the mechanic.

However, the owner may not have a case and would have to pay for the unwanted repairs if:

  • The mechanic did it out of good faith to solve a problem that could have become serious
  • The mechanic had to repair something else related to the original issue.
  • The additional repair was the solution to the problem of the vehicle.
  • Failing to install apart

If the mechanic forgets to fix back the oil filter after an oil change or does not install a part properly or installs the wrong part. A failure to install proper part(s) falls in the category of unauthorized repairs.

According to car repair warranty laws, compensations can be demanded and legally obtained from mechanic shops and such dealers if errors committed by them had damaged the owner’s vehicle. Their negligence must be proven for a case. For further information, contact an attorney that deals with such cases.

Mechanics that conduct unauthorized repairs and bill the owners as the total cost for the repair done on the car can be sued too. The owner must report the case to the state’s consumer protection offices and the office could take action against such individuals. The owner might have to file a lawsuit against such mechanics with the guidance of a lawyer.

The other situations, mechanics make upselling attempts, misdiagnosing problems of the car, or not really knowing how to repair the vehicle. They could silently be causing additional problems to the car or then billing the owner for the repair for the original problem as well as for the wrong spare parts the mechanics erroneously tried to use to repair the vehicle. All these situations can be presented to the state’s consumer protection offices for investigation and action.

3- Safety nets for you

There are many third parties that can provide a warranty for your vehicle for roadside maintenances and repairs. It is called an extended car warranty. You do not have to worry about the expiry of the original warranty.  Now you can get another warranty that will deal with repairing your car any time there is a problem. The first extended warranty that comes to mind is the endurance auto warranty. They are one of the best in the business. Just check out their deals against the deals of other companies offering car warranties and judge for yourself.

 For the conclusion

Those that are going to buy a vehicle to those that have old vehicles, you can protect yourself from car-related problems. Firstly, thoroughly know all about warranties how important they are to you. Choose the auto dealer who will give you the best warranty for a specific car model. Be careful dealing with mechanic shops and know that the state will stand by your side if any malpractice has been done against you.

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