What If a Car Dealership Won’t Repair a Part Covered by Warranty?
You were in a car accident in Phoenix. You filed your insurance claim, sorted out your medical bills, and are focusing on getting your damaged vehicle back on the road. You’re glad you paid for extended warranties on your car and its parts at the dealership before the crash, and then the dealership told you that it won’t repair a part you thought was under warranty. Trust an area attorney to help you navigate vehicle warranties, auto service contracts, and car accident repairs.
The Basics of Auto Service Contracts
Auto service contracts, called extended warranties, are legally binding agreements to perform or pay for listed vehicle services or part repairs. Auto service contracts cost extra and can come at any time. In contrast, warranties come with new cars, under the purchase price. Car manufacturers and auto dealers may sell auto service contracts. They are generally optional, not mandatory for purchase or financing.
Investigate your auto service contract carefully to find out what it costs, what it does/does not cover, and whether it overlaps with coverage you already receive from other warranties, such as a manufacturer’s warranty. Read the language of the warranty and see if any loopholes or exceptions exist that could leave you high and dry after a collision. Most auto service contracts will not provide benefits unless your manufacturer’s warranty is no longer in force. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the contract before signing.
It is an unfortunate fact that many car dealerships sell auto service contracts with no intention of fulfilling their end of the deal. They use contracts and warranties to “upsell” vehicles – especially used vehicles – only to evade responsibility later. You might find that when it comes time to use your auto service contract to repair a part, the dealer denies your claim with one or more excuses. If this happens, it’s time to consult an attorney.
Warranties Are Legal Contracts
It does not matter what type of business you purchase your car from or whether your claim will mean lost profits for that business. An auto service contract or warranty is a legal agreement that will hold up in a court of law. It is the auto dealer’s legal obligation to uphold its end of the contract. Refusing to do so in the form of unfounded claim denials could constitute fraud in Arizona. Here’s what to do about a denial:
- Reread the terms of the warranty. Make sure the warranty agreement covers the damaged part you need repairs. Read the fine print to check whether the warranty expired, doesn’t work with other warranties, or if you missed a deadline.
- Contact the car dealership. The dealer should be able to answer your questions, revisit your warranty, and provide details as to why it’s denying your repair request. If it cannot give you this information, suspect fraud.
- Seek legal counsel. Contact a lawyer if the dealership still won’t honor your warranty. A lawyer can help you go up against the dealer in pursuit of what is right.
If you believe a car dealership owes you a part repair or auto service that it’s denying, seek legal counsel for clarity on the issue. An attorney can review your contract, list your options, and help you take a stand against bad faith auto dealers.