Secret warranties, also known as "after warranty assistance" (AWA) and "good will assistance," refer to a little known program that many vehicle manufacturers have. Under these programs manufacturers offer to pay for repairs for defective parts after the factory warranty period has expired as long as the car owner asks for such assistance.
If part of your car failed after the factory warranty expired you may be eligible for after warranty assistance. However, there are many restrictions that may apply. These may include:
Secret warranties are often regional programs. Moreover, secret warranties may be largely left to the discretion of the regional dealerships that actually interact with the car owners.
It may be difficult to find out if your car's defect is covered under a secret warranty. The best way to find out is to check the service bulletins for your car's type and model. These bulletins are published by the car's manufacturer and are sent to dealerships. The bulletin may also give the dealerships the authority to fix the problem free of charge.
If you find documentation of a secret warranty and the dealership or manufacturer of your car refuses to acknowledge that it exists, don't give up. Most often, if you continue to complain for long enough, the manufacturer will give in. However, if they do not, you may be able to sue them for the cost of the repairs and other damages. An experienced consumer protection attorney can help you prepare your case.
Last Modified: 12-04-2012 03:45 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.