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: 10-03-2016 09:20 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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