Determining the cost, type of vehicle, etc plays important roles in the purchase of an automobile. Consumers expect that vehicles will run smoothly and efficiently for some period of time after purchase. These are called implied warranties because consumers expect their vehicle will meet reasonable quality standards.

What Are Common Vehicle Warranties? 

  • The warranty of merchantability: the auto dealer usually makes promises as to the condition and performance of the vehicle. A consumer expects that the vehicle will comply with the promises or statements made by the auto dealer. 
  • The warranty of fitness: is based on the particular use of a vehicle. For instance, if a dealer promises the vehicle can be driven on sand you'd expect that the vehicle would comply with the promise. 

What Is the Difference between Limited and Full Warranty? 

  • Full warranty: usually includes a list of services that are free of charge regarding the owners of the vehicle. For instance, a full warranty will enable the replacement of defective part of the automobile, owner must have only a reasonable belief a part is defective to have it replaced, etc. 
  • Limited warranty: set specific time limits and mileage requirements. 

What Should I Do If My Warranty Is Not Honored?

There are a number of steps a consumer can undertake to have their warranties honored. These include:

  • Talking to the dealership
  • Contacting the State Attorney General's Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. For example, here is the California Attorney General's Motor Vehicle Warranty section. Reporting the unfair practices of car dealerships can help prevent future problems
  • Small Claims Court

Should I Consult an Attorney?

An experienced products liability attorney can help assist you in dealing with a car dealership. Having an attorney present can indicate you are serious about having your warranties honored. However, if a car dealership insists on not honoring the warranty civil litigation may become necessary and an attorney can provide the services required.