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Warranty Denial Concerns- Revisited

 
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Old 25 Jun 2003, 10:04 am
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Default Warranty Denial Concerns- Revisited

Here is a good link covering the issue of warranty denial due to installation of components after the sale:

http://www.sema.org/content/?ID=8124&criteria=moss

[b]Warranty Denied?


The enclosed materials are intended to help you should you have a vehicle warranty claim denied in circumstances in which an aftermarket product has been used. The information describes the law on vehicle warranties and will provide a sense of what is and is not an improper warranty denial. After reviewing this information, you will be aware of the steps to take to fight unlawful warranty denials.

In many cases it will not be necessary to take all the steps outlined here because disputes are often resolved at an early stage.

What Does the Warranty Actually Say?

Start by re-reading the warranty documents. Become familiar with what the documents actually say, not what you think they should say. If the language is confusing, get help in understanding what it really means. Look for specific items or circumstances that may or may not be covered. Determine if there is a process specified for resolving disputes.

The Law

Federal law sets forth requirements for warranties and contains a number of provisions to prevent vehicle manufacturers, dealers and others from unjustly denying warranty coverage. With regard to aftermarket parts, the spirit of the law is that warranty coverage cannot be denied simply because such parts are present on the vehicle, or have been used (see Attachment A). The warranty coverage can be denied only if the aftermarket part caused the malfunction or damage for which warranty coverage is sought. Disputes in this area usually boil down to arguments over facts and technical opinions, rather than arguments over interpretations of the law.

Check Vehicle History

Sometimes a malfunction in a new vehicle may be identified as a "pattern failure," a failure that is recognized as common to your make and model of vehicle. It may be a manufacturing defect which has become the subject of a government-mandated recall. You should check with another dealer, the vehicle manufacturer or an independent service provider—such as those listed below—to see if there are any Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), ìfield fixes or other service-related information for your vehicle which would indicate that the problem you are experiencing is a common one. In cases of government-mandated recalls, the dealer is obliged to notify you as a vehicle owner. However, you may check for yourself by calling the vehicle manufacturer's 800 number, the EPA (for emissions systems issues) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for safety-related issues.

EPA: 202/233-9040
NHTSA: 800/424-9393
Chiltons: 610/964-4600
AllData: 916/684-5200
Motor Publications: 800/426-6897
American Automobile Manufacturers Association: 313/872-4311
Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association: 202/296-8537
Determine the True Cause of the Problem

If possible, attempt to independently verify the accuracy of the claims made by the dealership. The manufacturer of the aftermarket part may be helpful to you in providing a technical assessment of the problem. If there is a reasonable possibility that the aftermarket product caused the problem, it may be best to try to reach a compromise. If, however, it is clear that the aftermarket product is unrelated to the problem, you should attempt to gather as much information as possible to support your claim. Useful evidence might include photos, copies of relevant service information, records of prior repairs performed under warranty, or the objective written opinion of a qualified third party (with relevant experience, accreditation, etc.).

Try to Work it Out With the Dealer

Once prepared with the appropriate support information and a basic understanding of the law, present the facts to the dealers service manager and make an effort to resolve the situation. Keep the discussion objective and professional. Make sure to take notes of any s
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Old 25 Jun 2003, 10:07 am
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Further info from the SEMA site. Probably some duplication, but included for the "Big Picture"

http://www.sema.org/content/?ID=22237&criteria=moss

[b]Unfair Warranty Denial


Steps to Take if Your Vehicle Warranty Claim is Denied

The enclosed materials are intended to help you in the event you have a vehicle warranty claim denied in circumstances where an aftermarket product has been used. The information describes the law on vehicle warranties and will give you a sense of what is and is not an improper warranty denial. After reviewing this information, you will be aware of the steps to take to fight unlawful warranty denials.

In many cases it will not be necessary to take all the steps outlined here because these disputes are often resolved at an early stage.

What Does the Warranty Actually Say?

Start by re-reading the warranty documents. Become familiar with what the documents actually say, not what you think they should say. If the language is confusing, get help in understanding what it really means.

Look for specific items or circumstances that may or may not be covered. Determine if there is a process specified for resolving disputes.

The Law

Federal law sets forth requirements for warranties and contains a number of provisions to prevent vehicle manufacturers, dealers and others from unjustly denying warranty coverage. With regard to aftermarket parts, the gist of the law is that warranty coverage cannot be denied simply because such parts are present on the vehicle, or have been used. (see Federal Warranty Laws for details). The warranty coverage can be denied only if the aftermarket part caused the malfunction or damage for which warranty coverage is sought. Disputes in this area usually boil down to arguments over facts and technical opinions, rather than arguments over interpretations of the law.

Check Vehicle History

Sometimes a malfunction in a new vehicle may be identified as a “pattern failure” -- a failure that is recognized as common to your make and model of vehicle. It may be a manufacturing defect which has become the subject of a government-mandated recall. You should check with another dealer, the vehicle manufacturer or an independent service provider--such as those listed below--to see if there are any Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), “field fixes” or other service-related information for your vehicle which would indicate that the problem you are experiencing is a common one. In cases of government-mandated recalls, the dealer is obliged to notify you as a vehicle owner. However, you may check for yourself by calling the vehicle manufacturers 800 number, the EPA (for emissions systems issues) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, for safety-related issues).

EPA 202/233-9040 NHTSA 800/424-9393
Chiltons 610/964-4600 AllData 916/684-5200
Motor Publications 800/426-6897
AAMA 313/872-4311
JAMA 202/296-8537

Determine the True Cause of the Problem

If possible, attempt to independently verify the accuracy of the claims made by the dealership. The manufacturer of the aftermarket part may be helpful to you in providing a technical assessment of the problem. If there is a reasonable possibility that the aftermarket product caused the problem, it may be best to try to reach a compromise. If, however, it is clear that the aftermarket product is unrelated to the problem, you should attempt to gather as much information as possible to support your claim. Useful evidence might include photos, copies of relevant service information, records of prior repairs performed under warranty or the objective written opinion of a qualified third party (with relevant experience, accreditation, etc.).

Try to Work it Out With the Dealer

Once prepared with the appropriate support information and a basic understanding of the law, present the facts to the dealers service manager and make an effort to resolve the situation. Keep the discussion objective and professional. Make sure to take notes of any significa
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Old 25 Jun 2003, 10:10 am
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Location: Brunswick, Georgia, USA.
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For listings on recently resolved and pending State legislation, here is a good link:

http://www.enjoythedrive.com/content/?id=7984

There is an abundance of interesting info here on the subject of resolved legislation only:

http://www.enjoythedrive.com/content/?id=8024

The SEMA site is a prime source of informantion for anyone who is considering showing, modding, or wanting to be aware of laws governing their ride(s). This deviates from the warranty issue, but is still worth a look.
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Old 25 Jun 2003, 10:39 am
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Location: Manchester, Maryland, USA.
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Talk about a mouthful, phew! Must have taken quite a while to compile the info. Thanks Dalite great job!
Phil
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