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What to do with denied auto warranty claim?

Rochester, NY |

I was denied coverage for my engine. The company stated that my engine overheated due to a faulty thermostat. My engine failed as a result. I explained that I stopped driving as soon as it over heated. They said that because the thermostat was not covered that my engine would not be. Intestate Warranty

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Attorney answers 1


Your rights depend on the terms of the warranty itself, but the denial does not sound right and a quick cruise of internet complaints about any warranty company can give you a good idea of their reputation for honoring claims. You need to show your warranty agreement to a lawyer and explain what happened because the law is different in every state. There are basically two kinds of extended warranties. One is backed by a vehicle manufacturer (like Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, etc, it’s a “real” extended warranty), and the other is often backed by nothing more than a post office box. In fact, they used to be referred to as “P. O. Box Warranties” for that very reason. When those places started having an actual store front, the nickname became “colander warranties.” A colander is a kitchen strainer ... in other words, it doesn’t hold anything and that’s what some of those extended warranties will do too. Car dealers often try to push the colander warranties because there’s no price limit on them and buyers often don’t realize there is a difference. The manufacturers give their dealers a “MSRP” price list for their extended warranties and often frown on gouging customers by charging more than that. The colander warranty companies, though, could care less and let the dealer charge whatever they can get away with — whether the customer knows about it or not. Be very, very careful when a car dealer’s “Finance manager” (who is really just another salesperson) pulls out their “menu” of “additional services” that contains these sort of “soft add-on’s” (they call them that because they don’t add any real “hard” value to the vehicle for the buyer at all). Many car dealers make more money off a sale in the finance office than they do on the showroom floor because of the huge profit on the soft add-on items. You can learn more car dealer slang terms by reading this Online Car Dealer Slang Dictionary here: If you have a legal problem in a car sale, then you will need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers ( and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, Don’t just ask a general practice lawyer what they think about your problem. You wouldn’t go to a dentist for a broken leg, would you? Car dealer sales law is a special topic. But when a problem arises, act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please check the box below.