Consumer Alert: What is covered under a vehicle’s warranty?

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It can be a big issue for most Americans if their vehicles are not able to stay on the roadway due to mechanical issues.

While repairs may be covered under a vehicle’s warranty, a state’s Lemon law will only protect the driver for a maximum of two years. So, what do drivers do if a problem with their vehicle occurs after that?

“If you have a manufacturer’s warranty, it’s to assure problems are fixed efficiently and effectively. And if they’re not, then you didn’t get what you paid for,” says automotive consumer advocate Michael Sacks.

But what many may not know is that they have more rights than they may realize under a federal warranty law.

“If perhaps you purchased a certified preowned vehicle or even a used vehicle that has a remainder of a power train or a manufacturer’s warranty, and you continue to go back for the same issue, or you’re out of service for an extended period of time, then the manufacturer should be held responsible,” Sacks says.

The law is called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. Under this law, manufacturers must spell out exactly what their warranty covers. And if they don’t back it up, the customer can file a breach of warranty claim. Car owners may even get a lawyer to take the case for free because if they win, the manufacturer pays the legal bills.

Consumer advocates also say that even if the vehicle’s warranty has expired, the customer may still be protected if the vehicle was under warranty when the problems began.

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