Chapter 1 – Lets start with the basics… What is a warranty?
Warranty is one of those things where everyone knows what it is but rarely do people seems to really understand it. I’m going to attempt to bring some clarity to factory warranty and the things that go with it. Dictionary.com defines a warranty as “a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer, usually specifying that the manufacturer will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time.”
Audi defines a warranty as “a guarantee that the manufacturer will replace any component that fails as a result of manufacturer’s defect in material or workmanship”
The key word is underlined in both definitions is Defect/Defective. A warranty is not a get out of jail free card when you break your car, it’s to cover the repair expenses incurred when parts have failed prematurely through normal use.
I happen to have a Warranty and Maintenance Guide in my hands right now, while it is from Toyota the disclaimers are pretty standard across every brand. It says:
“-Maintenance – You are responsible for performance of the required maintenance indicated in the Owner’s Manual and this booklet. Toyota will not deny a warranty claim solely because you do not have records to show that you maintained your vehicle. However, any failure or noncompliance caused by the lack of maintenance in not covered by this warranty. When maintenance and repairs are paid for by you, these services may be performed by you or by any automotive service provider you choose. Toyota will not deny a warranty claim solely because you used a service provider other than a Toyota dealership for maintenance and repairs. However, any failure or noncompliance caused by improper maintenance or repairs is not covered by this warranty. “ *****That last part is important and we will come back to that later.*****
-What is Not Covered: This warranty does not cover damage or failures resulting directly or indirectly from any of the following: Fire, accidents, theft, abuse, negligence, misuse – for example, racing or overloading, improper repairs, alteration or tampering including installation of non-genuine Toyota Accessories, lack of or improper maintenance including the use of fluids other than those specified in the Owner’s Manual, installation of non-Genuine Toyota Parts, airborne chemicals, tree sap, road debris (including stone chips), rail dust, salt, hail, floods, windstorms, lightning, and other environmental conditions, and water contamination.
With a new car you get a few different warranties:
-New Vehicle Limited Warranty: covers manufacturer’s defects in material or workmanship. **Adjustments and items that was subject to wear are typically only covered for 12 months or 12,000 miles and NOT the length of the NVLM**
-Limited Warranty Against Corrosion Perforation: covers any repair or replacement to correct a defect in manufacturer’s material and workmanship that will result in rust perforation of the vehicle body.
-Federal Emissions Warranty: Emissions Control System Defect Warranty covers emissions related parts that fail to conform to US EPA regulations due to defect in material or workmanship. Federal law mandates the coverage period is 2 years or 24,000 miles for all emission related parts and 8 years or 80,000 miles for specific control devices. Emissions Control System Performance Warranty covers emission related parts that fail to pass an approved state inspection and maintenance test. Federal law mandates the coverage period is 2 years or 24,000 miles for all emission related parts and 8 years or 80,000 miles for specific control devices.
-California Emissions Warranty: I’m not getting into it, screw that place