Beware of the Illusory Warranty


Carmakers keep increasing the length of their warranties.  Now, some companies offer 10 year/100,000 mile warranties.  In addition, Chrysler recently started offering a “lifetime” powertrain warranty.

 However, don’t be surprised if car companies say you can’t enforce their warranties after four years.   The law imposes a time limit by which claims must be brought.  This time limit is known as the “statute of limitations.”  Many states have a four-year statute of limitations for goods such as cars.  Carmakers frequently argue that the four-year statute of limitations on their warranties begins to run when a motor vehicle is first delivered to the consumer.  According to them, you have four years from the date of the original delivery to bring any claim or lawsuit to enforce a warranty. 

Therefore, a six-year warranty can’t be enforced after four years—so the carmakers say.  In other words, a car manufacturer could stop covering repairs under its six-year warranty after four years.   If you sued the carmaker for failure to honor its warranty, the carmaker could say tough luck: you waited too long.   The four-year statute of limitations would have expired based on car manufacturers’ reasoning. 

 As a result, it remains to be seen if these long-term warranties will be worth more than the paper they’re printed on. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: