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Secret Warranties - Car Buyers Beware

March 13, 2009

Given the sheer volume of vehicles manufactured each year, it should come as no surprise that auto manufacturers will make mistakes during the process. From design defects to manufacturing defects, the responsibility of rectifying the manufacturer’s mistakes must be addressed. Often times, auto makers will address these defects by releasing “secret warranties” that many consumers may never know exist.

Secret warranties are free repair programs offered by automakers often dealing with repairs related to negligence or poor engineering in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers are reluctant to admit the existence of secret warranties, only admitting these issues under the guise of special technical service bulletins (TSB), goodwill policies or extended warranties. Worse yet, there is no federal law requiring auto makers to release this information. As a result, consumers are never notified, only regional offices and sometimes the dealer. Therefore, only the consumer who complains loudly gets covered by the secret warranty, while others end up accepting the expense of the manufacturer's mistakes!

Secret warranties can assist a consumer who may think they have a lemon. Often times, they cover everything from large, costly repairs including blown engines or transmissions to even smaller repairs, costing only a few hundred dollars.

Finding Secret Warranties

First, check for a list of technical service bulletins for you’re vehicle. Consumers can contact us at 1-888-536-6671 and request a search of our extensive file of TSB information or search sites such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at The existence of a service bulletin does not conclusively prove the auto company has a secret warranty, but it does show a defect or problem exists for which the manufacturer has had to develop a repair. Bulletins that authorize the dealer to make repairs at the manufacturer’s expense, even if the defect is no longer covered under warranty and contain wording such as “check for availability of good will assistance” are important to your cause.

Once determining that your vehicle is covered by a secret warranty, take the service bulletin that proves its existence with you to your dealer. Should the manufacturer refuse to honor the secret warranty for any reason, escalate your claim to the manufacturer directly and their corresponding regional and zone managers. Manufacturers only reimburse consumers who are persistent in their complaints.

If the unfortunate situation should arise that you are stuck driving a Lemon, don’t go it alone. With thousands of successful Lemon cases handled to date, Kahn & Associates experienced lemon law attorneys can accurately assess your case and give you the satisfaction you deserve.

You may be entitled to your money back or to a new vehicle, and we are here to assist you.  Call us at 1-888-536-6671 or go online for a Free Case Review.



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