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Voided or Denied Warranty Experiences

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
I started this discussion after reading a most interesting case over in our "Answers" department, and it prompted me to wonder a) if anyone has heard of the situation I am about to describe and b) if YOU have had a warranty denied, warranty claim denied, or were in a warranty dispute and how did it resolve itself?


Someone purchased a used but fairly new Volvo from a Mitsubishi dealer. After receiving the car, he went for warranty service at a Volvo dealer because his car definitely had warranty remaining on time and miles.

However, the Volvo dealer said his warranty was "partially" voided, with regards only to the fuel system, based on the actions of the previous owner!

Ever heard of anything like this? I never have in all my years.

Do you have similar experiences of the shock of having a warranty you were EXPECTING to be honored, to fall apart for one reason/claim/situation or another?

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  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Not that unusual.
    Prev owner probably modified the fuel system in some way and got caught.

    This is mostly an issue w/ modded cars.
    Was this an S60R by any chance?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Don't recall.

    I wonder about the legality of such a partial voiding of the warranty. I mean, wouldn't the manufacturer have to wait until there was some damage, before the denial? How can you deny a claim that hasn't happened yet?

    What modification were you thinking of for an S60R? I'm curious.


  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The manufacturer usually can't partially void a warranty until a repair claim has been filed and an aftermarket part or system has been noted.

    Let's say I put some aftermarket springs on my car, then I take it in complaining about unusual tire wear.
    The service dept notes the springs, the manufacturer sees the claim and flags the suspension.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,282
    ...contain numerous posts describing how some Mitsubishi and Mazda dealers have fully or partially voided warranties due to mods. Apparently there is no consistent policy regarding mods, as some dealers are nixing warranties due to aftermarket cold air intakes while other dealers look the other way and ignore stuff like piggyback boost contollers and de-catted turbo back exhausts.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    First of all, DEALERS cannot void warranties.
    Your warranty isn't with your dealer. It is with the builder of your car.
    Now, some dealers are more easygoing when it comes to modded cars.
    However,if a modded part causes a failure, the dealer cannot get the manufacturer to pay the warranty claim. No way, no chance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Yes that is correct. The factory burns the dealer and the dealer burns the customer, on a warranty denial.

    Dealers can't void the warranty. I presume what they do is check with the Zone Office before they submit a claim to see if the factory will go for it or not, prior to making the repair? (if they are in doubt I mean).


  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    A dealer knows that any iffy claim is going to have to be greenlighted by the motor co first.
    Otherwise, the dealer will have to eat the claim.

    Some dealers are real sticklers,esp when dealing w/ modded cars.
    Others are more easygoing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Question is, how is a used car buyer supposed to know when he's buying a car with a partly voided warranty? This is not going to show up on CARFAX. It's not like when you buy a used car with a salvage title, then you KNOW there's no warranty no matter if the car has 10 miles on it.

    I guess with the tremendous upsurge in modding, this partial warranty scenario was inevitable.


  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Easy, buy a CPO car.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    If you want to know the warranty status on a car, get the VIN and call a local dealer. We can run the VIN and check warranty status, recalls, that sort of thing. Some dealers may not give out warranty claim history, but all should give status and recalls. Ask for the service department. It's no big deal, we do it all the time.
  • fordfoolfordfool Western New YorkPosts: 87
    About thirty years ago my Ford 2.3L engine developed premature cylinder wear (piston slap). Fortunately my brother-in-law was a Ford mechanic and knew Ford has a "secret" extended warranty for the problem.

    Seems some Ford engineer figured that a few cents could be saved by not drilling oil lube holes in the connecting rods. Problems began to appear in cold climates where cold starts were causing excessive cylinder wear.

    The district Ford rep examined my engine, noting that I had the car serviced regularly and had a Motorcraft oil filter installed. Out-of-warranty engine and transmission rebuilds were approved.

    Lesson…keep up with scheduled maintenance using approved parts.
  • Was the fuel system what the new owner needed to have serviced?
    Was the partial void something that had already been established or did that determination happen when the new owner took the car in for service?

    Sounds like the new owner needed the service pretty soon after buying the car. Do you know if that was the case?
  • Used cars have the FTC required buyers guide sticker on them. It may state that the balance of the manufacturer's warranty is in effect. Do used car dealers routinely make the simple phone call you suggest before they check that box on the sticker?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    I'd have to say no.

    A used car re-seller isn't responsible for the manufacturers warranty.
    What it covers, or what it doesn't.
    All the form does is let you know that such coverage exists.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Gee I dunno. Seems to me if you buy a car BASED primarily on what someone tells you to be true, and it's not, that still holds the seller responsible....not for FRAUD (as you say, maybe he didn't know) but certainly for misrepresentation.

    If I sell you my car, and tell you that "my mechanic rebuilt the engine", because that's what my mechanic said to me, and then you find out that in fact all that was done was a head gasket and valve job, well I'm still in the hole for misrepresenting the car to you. I wasn't defrauding you, because hell I didn't know exactly what the mechanic did...I don't even know what a rebuilt engine IS....(for the sake of argument)....but you bought the car because you were counting on a rebuilt engine for that car.


  • That would also be my guess. I realize the re-seller is not responsible for the details of a manufacturer warranty, what's covered, what the limitations and exclusions are, and so on. It is generally pretty easy to find out what those details are. Most mods that may void the warranty are usually spelled out as well.

    It is an interesting issue. All my questions so far focus on when the voiding of the warranty happened. Shifty's OP is a little unclear on that. The only indication is the mention of actions by the previous owner, but that is iffy. The manufacturer would only know it was actions of the previous owner if the warranty void had occurred earlier. Otherwise they would have no idea when the mod happened.

    Most likely the new owner is just going to have to bite the bullet on any repairs to the fuel system, but . . .

    If the partial void had happened prior to the re-sale of the car, the buyer may have some recourse with the re-seller. The buyers guide said the warranty was in effect at the time the sale was made. That was not the case. Uphill battle for the new owner, but worth pushing at least a little.

    If the partial void happened when the new owner took the car in for service and the mod was discovered, then he is just SOL. Even a check on the warranty status at the time of the sale would not have made any difference. A once over by a qualified technician may have picked up on the mod, but maybe not.
  • How far do we want to go with holding a dealer responsible for ignorant or negligent misrepresentation? I'm inclined to only hold them to what they reasonably can or should know. I would still push the issue if it ended up costing me money though, ignorance and negligence notwithstanding.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I don't know all the details. The poster never followed up. Basically he bought a used Volvo from a dealer (non Volvo) and later on found out his car had only a partial warranty, the "fuel system" portion being voided. I don't think he has any idea why it was voided on this item. I can only presume modifications, such as....what? larger injectors? some gas-saving scam like "water for gas" or some such?


  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    All the form states is that the manufacturers warranty still applies.
    Whatever that warranty is.
    Since the re-seller isn't telling you exactly what that warranty does and doesn't cover, it's not misrepresentation.

    Now, if you tell someone that something IS covered under a manufacturers warranty and it isn't, then you have a case.

    Bottom line, if you want to be protected, buy a CPO car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Let's agree to disagree on that. I think it is misrepresentation. Claiming no knowledge of the omission does not get you off the hook legally IMO, because the buyer assuming there's a full warranty was a CRITICAL factor in his decision to buy the car. If the dealer has merely said "she runs great" and it craps out, that's okay. But when he advertises "remainder of factory warranty" on the window sticker and there isn't one, uh-uh, that is, to my mind, definitely not good.

    I vote for the plaintiff, if I have been given the facts straight I mean.


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