The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs recently published tips to make sure automobile warranties work for consumers.
New car buyers are advised to read their warranties. Often bundled with the owner’s manual, the warranty gives a general description and specific details about coverage. For those who have misplaced their owner’s manual, look for it online. Check the “owners” section of the vehicle manufacturer’s website.
New owners should be aware of the warranty period — if problems arise that are covered under the warranty, get them checked out before the warranty expires.
Consumes should service their cars at regular intervals. This is a good idea in any case, but for the sake of keeping the warranty intact, follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. Details are in the owner’s manual.
Keep all service records and receipts, regardless of who performs the service. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements, new brake pads and inspections. Create a file to track repairs; it will come in handy if using the warranty becomes necessary. If a warranty claim is filed, and it appears that the consumer did not maintain the vehicle, the claim could be denied.
If a consumer thinks a dealer’s service advisor denied a warranty claim unfairly, ask to speak with a supervisor. Consumers who still aren’t satisfied should contact the manufacturer or visit another dealer. To file a complaint with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission, call 615-741-2711 or visit www.tn.gov/regboards/mvc or call the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-342-8385 or visit www.tn.gov/consumer.