What Happens If Dealer Cant Fix Car Under Warranty?

June 16, 2024

When your car is under warranty, getting it fixed should be straightforward, but sometimes it isn't. What happens if the dealer can't fix your car under warranty? This is a common frustration many car owners face. Issues may arise because dealerships are only reimbursed a pre-determined rate for warranty repairs, leading them to claim they couldn't duplicate the problem or that the vehicle operates as designed.

Why Dealerships Might Struggle to Fix Warranty Issues

One of the primary reasons why dealerships might not make more of an effort to properly diagnose and fix car issues under warranty is financial. They are reimbursed a fixed rate for warranty repairs, regardless of the actual time and effort needed. This creates a disincentive for dealerships to invest extra time, potentially leading to multiple, unsuccessful repair attempts. Your vehicle may end up labeled as "operating as designed," even when it's clearly having issues.

what happens if dealer can't fix car under warranty
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Steps to Take When Dealership Fails to Fix Your Car

If the dealership is unable to repair a defect after several attempts, you might wonder what happens if dealer can't fix car under warranty? You could be eligible for a full refund or a replacement vehicle under Virginia's Lemon Law. However, proving a Lemon Law claim can be challenging if the dealership won't acknowledge the problem. Suggestions for consumers include:

  • Visiting another dealership if the original one fails to identify the problem after two attempts.
  • Keeping all paperwork related to service visits to establish a record of repair efforts.
  • Paying an independent mechanic to diagnose the issue while avoiding repairs to prevent voiding the warranty.
  • Hiring a Lemon Law attorney to support a claim for reimbursement or replacement.

what happens if dealer can't fix car under warranty
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Addressing Specific Cases of Warranty Issues

Consider a specific case of a 2009 Hyundai Sonata that faced persistent issues with the check engine light. Despite multiple repair attempts, the problem remained unresolved, leaving the car undriveable. Frustration mounts when the dealership can no longer retrieve diagnostic codes, leading to an unprecedented situation. Understanding your warranty coverage and the responsibilities of manufacturers and dealers is crucial.

Additional Recourses and Legal Support

If you're dealing with dealership issues, know that you have options. Consulting with independent mechanics for diagnostics and keeping a detailed record of all repair attempts are essential steps. Legal assistance, such as The Consumer Law Group, can aid in pursuing a Lemon Law claim, especially in difficult cases where the dealership fails to resolve the issue. For instance, a 2017 Kia Sorento owner experiencing excessive oil consumption might face obstacles even when the warranty should theoretically cover it.

Taking Action

If the dealership can’t fix your car under warranty, understanding your next steps is crucial. Continued persistence with the dealership, consulting independent mechanics, and exploring legal avenues are necessary actions. Your warranty is a valuable tool, but knowing how to navigate potential roadblocks is just as important.

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