What to do about an automotive factory defect on a used car?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2011

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What to do about an automotive factory defect on a used car?

I purchased a used car 11months ago. The factory warranty expired but I still have the extended warranty. The headlights on the passenger side have a condensation problem. Because of that problem, the headlight is out now. I called the manufacturer’s consumer satisfaction center and stated the problem. They said my problem doesn’t get covered under extended warranty but only factory warranty. They also said that they can only cover for the part, and I have to cover for the labor (which will cost me about $500). Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on January 5, 2011 under General Practice, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Did you just discover this problem or has this been an ongoing issue? You need to check both warranties and the language in them under what is covered and what is not. If you just discovered the problem, file a complaint with both the lender handling this car loan and of course, the agency who handles the licensing of this motor vehicle. Most used cars are purchased as is with no warranties; you are lucky because you purchased the extended warranty in addition to what was left under factory warranty. This may not be a lemon law issue under California law but you need to review the specifics to see if California now recognizes used cars under the law and if you need to have this issue "repaired" a certain number of items by a mechanic to finally get the diagnosis that it cannot be fixed.

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