What to do if a salvage yard is not honoring the warranty they gave me on used parts that I purchased from them?

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What to do if a salvage yard is not honoring the warranty they gave me on used parts that I purchased from them?

I have a small dealership and purchased a used engine from a salvage yard out of state. They provided me documents that gave me a warranty on the engine for 90 days. The engine is bad so I am trying to get them to replace it under our warranty agreement. However, they are not willing to do so and claim that the warranty has expired. The warranty I have paperwork of will expire next week. Obviously they want to drag this issue until then. What can I do? The price for the engine was $1750.

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A warranty is a contract--it is enforceable as per its plain terms. If someone issues a warranty and doesn't honor it, they have breached  the contract and may be sued for breach of contract--you could recover the amounts due under the warranty. In addition, if they represented to you that there was a warranty while intending to not honor it, that may be fraud or (more specifically) consumer fraud, which could also provide a basis for recovering compensation. Your recourse, therefore, is to sue the salvage yard to enforce your rights under the warranty and under the representations (promises) made to you. Note, though, that you likely have to retain an attorney to help you (for example, I do not believe you can sue an out-of-state company in small claims court, which is the most friendly venue for someone representing himself; also, if your dealership is a corporation or LLC, you need a lawyer and cannot act as its attorney unless you are admitted to the bar). This may or may not be economically worthwhile; sometimes, it is very difficult to take effective action against an out-of-state company, unless there is a great deal of money at stake.


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