Why Would My Car Warranty Be Void?
Norman Taylor & Associates
February 24, 2021
When you buy something new, you expect it to work, and you expect it to last. This is why new products come with warranties. Oftentimes, you will even buy extra insurance on your new product to protect it beyond its manufacturer warranty. Car dealerships tend to be pretty good about offering lots of great warranties on new cars. Tires and internal parts are protected, and sometimes you can even get free oil changes for the first year or so.
So, you take your fairly new car in for repairs, assuming that it will be covered by the warranty. Suddenly, you’re told that the warranty was cancelled, or “voided.” What happened? How does a car’s warranty become nullified?
The Car Is Totaled
Most minor accidents – scrapes and bumps – can be handled with a good warranty. When a car is declared a “total loss,” the warranty no longer applies. This action may seem unfair, but there is logic behind it.
When you file an insurance claim on your damaged car, you’re asking the insurer to pay for the damages. Throwing money into a car that is damaged beyond repair is going to be pointless. Even if you have a magical, altruistic insurance company that always wants to help its customers (which you don’t), they’re still not going to waste “good money after bad.” It does no company any good to put money into something that can’t be fixed. This is why a totaled car’s warranty becomes void.
Once the insurance company declares the car totaled, the warranty is no more. The best you can hope for now is that the insurer will buy the car from you. You’re not likely to get the full value of the car. They’re going to buy it as-is and try to sell it for whatever money they can get. The good news is, you can use this money to help pay off the car. The bad news is, that still means you might owe money on a car that you no longer own and cannot drive.
Your only option for getting any money back on the car now is if you already had extended insurance or GAP insurance. Otherwise, if you’re upside down on payments, it may be time to call a lawyer to see about recovering some compensation for the wreck.
Misuse of the Car
Companies can cancel your warranty when you have been operating the vehicle outside of its intended use. For example, if your car damage came from street racing, you’re not likely to collect money off a warranty or an insurer. However, not all examples are this extreme. For example, a compact car is not meant to tow a heavy load. Using it in that way could void the warranty. Check the specifics of your warranty to see what is prohibited, but also use your common sense. If the car is obviously not meant to be used a certain way, just don’t do it.
When your warranty has been voided, but you still need to recover damages on your car, contact us. You may be out of luck getting money back from car and insurance companies, but it may be possible to file charges against the person who damaged your car. For a free consultation, contact us online, or call (888) 449-7639.