Nissan dealership won’t honor its warranty on my used car

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By Christopher Elliott

Reed Scott buys a lemon from a Nissan dealership. Now it won’t cover the repairs for the malfunctioning car. Can it do that?

Question

I bought my son a 2004 Chrysler Concorde from a Nissan dealership in another state recently. The car came with a 90-day, 3,000-mile warranty.

Shortly after that, the “check engine” light came on indicating a problem. I brought it to my local dealership and a technician told me a repair was necessary. But when I asked about the warranty, a representative from the dealership that sold me the car said it would not cover the repair because “the car will still drive.”

I’ve spent more than $1,000 on repairs that should have been covered. I would like the dealership to honor its warranty. Can you help me? — Reed Scott, Manhattan, Kan.

Answer

If the dealership offered you an unconditional warranty on your pre-owned car, then it should have paid for your repairs.

But a look at the dealership’s actual warranty wording explains why it won’t help you. The guarantee is a “limited” three-month, 3,000- mile powertrain warranty, and it’s clear that you and the dealership are having a difference of opinion on what is, and isn’t, included. (Related: Jiffy Lube ruined my car engine. Why won’t it pay $12,998 for repairs?)

It doesn’t really matter. The dealership shouldn’t have sold you a lemon, which, after reviewing your service record, I can tell you this Concorde was. One of the problems in resolving this is that the Nissan dealership you dealt with was in Colorado, hundreds of miles from your home, and you were trying to act as an intermediary between a local technician and the business that sold you the vehicle. (Here’s our guide to resolving your consumer problem.)

I don’t know if you’d had any better luck if you lived in Colorado and could easily visit the dealership. But for some unscrupulous businesses, out of sight is certainly out of mind. (Related: How to win your consumer dispute using the Elliott Method.)

Southwest Airlines is dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to providing our employees with a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

My advocacy team and I contacted Nissan on your behalf. Eventually, the dealer contacted you directly and offered to cover the cost of the new part.

Did the Nissan dealership do enough for Reed Scott?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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