What You Need to Know About Warranties When Car Shopping

 What You Need to Know About Warranties When Car Shopping

All too often, I hear of people buying a car after the dealer has promised the parts were “like new.” One month later, the brakes and battery need to be replaced.  Car shopping can be fun and exciting. But don’t let a shiny, new car blind you from important aspects. If you are looking to purchase a new car, make sure you understand the vehicle’s warranty terms. It will save you money on repairs and protect you from unscrupulous dealers.

In the simplest terms, a warranty is a seller’s promise to fix certain problems that may arise.  There are two basic classifications of vehicle warranties: express and implied.

Implied Warranty

Implied warranties are unspoken, unwritten promises, from the seller to the buyer, that the vehicle meets reasonable quality standards. When you buy a used car in New Jersey, you automatically receive a warranty on most cars, even if the dealer doesn’t give you documentation. Under New Jersey Lemon Law, the length of the warranty depends on the mileage when it was purchased. The vehicle is covered for a specific amount of days or miles (whichever comes first). The Lemon Law requires that a dealer provide coverage for the following:

  • 24,000 miles or less, 90 day or 3,000 mile warranty
  • 24,000 to 60,000 miles, 60 day or 2,000 mile warranty
  • 60,000 to 100,000 miles, 30 day or 1,000 mile warranty

(Any car purchased with over 100,000 miles does not come with any warranty.)

The most common type of implied warranty is the warranty of merchantability. The dealer is guaranteeing the vehicle will do what it is supposed to do. This obligation only applies to the basic functions of a car. For example, a car driving is a warranty of merchantability. The defect must have existed at the time of sale. Problems that occur after the sale doesn’t prove the dealer breached the implied warranty.

Expressed Warranty

Simply, an express warranty is a promise clearly stated either in writing or verbally. They are typically found in the dealer’s advertisements and the purchase agreement. An expressed warranty included in the formal documentation is binding on the seller, regardless of any claims made during the exchange.

‘As Is’ Clause

Dealers use the “as is” clause to limit their liability under vehicle warranties. It means the dealer doesn’t promise the vehicle is free of defects. The risk of buying a defective car lies on the consumer and it prevents buyers from making any claims for repairs after the purchase.

If you need help understanding the terms of your warranty or are experiencing issues with you car, call me, David W. Polsky, at 973-686-9787 to schedule a free consultation.