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Warranty Denial

How big a problem is warranty denial? Who is doing the most denials? Service Manager,General Manager? Dealer Rep? I have not seen much over lack of service/service records. But accident damage yes. I have seen Service Managers really get tough if the concern could possibly be related to a accident (I think this is fair) I am interested in the details of your denials

How big a problem is warranty denial? Don’t know exactly what you mean but warranty claims are denied if the service manager does not think it a warranty item. This is because the manufacturer will not pay the dealer if they think it’s not a warranty item.

Who is doing the most denials? Service Manager,General Manager? Dealer Rep? Service manager, gen. man is involoved more in sales unless there is a problem with the warranty claim. If the owner is not pleased with the ser. man verdict then call the dealer rep.

I think most warranty denials are justifiable but many of the car owners themselves may not think so. Many owners assume (bad thing to do) because of TV marketing, car salesman BS, etc. that warranty covers basic maintenance, wear and tear items, adjustments, etc. and become very upset when told these are non-warrantable items.

Warranty problems should be settled by the service manager and it should never go to the General Manager or the factory service rep except in a special situation. Of course a lot of this depends the ability of the service manager and whether he is an animal with vertebrae or not. :slight_smile:

I’ve been involved in countless warranty repairs, writing and processing warranty claims, etc. and it’s been my experience anyway that most justifiable warranty claims are approved. Collision damage and mechanical damage caused by a car owner or another shop is a common problem leading to some disgruntled car owners when told warranty is not going to pay for what someone else did.

The exception here would be Subaru. Their policy, or lack of, just flat sets me off and they’ve caused a lot of grief along with shortchanging the paycheck. On the flip side, I have nothing but praise for VW warranty.

I agree with OK4450 - that most warranty denials stem from misunderstanding of the warranty. Things like mileage or age limitations, what’s covered and what’s not, accident damage, repairs - especially those done by an unauthorized persons - all are reasons for denial.

I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding of the law is that warranty can not be denied unless a reason for denial is given. My experience is that folks whose warranty claims have been denied have always been given a reason but gloss over that fact when discussing the situation later. I think warranty denial is fairly rare, but some consumer’s expectations are way over the top.

My Subaru dealership must be truly exceptional. While I have had very few warranty claims on either of my Subarus, when I have brought something to the attention of the service department, each situation was rapidly resolved in my favor, with no arguing. Even something fairly trivial, like a cracked wind deflector on my hood, was replaced, gratis, with no arguments whatsoever.

Is it possible that you are basing your statement about Subaru on situations that occurred many years ago? My experiences, dating back to 1997, are nothing but positive.

My warranty experience has been extremely limited. I’ve had very few and extremely minor warranty issues with most of my vehicles and they were taken care of no problem. I had a warranty issue with my '93 Mazda MPV V6 where the lifters kept collapsing (I discovered that was a common problem with that engine) and it was taken care of promptly and without problem…a few times. I’ve owned two GMs, both many years ago, one from '72 to '74 and the other in '95, that both had numerous issues (some major) and on both GM was absolutely horrible about backing the warranties.

My respect for most service managers is virtually zero. They know nothing abnout cars so they make things up. Or they screw up what the tech said because they didn’t understand it. I think training in automotive fundamentals should be required for service reps.

Grappone Toyota in Concord used to have great service reps, and they had individual small offices where you you carry on a conversation with them. They changed just this past few years to an open area office glass enclosed. The good reps left and have been replaced with typical BS generators. Especially one in particular. They’ve lost me as a future customer, after 20 years of having bought there. Bob Grappone, if you’re listening you may want to reconsider.


I agree with you about the typical GM response to warranty issues. However, I also have to say that my experiences are limited to 1981-1986, with my '81 Chevy Citation. Luckily, I had the foresight to get an extended warranty on that car, and it really paid off for me–and GM probably lost a bundle on that car due to the very numerous problems.

Even though they (reluctantly) took care of my major mechanical problems, the dealership did try to worm its way out of more minor ones. When I had a persistent rattle in the front passenger door that was obviously coming from the lock mechanism, they failed to fix it on several occasions and finally the service manager told me, “Oh, it’s designed to work that way. There is nothing wrong with it”.

My response was, “Thank you for pointing that out. However, since the lock mechanism on the driver’s door doesn’t work that way, please be sure that when I come back to pick up the car, you have fixed the driver’s door so that it is exactly the same as the passenger door. I want everything to work as it was designed to work”.

Since I called his bluff, he finally did as I requested, and they finally fixed (or adjusted) the lock mechanism on the passenger door.

I think that the biggest frustration people experience with warrantee denial is “can’t duplicate the problem”. I know that personally the only times I’ve had problems with the dealer is when the problem was intermittent, but once they experienced it, it got fixed. When reading posts here about warrantee denial, this seems to be the most common problem.

Not really. The problem warrant wise is that the car owner does not see the crap behind the scenes.
Say you take your car in for what you consider warrantable problems. Let’s assume for the sake of argument your car has 10k miles on it and has 3 problems.

  1. Window not tight against the seal and leaking water when it rains.
  2. Wiper blades loose on the splines and not operating.
  3. Heat shield has vibrated loose and must be repaired.

Did you know warranty is not going to pay the one red cent for any of that? The mechanic will do the repairs, the customer will leave happy, and any warranty claim filed will not be paid for any of those items UNLESS it’s caused by a factory defective part. This means the dealer and the mechanic did this for nothing.

Unless it’s changed in the last few years the limit on adjustments for instance is 1000 miles.
Back when Subaru brought most of their models into the U.S. from overseas many A/C units were installed at the port for instance. What was not widely known was that the warranty on those units was 90 days. If a car was sold on day 91 and it had an installation caused problem the warranty was dead. The car may have been repaired by the dealer and the customer satisfied but the mechanic was not because this often mean the tech was screwed over and worked for free.

I used to work for one of the largest dealership franchises (multiple lines) in the country and this is exactly why I finally left them.
In one morning I did multiple repairs on 4 different Subarus. Every single one of these repairs was “allegedly” warranty related. Every customer got their car repaired, they left happy, and I did not get paid one single dime for any of those repairs (approx. a dozen separate complaints altogether).

Subaru omits about 75% of the labor operations in their warranty guides so one must contact SOA for approval. They will approve something, the claim will be filed, and the claim will then be denied.
If one runs into a serious snag while performing a warranty labor operation and contacts SOA for pre-approval they will say fine and then deny it later.

Hope that explains it. In all seriousness I could write a small book citing example after example. One time while attending a service school I asked a few pointed questions of the instructor and you would not believe the hemming and hawing while never answering the questions.
The customer perspective is much different than the tech perspective.

(Pardon the typos, etc)

Warranty denial is done by the fraudulent offers that you get in the mail. Don’t get one of those. Dealers deny you on wear items.