A warranty of fitness for a particular purpose applies when you buy a used car based on the dealer's advice that it is suitable for a particular use.
For example, a dealer who suggests you buy a specific vehicle for hauling a trailer in effect is promising that the vehicle will be suitable for that purpose.
If you have a written warranty that doesn't cover your problems, you still may have coverage through implied warranties. That's because when a dealer sells a used car with a written warranty or service contract, implied warranties are included automatically.
The dealer can't delete this protection. Any limit on an implied warranty's time must be included on the written warranty.
In states that don't allow "as is" sales, an "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure is printed on the Buyers Guide in place of the "As Is" disclosure. The box beside this disclosure will be checked if the dealer decides to sell the car with no written warranty.
In states that do allow "as is" sales, the "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure should appear on the Buyers Guide if the dealer decides to sell a used car with implied warranties and no written warranty.
Dealers who offer a written warranty must complete the warranty section of the Buyers Guide. Because terms and conditions vary, it may be useful to compare and negotiate coverage.
Dealers may offer a full or limited warranty on all or some of a vehicle's systems or components. Most used car warranties are limited and their coverage varies. A full warranty includes the following terms and conditions:
If any of these statements don't apply, the warranty is limited.
A full or limited warranty doesn't have to cover the entire vehicle. The used car dealer may specify that only certain systems are covered. Some parts or systems may be covered by a full warranty; others by a limited warranty.
The used car dealer must check the appropriate box on the Buyers Guide to indicate whether the warranty is full or limited and the dealer must include the following information in the "Warranty" section:
You have the right to see a copy of the dealer's warranty before you buy a used car. Review it carefully to determine what is covered. The warranty gives detailed information, such as how to get repairs for a covered system or part. It also tells who is legally responsible for fulfilling the terms of the warranty.
If it's a third party, investigate their reputation and whether they're insured. Find out the name of the insurer, and call to verify the information. Then check out the third-party company with your local Better Business Bureau. That's not foolproof, but it is prudent. Make sure you receive a copy of the dealer's warranty document if you buy a used car that is offered with a warranty.
If the manufacturer's warranty still is in effect, the used car dealer may include it in the "systems covered/duration" section of the Buyers Guide. To make sure you can take advantage of the coverage, ask the used car dealer for the car's warranty documents.
Verify the information (what's covered, expiration date/miles, necessary paperwork) by calling the manufacturer's zone office. Make sure you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the used car when you call.
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