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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somewhat lengthy, maybe hard to follow, story but here it is. After a decent amount of warranty thread trolling, and at the advice of a fellow beast owner I decided to drive to a dealership (which remain nameless for now) and see about their extended warranty. Talked with the Financial Manager (FM) and decided on a 4 year 48k mile warranty. The FM said the car would need to be inspected and that they would pay for that. Did a key read and they got all the info on the car, he drafted a warranty contract, I called my credit card company to make sure the sale would go through, he called the warranty people to make sure the SMG was covered (which it was), and then I signed the warranty as did he, we went to the cashier and I paid for it. He said the inspection would take about an hour, so I went to get some coffee.

2 hours later received a call from the SA telling me the car was ready to go, and everything was good. Went and sat in his office, he handed me the invoice; no charge to me, and this is where the fun began. As I'm reading the text I see that it says "FAILED WARRANTY INSPECTION DUE TO VANOS NOISE" At this point I'm like "WTF is this?" He looks at it and says he's going to go talk to the tech that did the inspection. Comes back and tells me the vanos pump is going bad based on a noise, and maybe a code it threw (i can't remember specifically if it threw a code too) He said the vanos pump may be bad, or it's a line thats bleeding down causing a low pressure. Either way he says that it is a $3-5k job to fix.

At this point some wheels start to turn in my head and I look down at the signed contract I have in my hand. And I say, "I've got a signed warranty in my hand, shouldn't this be covered by the warranty?". SA says the warranty isn't valid until the vehicle passes the inspection, which it just failed, and I leave it at that. Go back to the FM's office, and the SA is going to see if they have the parts to fix it. FM and I discuss refunding the warranty, since they said it wasn't valid until it passes, and also fixing the vanos problem. I decide to fix the vanos, and keep the warranty. They get me a loaner and I leave.

On the way home I call my lawyer and tell him the whole story thus far, he says fax him the contract. I do. He says as soon as the dealership signed it and I signed it that I have a valid warranty, and the fact that they did the inspection afterward is their problem. I call the warranty # on the contract and they said the same thing, and also told me the Vanos should be covered. I tell this to the SA the next day, he tells the Service Manager, SM calls me and says that even though it wasn't written down that I had a verbal agreement with the FM that the car had to pass an inspection for warranty to be valid. My lawyer says there was no actual verbal agreement, just mention of an inspection, and also that the contract is the only thing that will stand up in court.

Basically, dealership wont budge right now, so I'm going to pay out of pocket to get my car fixed, and then have the lawyer file a lawsuit suing the dealership for not honoring a signed warranty. It looks like it has to go to arbitration first.

Does anyone have a similar experience? And what are people's general thoughts on this?
 

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your post is not very clear

Did you or did you not have a verbal agreement that the warranty was pending based on the inspection?
 

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Whether he did or didn't have a verbal agreement is irrelevant. Word of mouth means nothing. If in the contract it says nothing about warranty being pending then as far as the contract goes, he was under warranty as soon as it was signed by both parties.
 

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Do the right thing and pay it out of your own pocket for the vanos. The problem was there when you took the car in, dealership was just trying to be nice by signing the paper before the actual inspection report. Why make other people pay for your problem? Turn the situation around and see how you would like to be treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you or did you not have a verbal agreement that the warranty was pending based on the inspection?
There was mention of an inspection needed for the warranty, but at no point did the FM say "In addition to the written contract here which we will both sign and you will pay thousands of dollars for, we need to make a verbal agreement concerning an inspection needing to be...." and at no point did I say "I swear that I understand, or I affirm the following concerning and inspection"...you get the point. Even if we had done that my lawyer said that it's whats written down and signed that matters.

Do the right thing and pay it out of your own pocket for the vanos. The problem was there when you took the car in, dealership was just trying to be nice by signing the paper before the actual inspection report. Why make other people pay for your problem? Turn the situation around and see how you would like to be treated.
A couple of things. First, if I discovered a problem with the internals of a $20k motor I wouldn't have left it to the customer to find on an invoice while telling him everything was ok with the car and let him almost drive off. And when that customer found it and brought it to my attention, I would have thanked him and asked how I could make it up to him.

Second, this place is not a charity. They recently had to pay a 4 million dollar class action lawsuit for deceptive practices with aftermarket warranties; I found this out after the fact. And I quote "This lawsuit, xxx v. xxx, et al., Case No. xxx, was filed against xxx and its North Carolina dealerships on behalf of customers who purchased or leased vehicles from North Carolina xxx dealerships that came with a product called xxx. Plaintiffs contended that xxx and its dealerships used improper training, marketing, sales and financing practices to sell the xxx product to consumers; that consumers were overcharged for the xxx product; that the companies failed to properly disclose the xxx product to people who bought or leased vehicles; and that the xxx that was given to people who bought and leased vehicles had terms and provisions that were unfair and deceptive. xxx and the dealerships vigorously deny each of these allegations. However, to avoid the risk and uncertainty inherent in litigation, xxx has elected to settle this case..

They don't call them stealerships on this and other boards for no reason. I would like them to admit that they screwed up the process and that technically I'm correct. If they wanted to cover 75% of the repair I'd pay 25% just to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit. Instead the Service Manager, as it felt like to me, lectured me, didn't admit any fault, and never really tried and meet me anywhere in the middle.
 

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A couple of things. First, if I discovered a problem with the internals of a $20k motor I wouldn't have left it to the customer to find on an invoice while telling him everything was ok with the car and let him almost drive off. And when that customer found it and brought it to my attention, I would have thanked him and asked how I could make it up to him.

Second, this place is not a charity. They recently had to pay a 4 million dollar class action lawsuit for deceptive practices with aftermarket warranties; I found this out after the fact. And I quote "This lawsuit, xxx v. xxx, et al., Case No. xxx, was filed against xxx and its North Carolina dealerships on behalf of customers who purchased or leased vehicles from North Carolina xxx dealerships that came with a product called xxx. Plaintiffs contended that xxx and its dealerships used improper training, marketing, sales and financing practices to sell the xxx product to consumers; that consumers were overcharged for the xxx product; that the companies failed to properly disclose the xxx product to people who bought or leased vehicles; and that the xxx that was given to people who bought and leased vehicles had terms and provisions that were unfair and deceptive. xxx and the dealerships vigorously deny each of these allegations. However, to avoid the risk and uncertainty inherent in litigation, xxx has elected to settle this case..

They don't call them stealerships on this and other boards for no reason. I would like them to admit that they screwed up the process and that technically I'm correct. If they wanted to cover 75% of the repair I'd pay 25% just to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit. Instead the Service Manager, as it felt like to me, lectured me, didn't admit any fault, and never really tried and meet me anywhere in the middle.
Wow, sounds like they are more like a stealer than a dealer. All the best on whatever you decide. :)
 

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Like the OP is saying the letter of the law only covers written agreements

Whether he did or didn't have a verbal agreement is irrelevant. Word of mouth means nothing. If in the contract it says nothing about warranty being pending then as far as the contract goes, he was under warranty as soon as it was signed by both parties.
But, ethically it is not right to go back on a verbal agreement. You know, shake hands and everything. Some people's word counts for something. Anyway, I wasn't there so I don't know what the exact spoken words were and If I were in the OP's shoes facing a multi thousand bill, maybe I would treat the situation the same way.
 

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I agree on the verbal handshake. I have been on both sides of the coin. Verbal is binding in my book. A man is his word and let the chips fall where they may.
 

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I don't understand, if the warranty company itself told you the contract is valid and the vanos should be covered, what does the dealership have to do with it?

If the dealership is giving you problems, take your car and the contract, and go to another dealership. It's the warranty company that pays the claim, not the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I don't understand, if the warranty company itself told you the contract is valid and the vanos should be covered, what does the dealership have to do with it?

If the dealership is giving you problems, take your car and the contract, and go to another dealership. It's the warranty company that pays the claim, not the dealership.
Warranty and dealership are owned my the same company. Also, they started repair the first night before I had a chance to talk to my lawyer.

Actually just talked to them, they seemed willing to look into it and help.
 

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Personally i too think that a verbal contract is just as binding as a written one when it comes down to it, whether it be legally binding or not (which it in most places is). Ok, sure he didn't say the whole long line you produced back on the last page, but in disregard you knew what was going on.
Based on the previous class action, they are a "bit" shady, but that does not justify breaking a verbal contract with them, especially when you very well know the problem was there by the time they performed the inspection.
If you go to court you will win. You have a signed contract, end of story. I've been in a situation like yours and i paid up because imo it was the right thing to do.
Just my 2 cents. However i wish you the best of luck whichever way you choose to go. I'd like to say they deserve to be punished for screwing other customers over, but they already have through the settlement.
 

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I'm sure everyone here has been screwed over by a verbal agreement. At the end of the day its what you have in writing that counts. You have to ask yourself why won't they fix it under the warranty you just purchased? Maybe because they know you will have to fix it. Then turn around and buy the warranty because you don't want to pay for a full service in the future . In my book they are as crooked as they come. They aren't in this to help you out. They are in this to take your money. Make the think twice before taking your money and trying to take more just because they can.
 

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Unfortunately there is a lot of moral issues here...

In one way, I think it's only fair (and the OP knows it) that the provisions of the extended warranty were only meant to be "in effect" assuming he passed the inspection. Otherwise, it's like a retroactive warranty, which just isn't fair. And in the end, it's really just other people that you are bending over backwards, not the insurance company or dealership. The prices of an extended warranty are made so that they make money if they cover X amount of repairs. If you force them to cover one more, cost goes up, everyone pays a bit more.

On the other hand, if the OP were to "be a man of his word" and just take responsibility for it, then he's screwing himself over more than anyone. Cause in the end, the stealership is never going to be a "man of his word" and cover something. They'll force you to "prove it" in writing. So there is that double-standard to consider.

So either way I look at it, someone loses.
 
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Do the right thing and pay it out of your own pocket for the vanos. The problem was there when you took the car in, dealership was just trying to be nice by signing the paper before the actual inspection report. Why make other people pay for your problem? Turn the situation around and see how you would like to be treated.
Are you joking? Dont hate, the dealership made a mistake and they should pay for it. I know that it was the dealerships fault for charging him and writing the contract out before the inspection was done but they did. a contract is grater than any verbal agreement and that is law.
 

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I thought this situation was one reason why companies don't like offering extended warranties after your current one has expired: for these types of cases where an existing condition causes the warranty company to cough up the price of the warranty almost immediately.

At the end of the day, the dealership guy screwed up... he finished the paperwork before inspection was completed. But you have to understand why they might be annoyed. They're basically coughing up the price of the warranty they just sold you an hour after the warranty was purchased. This one's going to be a big losing account for them.
 

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In my experience, a verbal agreement is considered valid if there is no written agreement. But, if there is a specific written agreement, then as far as I'm experienced, any verbal communications beforehand were merely negotiations to reach the terms that were put in writing. And like in all negotiations, just because someone asks for something doesn't mean they get it. Indeed, they ONLY get it if it's in the written agreement that everyone signs.

Regardless, I'm not convinced the dealership isn't shafting you anyway. I mean, what evidence beyond their word do you have that the car needed repairs? Was it running correctly? Did the gear light come on? Did a different dealer or independent shop also say the Vanos needed replacement? I'm not disputing, just wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I mean, what evidence beyond their word do you have that the car needed repairs? Was it running correctly? Did the gear light come on? Did a different dealer or independent shop also say the Vanos needed replacement? I'm not disputing, just wondering.

I don't doubt the VANOS was failing because they initially missed it on the ticket; I'm the one who caught it while reviewing it (It only took me joining the Navy one time to always read the fine print). They had initially "verbally" told me everything was fine, but it was "written" on the ticket that it was failing.

....And for the big update... got a call from the FM saying that if I don't pay out of pocket for the repair, then they are going to make the FM pay for it. What I think happened is when I called the actual warranty people, not the dealer, they realized what happened, and that yes, I did have a signed contract that should cover repairs. Then the dealer told the FM, someone has to pay for this, and that person is you.

I'm seriously considering paying half of the price because all I wanted them to do was tell me I was right and meet me halfway; but not totally sure. How do I know a huge company like this is actually going to make the FM pay out of pocket? Seems like they would just take it as an operating loss. Plus they kind of lied to me a couple of times when they told me I didn't have a valid contract when they knew I did. I'm going to have to think about it for a bit.

So, now that it appears to be covered under warranty, would you guys help this FM out with half the cost? I'm leaning towards paying half. He pays a little because he screwed up, and I pay a little so I don't feel like a dick head and I was saved the cost of a lawsuit.
 
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