I get calls all the time from people whose cars are out of warranty and something has gone wrong. Something that seems like it ought to be fixed by the carmaker. Is there any way to get those repairs paid for by someone else?

This is a very narrow question. Obviously, if a car is out of warranty there is almost never any legal obligation for the manufacturer to fix something without charge. There are rare circumstances like mandated safety recalls but I am talking about the more common problem. The car has something wrong with it that seems like it ought be covered but isn’t.

The best examples are well-known issues which occur across platforms. They often also involve things where the manufacturer calls something “normal” until the warranty expires. Then the “normal” condition gets ugly. That engine noise was normal until a connecting rod let loose. The oil consumption was normal until the engine began burning more oil than a two-stroke weed whacker.

There are other situations too, but the key is that you sometimes CAN get help on a repair bill outside of warranty. There is no guarantee and this is not something “legal.” In other words, you aren’t going to invoke the law or threaten a lawsuit. You are going to appeal to their goodwill. Here is the audio:


And the video:

Pic at the top - Of the drivers represented in this pic: I’ve spoken to, met or interviewed 4 of the 6 and have driven the Isaac/71 and ridden in the Petty/43.


Follow me on Twitter: @stevelehto

Hear my podcast on iTunes: Lehto’s Law

Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 25 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.


This website may supply general information about the law but it is for informational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to constitute legal advice, so the good news is we’re not billing you by the hour for reading this. The bad news is that you shouldn’t act upon any of the information without consulting a qualified professional attorney who will, probably, bill you by the hour.