In yet another use of his Executive Order privileges, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an order to begin unwinding the availability of affordable extended warranties, often known colloquially as “DeMuroCare.”
For decades, used car buyers have been able to choose from a wide variety of extended warranties, which in turn helped bolster the market for used cars by helping them compete on a more level playing field with new cars. “These warranties really helped America’s working class and middle class compete with people who could always afford to buy something new every few years,” says the president of the National Auto Dealer Association, Rich Whitey.
Even though the prevalence of extended warranties flourished due to free market forces, their lack of regulation meant a wide variety of options, prices, and exclusions for things like pre-existing conditions or simply being a Jaguar. All attempts at self-regulation in the industry just allowed for shadier operators to undercut the big players, preying on the price sensitivity of lower income shoppers.
As of 2005, it was estimated that over 20 million American used car owners were without extended warranty coverage. As a result, many of them had to resort to payment plans with their mechanics or simply putting repairs on high-interest credit cards. Around the same time, used car superstore Carmax began a rapid expansion program to help bring high-quality used cars – and warranties – to almost all Americans. These warranties soon took on the moniker “DeMuroCare” in reference to high-profile YouTuber Doug DeMuro who chronicled his struggle to finally own a Range Rover without the oppressive costs of repairs that typically come with it.
“I can’t change that God gave me a Range Rover,” DeMuro says. “When you have a special needs car, you don’t love it any less. It’s still a blessing. But you can’t be naïve and think it’s going to be just like a Civic.”
“Nobody in this country should ever have to declare bankruptcy over a car repair,” insists Mike Holtz, director of consumer advocacy group People for Unreliable Cars. “The affluenza epidemic cannot be stopped, but the pain can be managed through warranties like those offered under DeMuroCare.”
Holtz continues, “Without these warranties, Trump is basically signing a death warrant for every middle class single mom who just wants to keep her kids safe in the back seat of a 2002 Lincoln LS V8 that she found at a Buy Here Pay Here dealer for $3,500. What happens when that first repair bill shows up and it’s $2,000 or $3,000 dollars?”
“Living beyond your automotive means is not a privilege, it’s a right,” Holtz concluded. “We know the success of these warranties is dependent upon Honda and Toyota owners signing up for them, so we’re considering adding tax incentives to help keep the system solvent.”
The Trump Administration declined to comment, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stating “America is the most over-warrantied nation in the world,” a claim that was challenged by multiple reporters and industry watchdogs. “Nobody should every get in over their heads with their finances or families, then just declare bankruptcy or get divorced to solve the problem.”
Ash78 is still pressuring his employer for full warranty coverage on his car.