What to do about an auto warranty company who denied a claim based on false service intervals?

I bought a used car with an aftermarket warranty and the timing belt went out at 137,000 miles. I purchased it at 111,000 miles and was denied my claim because the insurance company claimed the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance interval for the timing belt was 120,000 miles. After contacting the manufacturer, I was told the actual service interval was 160,000 miles.

I believe the warranty company lied to get out of fixing my car and stuck me with the repair. Do I have a case?

Asked on May 9, 2016 under Business Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, they appear to be in breach of contract (a warranty is a contract). Therefore, you could sue them for breach of contract for the money they should have paid. To win, you would need to show in court, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that it is more likely than not) that under the terms of the warranty and the facts that they should have paid. Representing yourself "pro se" to save on legal fees may be a good option in a case like this, where the terms of the warranty (which you can present in clurt) will establish a lot of your case for you. You should be able to get instructions on filing a suit from your court.

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