Do I have to use the mechanic my “warranty” from used car dealer tells me to go to?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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Do I have to use the mechanic my “warranty” from used car dealer tells me to go to?

We purchased a used van almost 2 months ago with a limited warranty: engine, drive train and transmission. Immediately after purchase we started having problems with the transmission. The warranty department sent us to an auto repair shop and they replaced the transmission with one straight from the junkyard without any knowledge of working order. I don’t believe the mechanic they chose was reliable or quality, can I take my vehicle to a mechanic of my choice and force the warranty to pay? Also, can they really just pick parts from the junkyard?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, Washington State does not have lemon laws that protect used cars.  You, however, have a limited warranty on the vehicle, which is a contract for repair between you and the dealer.  What you are concerned about is that the repair place used after market or used parts.  That is not necessarily illegal and really often it is the standard in the industry (even when cars are repaired after car accidents insurance companies often repair cars with after market parts).  But if the parts are defective you are not without recourse here.  You have a contract for repair and to insure that proper repairs are made.  Your warranty needs to be read; your rights assessed if the repair did not work.  Good luck.

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