Upon honoring a lifetime warrantied part, can a vehicle repair shop change the terms of the warranty for the replacement part?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Upon honoring a lifetime warrantied part, can a vehicle repair shop change the terms of the warranty for the replacement part?

I purchased a lifetime warrantied muffler from a national muffler chain that covered both parts and labor. When the muffler failed a few years ago the chain replaced it and gave me a new warranty on the replacement muffler that covers parts but not labor. Their replacement muffler is now defective and they want to charge me labor fees to replace it.

Asked on August 27, 2010 under General Practice, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A warranty is a contract; it binds both parties. Therefore, the issue is what were the terms of the original "lifetime" warranty? If it said that it could be changed at will, or following the occurence of certain events (such as the car owner actually claiming on the warranty)--in which case it's not very "lifetime"--then it could be changed. Or, more to the point, was the warranty only over THAT, the original, muffler, and not over any subsequent mufflers, including any installed to replace the first one? If that was the case--if the warranty only covered that exact muffler (in which case it was really a "one use warranty, but you may claim it at any time over the life of  the muffer), then the chain does not need to extend the same warranty for a new muffler. You need to look at the terms of the warranty in detail, especially all the "fine print."


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption