Whoops should have checked ALL the paperwork
April 7, 2008 7:03 PM Subscribe
Ooops. Really should have checked the service history before
I bought the car...
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I recently bought a second-hand car, a Mazda, from a local non-Mazda dealership. Unfortunately, in my excitement about buying the car, I forgot to check one thing (actually, I forgot to check a few things, but this one's a whopper): the service history.
According to the paperwork... it doesn't have one. Not even the pre-delivery checkout is filled in according to the warranty/service book, even though there's a separate checklist form that shows it was actually complete - at the official Mazda dealership which sold the car, new. That same book contains a stern warning that "Failure to properly maintain your vehicle can result in your warranty being voided in whole or in part". I think that the car has been maintained and looked after properly, but I can't prove it.
Some details: the car is a 2006 Mazda 6, 21000 miles on the clock, and visually is absolutely flawless. As far as I can tell, it's also mechanically flawless, there's no sign of any problems at the moment. I have a full year's state inspection certificate to show that the car is in good condition from that point of view. However I deliberately bought a car within the manufacturer's warranty period to get the associated peace of mind that I'd be covered if anything went wrong.
I know I was a complete idiot for not checking the service history before I agreed to buy. During a recent trip to my local Mazda dealership (not the one who sold the car originally) because of an engine warning light, I took the car in to the service department. They didn't ask to see paperwork, but cleared the fault on the car computer (it was due to loose gas cap) and said there was no charge, as it was under warranty (based on the VIN, which proved the age).
- The (non-Mazda) dealership sold the car to me as having "the balance of the manufacturers warranty". If I am refused warranty coverage by Mazda in the future, do I have any legal comeback against the dealer who sold me the car?
- The (non-Mazda) dealership have confirmed to me (verbally) that they performed a service on the car according to the schedule before I bought it, just before the 24-months mark (when one would be due). Should I get them to fill in the appropriate box in the warranty book, even if that leaves 3 or 4 boxes unfilled before it?
- The local Mazda dealer fixed a problem "under warranty" based on the car's VIN (granted, it was effectively a "free" fix for them, taking 3 minutes and using no parts, but they'll doubtless have billed Mazda for the work). Might they have access to the car's service history, if it had been done at another Mazda dealer (e.g. the original sale dealership)? Should I ask them, and risk them declaring my warranty invalid from this point onward?
My alternative seems to be the "head in the sand" approach and hope and pray that if anything goes wrong, I can get them to honor the warranty at that point - perhaps "lose" the book completely...
I'm in Texas, if that makes any difference to the answers you give. Anonymous to avoid potential legal implications with who-knew-what-and-when.