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Car Repairs and Auto Insurance

Find tips on getting your automobile repaired and getting car insurance.

to learn more about its requirements. 

Be sure to read the declarations page of your auto insurance policy. This page is a  summary of your policy. It includes: 

  • The length of coverage 
  • Annual premium
  • The largest amount your insurance company will pay out for each type of claim, and
  • How your premium payment applies to each part of your coverage 

Car Repossessions

When you borrow money to buy a car or truck, the lender can take your vehicle back if you miss a payment or in some other way violate the contract. If have missed payments, your lender:

  • can repossess with cause without advance notice
  • can insist you pay off the entire loan balance in order to get the repossessed vehicle back
  • can sell the vehicle at auction
  • might be able to sue you for the difference between the vehicle's auction price and what you owe (depends on the state you live in)
  • cannot break into your home or physically threaten someone while taking the vehicle

If you know you're going to be late with a payment, talk to the lender to try to work things out. If you and the lender reach an agreement, be sure you get the agreement in writing. Contact your state or local consumer protection office to find out whether your state gives you any additional rights. The about vehicle repossessions.

Complaints about Cars

If you have a complaint about your car, file it with the dealer, lender, or manufacturer. If you don't get results, you can contact a state or federal government agency.  If your complaint is about:

  • Deceptive car ads or dealers — File a complaint with your state consumer protection agency and the . 
  • Auto loans or payments — File a complaint with the .
  • Car warranty — Contact your state's attorney general. But, if you bought a used car from a private owner, the warranty may not be valid.
  • Safety of your car, child car seats, or tires — File a complaint with the .

Kết quả xổ số hôm nay tốtSome agencies will investigate your complaint. Others accept complaints so that they can file a case against the company in the future. 

Lemon Laws

A car is a "lemon" when it's determined that the vehicle is defective beyond repair. Most states have some form of a lemon law to protect car buyers. These laws tend to only apply to new cars. Check with your state's consumer protection office to see if they also cover used cars. Each state has its own requirements, but common factors to qualify as a lemon include:

  • Number of miles driven — The defects had to happen within a certain number of months or miles driven.
  • Major defects — Defects have to involve the actual operation of the car. Examples include the ignition, brakes, engine, or transmission.
  • Repair attempts — You have to give mechanics multiple chances to repair the problems.
  • Number of days in the shop — Your car has to have been in the mechanic's shop for a significant number of days within a year.

To get your problem resolved, first contact the car manufacturer. Send the manufacturer a complaint letter by certified mail detailing the problems. Include copies of work orders and invoices, and your request for a refund or other solution. If the manufacturer doesn’t help, you still may be able to resolve the problem. Many car contracts have mandatory arbitration clauses to settle disputes. Get the rules from your state attorney general or consumer protection office.

Also, contact the . This lemon law complaint program covers car warranty issues against participating manufacturers.

lists recalls from federal agencies. Sign up for .
  • publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children's car seats.
  • lists meat, sausage, poultry, and processed egg product recalls.
  • lists  food recalls (non-meat products; fruits; vegetables; seafood; shelled eggs; infant formulas), medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs, and pet food.
  • publishes food recalls from across the government.
  • Reporting Safety Concerns

    Kết quả xổ số hôm nay tốtThe government accepts complaints about unsafe and mislabeled products.  

    • directs you to the correct agency to report unsafe food products. This includes pet food and food sold in restaurants.
    • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration accepts complaints about defective and .
    • allows you to report incidents and safety concerns with consumer products. You can also read about incidents reported by other people.
     helps you choose the right repair shop or technician, understand repair charges, practice preventative maintenance, and more.
  • The is a nonprofit that gives its seal of approval to qualified repair shops.
  • If you would like to file a complaint against a mechanic or repair shop, contact your state consumer protection office, your , or your state motor vehicle agency.

    Kết quả xổ số hôm nay tốt is the promise that a product will work. Federal law requires that warranties be available for you to read before you buy. A standard warranty is part of the item you purchased. There is no extra cost for this protection from the company. There are three main types of warranties:

    • Written warranties are printed and come along with the item you purchased. To make a claim against a warranty, the seller or manufacturer may require you to follow the care and maintenance instructions.
    • Spoken warranties are spoken by an employee at a retailer or service provider. Spoken warranties are often for services, like free repairs. 
    • Implied warranties promise that the item you purchased will do what it should to do. 

    Kết quả xổ số hôm nay tốtA product is covered under implied warranty laws in your state, unless it was marked "as is" when you purchased it.

    Service Contracts

    extend the guarantee that a product will work. You can buy a service contract, if you pay extra. Sellers offer these service contracts at the time or after your purchase. Extended warranties are common when you , electronics, or household appliances. Third party firms (not the manufacturer or the seller) may also try to sell you an extended warranty. Some extended warranties duplicate the manufacturer or seller's warranty. 

    Problems with Warranties

    File a complaint about a warranty with the retailer. If the retailer can't help, contact the manufacturer. If the manufacturer can't help, report it to your local consumer protection agency.

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    Last Updated: December 14, 2020

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