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Car warranty scam calls number in the billions this year

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Posted at 11:55 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 11:55:10-04

CLEVELAND — If you haven’t received at least one call about your car’s extended warranty over the last year, consider yourself lucky.

Scams have skyrocketed, and the app Robokiller estimates there have been nearly 13 billion bogus calls this year, making it the biggest scam since they started tracking them in 2017.

There are some big differences between a warranty sold by a third-party and one you can get at a dealership. Many of those aftermarket warranties aren’t worth your money and exclude coverage on things like brakes, exhaust systems or catalytic converters.

The nonprofit Consumer’s Checkbook found that many third parties also try to use deceptive sales practices, like robocalls pretending to be the car manufacturer or sending out mailers to make it seem like they’re coming from the DMV or the car manufacturer.

“Even when the policies do cover a repair you might need, we found that a lot of these companies have thousands of complaints lodged against them with the Better Business Bureau and other consumer agencies about denial of claims,” said Kevin Brasler, executive director of Consumer’s Checkbook.

At a dealership, the extended warranty has been approved by the manufacturer, but there still may be some exclusions around what they cover. However, they don’t appear to deny claims as much as third-party companies.

Regardless, you may not even need that extended warranty.

“If you've bought a new car, it's going to come with a three-to-five-year warranty and the new car warranties that exists, those that you get from auto manufacturers are pretty good,” Brasler said.

But if a car has a track record of problems then an additional warranty is something to consider, Brasler said.

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