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Volvo Warranty

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by tad239, Feb 3, 2005.

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  1. tad239

    tad239 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I’m wondering if I have a strong enough argument to take an auto dealership to small claims court on a warranty issue.


    In May 2003, I took my 2000 Volvo V-17 AWD to the dealership in Anchorage, Alaska to investigate and repair an oil leak on the AWD differential (gear box). The dealership determined that the differential vent was faulty and consulted the factory for a repair. The gear box was topped off with oil and the car returned still leaking oil. The dealership verbally indicated this wasn’t an issue and no damage to the car would result. Several months later, Volvo issued a technical service bulletin for the repair and provided a newly designed/fabricated vent for the differential. The vent was installed, the unit again topped off with oil, and the repair costs were covered under warranty.

    In December 2004, the AWD unit catastrophically failed. The dealer technician indicated that the failure was apparently due to a low oil level at some point. The car has 66,000 miles on the odometer, so it is past its 50,000-mile warranty period. I was quoted ~$2,070 for the repair. I authorized the repairs since I need the car.

    It is worthwhile to mention that the technician noted a low oil level and failed seals in the differential. I attribute the failed seals to metallic contact as a result of unit failure. Amazingly, the car drove fine without the failed AWD differential, but with much less traction on snowy or icy surfaces. As such, the vehicle was driven up to the time it entered the shop (~1 month).

    In the meantime, I asked if the prior low oil level as a result of a defective vent could have lead to failure. I did not get an answer, but was offered a 10% discount for the repair. I indicated that I thought I have a strong argument that the defective vent, prior low oil levels, and AWD unit failure were correlated and should therefore be covered under warranty. The dealership called back and offered a $1,000 discount on the repair bill. I counter offered that they cover parts, I cover labor. They counter offered by rescinding their prior offers.


    1. Do I have a strong enough case to take the dealer to small claims court and seek monetary compensation for the repair costs?
    2. If yes to 1, should I consult an attorney?
    3. If yes to 1, what other damages am I entitled to seek?
    4. If yes to 1, what is my financial exposure if the dealer raises the case to a higher court?

    Thank you in advance.

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