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Old 05-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #1
strych9
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A warranty story

Just wanted to share a story of a warranty denial that I was involved in years ago that involved a Mazda RX-8. This is a cautionary tale to show how sneaky the corporate automakers can be.

We'd had a young man that had encountered manual transmission problems on his RX-8. We replaced it the first time under Mazda powertrain warranty, because we could find no evidence of blatant abuse. We always looked for obvious things, like disproportional wear on the tires as compared to mileage, rubber caking in the rear wheel wells, aftermarket components, etc.

The second time he came in, the transmission was blown again. Since we were a high-volume dealer, and this was not a common issue for these cars, there were red flags all over this failure. We again checked for the obvious items, and this time I'd seen where there was a connector hanging down near the ECM, and there was a mysterious chrome bracket under the stock airbox. Maybe a bracket for a CAI...hmmmm.

The regional Mazda rep got involved. He wanted to see pictures of the car, so we sent them to him.

He then sent us links to forum postings on one of the Mazda enthusiast's websites. The poster spoke of his time slips at the race track, and how his first day out he roached out the transmission. He goes on to say in other posts how he "fooled" the dealer (and he named us in the post) and got the transmission covered under warranty. The time stamps on the posts matched up to when he brought the vehicle to us the first time, and he had pictures of his car posted up. He of course posted about the second failure, that he pulled the CAI and ECM chip from the vehicle, and had the car at the dealer waiting for a response.

Since this was the only RX-8 we'd ever had in the shop for this concern, we had our smoking gun. The regional Mazda rep denied the claim, and voided the remainder of this guy's powertrain warranty. He ended up paying us $3500 to repair his transmission, and we never saw him again.

Moral of the story: you play at your own risk. Be careful what you post on these forums as you never know who's reading them. The dealer is automatically suspicious of any powertrain failure that occurs on a high-performance vehicle, and they will scrutinize every failure carefully. They have too much to lose. Consider this:

The dealer performs a warranty repair at no cost to you. They have to send in the paperwork and any "defective" parts back to corporate. Corporate engineers inspect the parts and approve or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, the dealer gave you a repair at their expense since they will receive no reimbursement from corporate. Therefore, they have a lot to lose if you happen to put one over on them.

If you're going to mod, have at it. Just assume that your warranty will be void if you break something. Your warranty basically states exactly that.

The more you know...
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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Same reason I am so hesitant about performance upgrades. I need to have my warranty because I cannot stand paying the money it takes to fix some of the big ticket items. The dealers are pretty smart, and are pretty good at determining if there has been some misuse. I don't even chance it on my SS. Sure sometimes you drive the car spirited. But, it was designed for that sort of stuff.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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I've got no problem with that scenario. Its when they're turds for no reason that gets me mad, "could not duplicate problem", no kidding with an intermitant issue, but customers don't have time to be shuttling back and forth to the dealer all the time.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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i mean simple exhaust and cai which most people do will not have an issue with warranty claims. that jack ass was just milking the system. and he technically deserves to get sued for the first repair
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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You should delete your post. People that intend to scam the dealerships need to learn the lesson the hard way.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessal View Post
You should delete your post. People that intend to scam the dealerships need to learn the lesson the hard way.
I can't disagree, however an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Plus, it's a little disheartening that the Camaro is factory-equipped with "Competition" launch mode, but if I break the car on the race track, it's considered abuse. It's a double-edged blade, and with the prices we pay for new cars these days, I have absolutely no love for any automaker.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
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Good story... sounds like the guy got what he deserved.

Guys like that (who hide abuse to get warranty repairs) make it so much harder for us "light modders" to get warranty service w/o excessive scrutiny. If you've ever been questioned about mods by a service manager then you know what I mean.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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He should put it on facebook too!
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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My only problem with this is every manufacture prices in the cost of predicted warranty work. So when they decide to void warranties, even in the case of a jack ass, the buyer is screwed out of that mark up. A better system for performance cars would be to let us buy the warranty at different tiers, and those that want to mod can save a few dollars.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe h View Post
My only problem with this is every manufacture prices in the cost of predicted warranty work. So when they decide to void warranties, even in the case of a jack ass, the buyer is screwed out of that mark up. A better system for performance cars would be to let us buy the warranty at different tiers, and those that want to mod can save a few dollars.
I agree with this 100%.
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