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Obtaining service after a dealer closes

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2019 | Consumer Protection

It is not uncommon for vehicle owners in Pennsylvania to spend time at a dealership for routine service or repairs. However, taking a vehicle for service got much harder for Volvo owners in Bakersfield, California. The company decided to shut down the dealership thereafter the owners of the franchise refused to spend millions of dollars on a new facility. When the dealership where a person buys a car goes out of business, that individual has several options.

The first option is to visit another dealership to get service or have work done that is covered by a warranty. Another option is to visit any professional who is qualified to perform service on a given make and model of vehicle. However, Volvo says that anyone who goes to an independent service station would need to pay the cost of the repair and then seek reimbursement from the company.

This may be a violation of the California Song-Beverly Act as well as a violation of the federal Magnusson-Moss Act. These laws require automakers to authorize independent auto shops to provide service under the terms of a valid warranty. If individuals are required to pay for repairs out of their own pockets, it may be possible to go to small claims court to obtain reimbursement and other damages.

A failure to live up to the terms of a warranty may represent fraud or misrepresentation on the part of an automaker or dealer. Those who believe that they are victims of fraud might want to take legal action. This may be done with the help of an attorney who may attempt to hold an automaker or dealer accountable through mediation or in court. If successful, a car owner might be reimbursed for the cost of repairs to the vehicle.

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