New Mexico Used Vehicle Warranties and Service Contracts Explained
Aug. 3, 2021
What to Do if You Are Getting the Run Around on Your Extended Warranty
You bought a new or used car AND paid for an extended warranty or a service agreement. You have a problem with your vehicle that should be covered but the dealer is not helping. What do you do?
If you bought a vehicle (or any personal property) in New Mexico and paid extra for an agreement for maintenance or repair of what you bought, chances are you are protected the the "Service Contract Regulation Act.
What Are My Rights?
In many ways, New Mexico treats service contracts as insurance policies. People who buy service contracts are entitled to the rights and benefits of the Unfair Insurance Claims Practices Act. This is very good news for you!
Purchasers of Service Contracts are considered "insureds" by the Act. The following practices, if done knowingly or as part of a general business practice, are violations of the Act. (We have rephrased and edited the section below because the Act also applies to other types of insurance coverage)
A. misrepresenting important facts or policy provisions relating to coverage;
B. failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly after being informed of needed repairs or service;
C. failing to use reasonable standards for the prompt investigation and processing of claims arising under policies;
D. failing to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable time after you have prepared required papers and returned;
E. not acting in good faith to promptly and fairly settle claims that are not in reasonable dispute;
G. compelling suit by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in similar circumstances;
H. attempting to settle a for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;
L. delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring multiple submission of preliminary and formal reports containing the same information;
N. failing to promptly provide an insured a reasonable explanation of the basis relied on in the policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement;
E is the kicker here. If they don't pay what is owed in a prompt and fair manner, they are liable for far more than just the cost of repairs. You have the right to claim ALL damages caused including extra costs for transportation, upset, hassle, wasted time, frustration and other distress caused by any breach of the Unfair Practices Act. In cases where there is sufficient evidence, you can even claim damages to punish intentional bad acts.
The burden is on you to carefully document what the warranty company is doing (or not doing).
If you are frustrated by the delay and the run around, please contact us for a free case review.