Illustration by Derek BaconCar and Driver
From the September 2021 issue of Car and Driver.
Congratulations on buying a new car! You’ve waited your whole life for this, and it’s everything you’d hoped for. You’ve got the latest technology, the hottest styling, and more muscle than the tires can handle. There’s only one problem: Your vehicle’s warranty has expired.
It seems unbelievable, I know. You just bought that car last week. How could the warranty be expired? Well, warranties aren’t what they used to be. You know how back in the day, you’d buy a refrigerator, and it would last for 20 years, but now you’re lucky if you get 18 months out of the thing before the ice maker jams and the crisper drawer somehow starts actually cooking your food? Warranties are like that too. These new ones, they’re not like Lee Iacocca’s 7/70 plans. You get them home, they’re in effect for a while, but then they expire all willy-nilly. That’s why I’ve been calling you. And calling you. Glad you finally picked up, after I spoofed your doctor’s phone number. Don’t worry—you’re fine. But your warranty isn’t.
Fortunately, I’ve got a warranty that actually works. My entry-level plan is bumper to bumper, by which I mean it covers all the way from the left side to the right side of either your front or rear bumper. The choice is yours! I’ll be honest, though. That plan—all it covers is the actual bumper. And there’s a $1000 deductible. So I’d never suggest that one. I only bring it up since you need a warranty, on account of yours being expired. It’s the only one I have that’s even nearly as bad as yours.
What I would suggest, at a minimum, is our five-year, 60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. You might say, “Hey, that sounds exactly like the one my car already has!” But I assure you, there are major differences. Say you were driving down the road when Brood X, the 17-year apocalyptic plague of cicadas, descended on your car and a bunch of them got sucked past your air filter, which caused your radiator to explode. Happens all the time. Does your factory warranty cover that exact situation? Ours does. In fact, it covers only that situation. And sure, those cicadas are gone for now, but they’ll be back in 2038. And what’s your plan for that?
Even better than the 5/60 warranty is our 10-year, 10,000-mile warranty. You say that doesn’t make sense, but I’ll have you know the 10/10 is our bestseller. Who among us hasn’t lost their keys for two to six years, only to find them and realize that their warranty had expired? This warranty is great for key losers, collector-car owners, and pedestrians. And it covers everything, with very few exceptions.
For instance, headlights used to be inexpensive and easy to replace. Not anymore. With your new car’s LED headlights, swapping in a replacement lamp may require removing half the front end. And that’s before you figure in the cost of the light assembly itself. I mean, this job can cost more than $1000! That’s why we don’t cover that. It’s one of the exceptions. Look, after warrantying Land Rover air springs back in the ’90s, we realized we had to make some choices. But we pass the savings on to you. That’s how we can sell this warranty for only $8000, financed for 84 months.
You seem skeptical. But you know those stock photos of a mechanic holding a clipboard and talking to someone who looks sad? You should, because I’ve been mailing them to you every day. You don’t want to be that sad person, do you? Then buy one of our warranties and never again worry about the spark plugs on your Cummins Ram or the transfer case on your Mitsubishi Mirage or the fuel pump on your Mustang Mach-E. We cover all of that.
We even offer the first “aboveground lifetime warranty.” You might ask, “Aboveground lifetime of what?” Great question. You’re familiar with cicadas?
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