I purchased a used 1996 Ford Explorer on 5/29/04 and was offered a "great warranty" that would only cost me a few extra dollars per month. I have always purchased the extended warranty when it was available before, and since this car was an older one, I decided to go for it. I received the pamphlet at signing that outlined my warranty and thought nothing else of it. My car began overheating on 7/30/04 and I took it to my local Toyota dealership for repair since that is where I was instructed to take it in case the repair was covered by the warranty. When the local dealership called the underwriter, they found out that my warranty was in the "rejected" status because the dealership had put in the application for the wrong program.
The "great warranty" I had been promised was not available for cars older than 6 years. I had not been informed that my warranty was no good. Upon further investigation, the local dealership found that my overheating problem was caused, in part, by the wrong coolant being used in the radiator. I contacted Crown Toyota and spoke first with their customer service manager, and then with a man that claimed to be the general manager, but only gave me his first name. He informed me that the only thing he could do was give me a new warranty. Not the same warranty, but a similar one. I paid $2000 for the original warranty, which was added into my loan amount, and financed through their lender (14.9% interest). That seemed like a bit more than a "few extra dollars" a month to me. Needless to say, I refinanced through my credit union.
I told him that he had already breached the contract, and I wanted to return my vehicle to him and get back my trade-in, which had a transferrable manufacturer's extended warranty on it. He stated that that wasn't possible and that all he could do was replace the warranty. When I informed him about the coolant mix-up, he stated that it would have been "impossible" for that to have occured at his dealership because they sell 950 cars per month and things like that don't happen. I find that hard to believe since my car had a factory-installed CD changer in the center console that was not listed on the sticker. Even the salesman sounded excited when we discovered it on the test drive. If they missed a CD changer, I am sure they could have missed a coolant mistake. I am in the process of trying to find an attorney to help me resolve this issue. Hopefully other buyers will heed this warning.
Damage Resulting = I have a vehicle that has no warranty, and paid $300 for repairs that could have been prevented if they had done their inspection properly before they released the vehicle to me. They breached their own contract, and will not allow restitution to be made.