Auto Buying Guide: Types of Vehicle Warranties

by Aryn Plax

Jul 12, 2021

Car warranties are agreements that explain the repairs covered by the automaker for specific parts, limited by time and mileage deadlines. Before you sign anything, you should fully grasp the warranties applied to your vehicle. Only some warranties guarantee your rights under the California Lemon Law, and warranties only cover certain parts of your vehicle.

For example, add-ons not supplied by the manufacturer are not covered by warranties that ensure your lemon law rights. Additionally, “as-is” purchases are not covered by any warranty at all; “as-is” essentially means that you accept the vehicle with all possible defects, and waives warranties entirely. To understand your rights under the California Lemon Law, you should be familiar with these three types of warranties.

• Implied Warranty – Referred to as the “implied warranty of merchantability” under the California Lemon Law, this type of warranty is automatically applied to products being publicly sold and requires that consumer goods are properly handled, conform to the expectations made by the label and are fit to be used as designed.

For cars, this essentially means that the car should be able to provide safe, reliable transportation.

• Express Warranty – This is a written warranty supplied by the manufacturer that explicitly tells you what it covers.

• Extended Warranty – Extended warranties provided by the manufacturer are covered under the California Lemon Law. Service contracts sold by the dealer or an outside party may be marketed as “extended warranties,” but these are not true warranties and do not actually count.

To learn more about these warranties and other important California lemon law terms, visit our California lemon law glossary. To learn more about your California lemon law rights in relation to your recent or upcoming car purchase, read our next post in our Auto Buying Guide series.