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To what extent is your dealership liable for warranty issues?

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As an affiliated automobile dealership in Florida, your company becomes the face of the brand you sell to your local community. It should not come as a surprise, then, that a local customer’s anger, frustration and dissatisfaction gets directed at your dealership if and when they experience problems with their vehicles. 

A common claim when such difficulties arise is that a vehicle’s warranty should cover any issues. Yet customers often fail to make the distinction between your dealership and the manufacturer of their vehicles. Thus, should they pursue legal action to seek enforcement of their warranty (along with any costs they believe due to them for the inconvenience the problems caused), your name could end up amongst their legal targets. 

Defining a dealership’s role in a warranty dispute

Yet should that be the case? Typically a vehicle warranty comes from its manufacturer. Therefore, the responsibility of resolving any claims related to the warranty would fall to the particular brand. Local state law confirms this. Section 681.113 of Florida’s state statutes says that your company (as a dealership) is not liable for any customer claims related to vehicle warranty (and thus should not appear as a defendant in any legal action related to it). Furthermore, the vehicle manufacturer cannot seek compensation from you to recover losses related to the fulfillment of a warranty. 

Exceptions to dealership immunity from warranty claims

There are exceptions to this rule. A manufacturer can try to recover costs related to repairs covered under a warranty performed by your dealership if the repairs did not conform to their specifications. In addition, a customer can take action against your dealership if any aspect of a warranty involves your services.