Have you walked under any ladders lately? Broken any mirrors? Maybe you've had an expensive part fail on your vehicle just after the auto warranty expired? It could be that your luck is about to change.
Certainly, many of us have been frustrated with the thought of having to pay for a part that, had it failed a little sooner, would have been covered under warranty. Well, think again, because you may have a lucky penny in your pocket that you didn't know about. You may be eligible for a little-known program called after warranty assistance, or the "secret warranty" as some have dubbed it, offered through some vehicle manufacturers to help in exactly these situations.
After warranty assistance (AWA) is offered to customers who pursue help in paying for repairs that are past the standard factory warranty period. AWA cannot be used if the customer has an extended warranty available that covers the repair. Time and/or mileage restrictions exist with AWA just like any other auto warranty and if you are outside of the parameters, you are not eligible for assistance. For some programs, only original owners are eligible. It's no surprise that not every customer is going to be entitled to coverage. Not all of the manufacturers offer this type of program. However, based on our experience several manufacturers do have some sort of program in place.
There are several key factors the car dealer will examine before offering assistance. First and foremost, the dealer will look at the maintenance records for the vehicle, and specifically, the component in question to ensure that the vehicle has been maintained properly. We should point out here that in order to get the manufacturer to offer any assistance, they want to see that you are a loyal, dealership-oriented, maintenance-conscience customer. By offering AWA, the manufacturer hopes to keep you as a loyal customer who will remember this assistance the next time you purchase a new vehicle.