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Warranty company pays for truck repairs after News 2 investigation

Jason Smith spent $15,000 a truck. His wife was pregnant and the couple knew they would have medical bills to pay. So an $8,000 repair bill was not what he expected.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Jason Smith had been looking for a truck for a few weeks. After visiting a few places, he finally found one he wanted. The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado appeared to be in good condition, and it was within his price range.

Smith paid $15,000 and drove off the lot with his new truck. The truck seemed like the perfect fit for Smith and was a good deal for the price. Unfortunately, the Chevrolet would have a significant issue within the first week.

“Within six days, it was undrivable,” Smith said.

The transmission in the truck failed and needed to be replaced. There were also problems with the brakes and camshaft. The estimate to repair everything was about $8,000.

“It was a lot, a big chunk of change,” Smith said.

He called the dealership and asked for a refund but was told they had cashed the check and would not refund the money. The truck was purchased “as is” which meant the dealership was not obligated to give out a refund.

“They got my money, and that is all they cared about,” Smith said.

The silver lining in all of this was that the truck did come with a 90-day warranty. After the dealership refused to buy the truck back or give Smith a refund, he contacted the warranty company.

“The warranty (he was told) would cover anything I had an issue with, but that was a lie it didn’t cover anything,” Smith said.

The warranty company told Smith he would have to pay for the transmission to be taken apart, and if the transmission failed, some or all of it may be covered. The only problem with that is there was no guarantee, and it would cost Smith thousands of dollars to have the transmission taken apart.

Smith decided to contact News 2 to see if we could help. We called the dealership and the warranty company to better understand the issue and review the contract and warranty. A representative told us it would review the claim and get back to Smith.

It took some time, but the warranty company eventually agreed to pay for most repairs to the truck. The transmission was covered, but Smith did have to pay for additional repairs. It was only about $2,000 of the $8,000 in repairs.

“I couldn’t be happier. I appreciated everything you guys did,” Smith said.

In this situation, we were able to help out, and it's good to understand when buying a used car, most are sold “as is” which means the dealership is not responsible for any mechanical issues after the purchase is made.

It’s also important to understand what a warranty covers, as most will not cover certain parts. Just because a salesperson tells you, 'It’s a bumper-to-bumper warranty,' read the fine print before signing and pay for the warranty.

Buying a car warranty is not necessarily a bad thing and, in many cases, can be beneficial. You will need to know what it does and does not cover before buying it.

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