The Car Book Blog: Secret Warranties

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

With the release of the 39th edition of The Car Booknow available online—we’re sharing some of our best tips for car buying and maintaining your vehicle after you buy. The Car Book 2019 provides today’s car buyer with in-depth ratings of the 2019 vehicles, The Car Book’s unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, and all of the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase. For online users only, the site also includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years.

In each edition of The Car Book Blog, we’ll give you key advice on how to buy for safety. If you’re more interested in the safety of yourself and your family than moon roofs or cupholders, these posts are for you.

Did you know that if dealers report a lot of complaints about a certain part or system and the manufacturer determines that the problem is due to faulty design or assembly, the manufacturer may permit dealers to repair the problem at no cost to the customer even if the warranty is expired? That’s because the car manufacturers know they made a mistake–they just don’t want to admit it.

In the past, this practice was usually reserved for customers who made a big fuss. Otherwise, most car owners never heard about these free repairs–or took advantage of them.

We at the Center for Auto Safety didn’t think that was right, so in 2012 we sued the Department of Transportation to force them to publish service bulletins. Since then we’ve continued to monitor their progress to ensure that consumers have access to important information about the cars they drive every day–including news about “secret warranties.”

To see these service bulletins and other manufacturer to dealer communications for you car, visit, click on “Manufacturer Communications,” and then visit the Center’s Vehicle Safety Check . Find out if you’re covered under a secret warranty today!

**In some states, manufacturers are required to notify car owners about secret warranties on their cars.**

If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Center for Auto Safety to get a full year’s access to Come back to The Car Book Blog soon for even more insightful car buying information.

PLUS: Our partners at the Safe Climate Campaign advocate for strong, green measures that improve fuel efficiency and save you money at the gas pump. Be sure to check out their latest work here.

Read More from The Car Book Blog.