Lifetime Warranty Myths

Lifetime Warranty at Toyota of Murray


Here at Toyota of Murray, our warranties make sure your vehicle is covered! You will find that they are different from the “lifetime warranties” you find at other dealerships, but we actually provide better options than what many other dealers offer. We want you to avoid falling victim to the broken promises of a “lifetime warranty”. What many people find is “lifetime warranties” turn out to be misleading and can leave customers with less coverage. In some cases, warranties are not covered by the manufacturer, but by the dealer. Meaning they decide how long that “lifetime” is, which can potentially benefit the dealer more than you.


What is a Lifetime Warranty?

There is no true definition of ‘”lifetime” since every company gets to decide what kind of life they cover and how long that actually lasts. This in turn can lead to assumptions, confusion and a warranty that benefits the company more than the customer. When this warranty applies is also up to the company. So your expectations on the coverage that you think they provide, may not be the reality of what their “lifetime warranty” actually offers.



How do Lifetime Warranties Apply to Cars?


When you get a lifetime warranty for your car, you expect to be covered from the moment you purchase your car till the end of your car’s lifespan. This is not always the case… the lifetime usually begins after the manufacturer warranty has expired, which means that the “lifetime” does not start until 5 years in of you actually having that car, or until it hits 60,000 miles. This may not be stated when you initially purchase the warranty, so be sure to ask! Lifetime warranties often leave all kinds of components uncovered and include all kinds of rules that can easily prevent you from actually using the warranty when you need it. For example, if you miss an oil change, choose a non-OEM part, or have maintenance performed at a different service center, you might not be covered by that “lifetime warranty” anymore. We don’t support these practices; we think our customers deserve honesty and real coverage, so we offer Toyota added security warranties.

Also in some cases, a dealership will use an outside company to handle your warranty claims. These claim managers can sometimes be supported by an insurance company, but that doesn’t always mean that your warranty will be supported by an insurance company. So it is important to make sure you have documentation to show that your warranty is properly backed.


Want To Test the Strength of a Dealerships “Lifetime Warranty”?

It’s quite simple. When you speak with the salesman/woman at a dealership, the finance manager, or whoever may be trying to attract you with the idea of being covered for life, ask them if they would be willing to change out their lifetime warranty for a warranty with a shorter coverage time, say a 15-year, a 10-year, or even at the very least 5-year powertrain warranty offered by many original equipment manufacturers that make the vehicles.

For anyone who has previously owned a vehicle, you are likely well aware that maintaining a vehicle in the long term is not inexpensive in the least. So if one was to ask the dealer about a swap for a shorter, limited warranty, it would make sense for the dealer to jump at the opportunity, as he/she would potentially be saving a tremendous amount of money in the long run. However, what you will find is exactly the opposite. Although this dealer may have been offering you the lifetime warranty for free, or as an incentive to buy a new car, you will also find that they are reluctant to offer you the much shorter (theoretically much cheaper) limited-powertrain warranty offered by the OEM under the same conditions. It is with that hesitation that you will start to see the real value of the dealer’s so-called lifetime warranty.

Thus, the true value that a lifetime warranty offers holds is not beneficial to the buyer, but rather the dealer and the dealer’s marketing team.


Want to learn more? We will be happy to discuss our Lifetime Warranty options with you in more detail. Come visit us or contact us below!