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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Extended Warranties Often No Bargain

According to recent Federal Trade Commission(FTC)  reports, extended warranties, offered by third party warranty companies for everything from cars to small electronics, are a much better deal for the seller than the purchaser. In fact, the profit margin for the sale of an extended warranty is often greater than the profit margin on the original product. The manufacturer, insurance company, or third party warranty company is betting on the product not breaking down during the 2-3 year period that goes along with most extended warranties.

Its wise to check around to determine what offers are available for an extended warranty for your vehicle,truck, van, SUV, or motorcycle, for example, you can reportedly get a better deal from an automobile insurance company as compared to the automobile manufacturer's extended warranty offering. Read the fine print and compare the coverage from company to company rather than just going with the first extended warranty company or other supplier that has the lowest price as its not just about low cost protection. The time to look into extended coverage is actually before your current automobile warranty expires so you are not left unprotected.

In the event you are experiencing defects or issues under the original manufacturer's warranty period, a lemon law attorney could assist in reviewing your issues to determine if they constitute filing a lemon law claim. Each state has its own set of requirements and the Magnuson-Moss Federal Warranty Rights Act, also known as the federal lemon law also offers consumer protection.

Find out more about manufacturers warranties and the lemon law.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your Used Vehicle Purchased in Mississippi Could Have a "Washed Title"

What happens to a totaled car? Much of the time, it's sold for scrap. Sometimes, though, it is rebuilt and put back on the road. Maybe the job was done well. Maybe it was not. These vehicles can look perfectly fine but, on further inspection, turn out to be "lemon law buybacks" or rebuilt vehicles that are not what they appear to be.

In most states, the consumer protection laws require that a rebuilt vehicle has to say 'Rebuilt' on the title. This means a prospective purchaser knows what they are getting and can decide whether or not its worth it to take the risk. In a few, however, it is possible to 'wash' the car's title, meaning that there is no indication that the vehicle was totaled, salvaged and then rebuilt. Mississippi is one of those states. Title washing is also done to conceal the fact that a vehicle might have been flooded, a common problem in the state.

These vehicles do need to be inspected before the clean title is issued. However, the inspection is commonly perfunctory. It is performed by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, an agency more concerned with finding stolen parts than with the safety of the vehicle. And the fee is only $75. In other states, legislation places tighter controls on who can rebuild a vehicle and in most cases, the title always has to carry 'rebuilt', regardless of the end condition of the vehicle so you would be aware of purchasing a vehicle with inherent issues. Still, in Mississippi, people can be driving around in vehicles that are literally put back together from pieces, and not even be aware.

The good news is that this dangerous practice may soon be stopped. The Mississippi House is currently reading House Bill #485, which would tighten up the procedures needed to obtain title on a salvaged vehicle. Meanwhile, Mr. Ensign introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate entitled 'Passenger Vehicle Loss Disclosure Act of 2011', which has now been referred to committee. This bill would address the situation at the Federal level.

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