Recently, I purchased a used car at a new car dealer. It was not an unpleasant experience. I got to haggle, kick tires and I had an honest salesman. I walked out of the dealer with the car I wanted, at the right price, in under three hours.
The longest part of the purchase involved sitting in an office while the “manager” went through the paperwork. The manager explained every detail and had me signing many forms, confirming I knew what I was buying. They also spent time trying to sell me Scotchguarding and an extended-warranty package.
Two days later, I noticed a sticker on the door jamb while I was looking for the tire inflation pressures. At first, I thought it was an official warning about how to tow the vehicle. As I looked closer, I got a little angry because this type of sticker is very deceiving.
As you can see by the picture, it is an attempt to steer the customer back to the dealer using deceptive methods. The quotation marks around “factory trained” also has me questioning “what are their qualifications for technicians?” Worst of all, I bought a make of vehicle the dealer does not sell, so they do not have “factory trained” technicians to perform repairs.
I know the sticker is complete BS, but what about an uninformed buyer? Most motorists are not aware that regular maintenance and repairs can be performed by independent shops without voiding the warranty, according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
These stickers are another sign that new car dealers are getting more aggressive about pushing service, because it is so much more profitable than selling vehicles. Also, dealers need all the work they can get because warranty claims have been shrinking as vehicle quality has improved, and the OEMs have cracked down on warranty times that might involve diagnostics.
Maybe we need a law requiring dealers to inform buyers about their service and maintenance options when they purchase a vehicle. This form could disclose that vehicle owners can get their vehicles serviced at independent shops without voiding the warranty. In addition, we need a law to make dealer service stickers illegal.