Q: In 1999, I purchased a new Intrigue and had it rustproofed by Pro-Tech Seal, which had a lifetime warranty. As per the guarantee, every two years I had the car inspected by the dealer and the inspection report was forwarded by them to Pro-Tech Seal.
Now, the seams at the bottom of the front doors, and the rocker panel, are rusting.
Pro-Tech Seal claims that these areas of the car are not covered by the guarantee. I disagree. The “terms and conditions” of my contract do not exclude these areas.
Can you advise me what my options are in pursuing the guarantee?
Mohamed Bouchama, consultant for the non-profit consumer group Car Help Canada.com, replies:
If the contract does not mention any exclusions, I would definitely consider the option of suing the company. I would advise the consumer to get two different estimates for repairs and send a letter to the company advising that if they refuse to pay for the costs of repairs (as per their stated lifetime warranty), he or she will consider a legal action against the company.
Whoever is giving the estimates should decide whether (in their professional opinion) the damage they are inspecting is covered by the warranty.
Eric Lai adds:
Pro-Tech Seal, with headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, was invited to comment, but did not reply.
This product is often sold as a dealer add-on, which defeats the common myth that aftermarket treatments void the new car rust warranty.
In general, automaker rust warranties typically cover rust perforation only. That is, rust must actually create a hole to be eligible for warranty consideration and, for all intents and purposes, must come from the inside out. Rust originating from a surface scratch or ding to the paint caused by a collision, road debris, etc. isn?t covered.
- File photo of rusty vintage car of Germany car manufacturer Opel parked in a street in Berlin March 11, 2012. The European Commission will decide this week whether to scrutinise Germany's trade surplus for economic imbalances, the commissioner in charge wrote November 11, 2013. International pressure has mounted - especially from the United States, but also within the EU - for Germany to do more to spur domestic demand, with criticism that its reliance on exports is hurting Europe's economic stability and the global economy. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files (GERMANY - Tags: TRANSPORT SOCIETY)