The Warranty is only as Good as the Warrantor

I heard a not-so-funny story about an independent mechanic who put a lifetime warranty on a part that broke 7 years later. The aircraft owner calls him up and the mechanic says his wife came down with cancer. Well, the warranty was null and void right there.

I’m not saying that an independent’s warranty is less reliable than a big shop. I remember buying a $250 3 year warranty on a laptop I bought from Circuit City in 2007. We all know how that story ended. Anyway, the point is obvious – you should evaluate the likelihood of the warrantor to cover costs throughout the length of the warranty.

Here are some things to consider with that:

  • Does the shop have a good history of covering warranty problems?
  • If the shop owner is retiring soon, what is the succession plan?
  • Does the shop carry product liability insurance to protect themselves against lawsuit?
  • Does the business appear to be flourishing, or really slow?

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