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Ontario man has warranty denied for $20,000 in car repairs over lack of paperwork

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An Ontario man who bought a used car was told his warranty wouldn't cover $20,000 in repairs because he lacked the appropriate paperwork.

You can save money buying a used vehicle and if it's only one or two years old it may still come with a factory warranty.

But if something goes wrong with a used car you still have to show that proper maintenance was done, which could be a challenge.

"In the middle of December I heard a knocking in the engine so I decided to take it into the dealership," said Junior Charles, of Oshawa, Ont.

Charles bought a 2019 Infiniti QX 60 in June 2021 and when it had engine trouble in December he was told a new engine would be needed at a cost of $20,000.

Charles said when he bought the SUV it had about 48,000 kilometres on it and the engine trouble started at around 68,000 kilometres.

Charles was told it would be covered under warranty, as long as he could show oil changes were done on time, but since he bought the vehicle used, it was paperwork he didn't have.

"I told them 'I can't give you anything I didn't do on the car. This was way before my time,'" said Charles.

Charles went back to the dealership where he bought the SUV, but they didn't have maintenance records and couldn’t tell him where to get them.

Without proof of oil changes his warranty was denied.

"They should fix the problem for free, that's what the warranty if for. It's a bumper-to-bumper warranty for four years or 100,000 kilometres, and I was within that," said Charles.

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) helps vehicle owners with disputes involving warranties, but General Manger of CAMVAP Stephen Moody said it's up to the consumer to prove their vehicle has been properly maintained.

"The big issue for this consumer is the ability to prove the maintenance has been done on this vehice,” said Moody.

Moody said it shows the importance of asking for maintenance records when buying a used vehicle.

“It's really important when you buy a used vehicle to try and get the maintenance records if you can or know where the vehicle was serviced in the first place,” Moody said.

When CTV News Toronto reached out to Infiniti, a spokesperson for its parent company Nissan Group of the Americas said “Infiniti Canada is aware of the situation and can confirm a thorough assessment of the vehicle has been made, upon which it has been determined that lack of maintenance is the cause of the engine fault.”

“The Infiniti Owner’s Manual and Infiniti Service and Maintenance Guide for this 2019 Infiniti vehicle specify the required maintenance and service intervals as well as the accountability of the vehicle owner to maintain records and proof of all services performed.”

“Our customer service team contacted the customer informing them of the possible next steps they can take, while noting that the customer was unable to meet the documentation conditions of the Warranty resulting in the fact that the vehicle repair cannot be covered under warranty.”

Charles took the SUV to another mechanic and paid $8,000 to have the engine repaired instead of replaced.

No matter how old your vehicle is it's a good idea to keep track of all maintenance records especially oil changes and not just for yourself, but if you sell your vehicle you can hand them over to the new owner.

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