Know your Warranties

Warranties offered vary depending on whether the car is new or used. Here is what CAA-Quebec presents on its website.

- New Car -

Basic Warranty

All new cars come with a basic bumper-to-bumper warranty. Most manufacturers' basic warranties offer protection for three years or 60,000 km. Some offer longer coverage, such as four years or 80,000 km.

Note that warranty coverage expires when just one of the limits—years or kilometres—is reached, and does not cover normal maintenance items such as brake pads or the clutch.

Major Component Warranty

This protection is offered by certain manufacturers only for a period of five years or 100,000 km. It covers many of the more expensive parts, such as the engine, transmission, steering, electrical system, braking system and cooling system.

Emission Control System Warranty

The arrival of the 1995 models coincided with a new type of warranty that provides coverage for up to eight years or 130,000 km on certain components of the emission control system, like the catalytic converter and onboard diagnostic device. As with any warranty, however, you should read the manual to find out exactly what is covered.

Corrosion Warranty

There are two types of corrosion warranty: one that covers surface corrosion and another that covers perforation damage.

The surface corrosion warranty generally has the same duration as the basic warranty. It does not cover rust due to scratches, chips in the paint that have not been repaired, or environmental damage.

The perforation damage warranty usually extends up to five years (some manufacturers offer seven- or even 12-year coverage). It provides for repair or replacement of any body panel visible from the exterior that is perforated due to rust.

Restraint System Warranty

Generally offered for the same period as the basic warranty, the restraint system warranty covers defects in seat belts and airbags, except where caused by an accident, negligence or poor maintenance.

Safety Device Warranty (seat belts, airbags)

This warranty varies considerably from company to company, but usually follows the basic or major component warranty term.

- Used Car -

If You Buy From an Individual

Under the Consumer Protection Act, individuals are not required to provide any guarantees. However, they are subject to the “warranty of quality” provision in the Quebec Civil Code, which protects buyers from latent defects.

Even then, it is up to the buyer to prove that a problem is actually a latent defect, i.e., a defect that makes it impossible to use the car as it was properly intended, or that diminishes its utility to the point that the buyer would not have purchased it or paid the same price had he or she known about the defect.

To avoid problems, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic before making an offer. If any problems are found during the inspection, you can use that fact to try to negotiate a lower price.

If You Buy From a Dealer

Warranty coverage is not automatic with this type of transaction. Under the Consumer Protection Act, warranties only apply to vehicles that are less than five years old with less than 80,000 km.

There are four classes of used vehicle—A, B, C and D—and the class of vehicle must be clearly indicated by a sticker on the car itself and on the back of the purchase contract for the vehicle.

Class A

Warranty of six months or 10,000 km, if the car is less than two years old and has fewer than 40,000 km.

Class B

Warranty of three months or 5,000 km, if the car is less than three years old and has fewer than 60,000 km.

Class C

Warranty of one month or 1,700 km, if the vehicle is less than five years old and has fewer than 80,000 km.

Class D

There is no warranty for vehicles that do not meet the requirements in classes A, B, or C.