Woman says warranty won’t cover warped trim on new SUV

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte woman says the trim on her new vehicle is warping and her warranty won’t cover repairs.

Katie Green told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke that she paid more than $30,000 for her new Mazda SUV, but three months later the trim started to warp and bubble. She said it looked like “someone took a torch to it.”

Green says the car dealership blamed the damage on heat and contended that the sunlight where she parks may reflect off windows in a very intense way, right onto her SUV.

Stoogenke checked with multiple sources that said that could happen.

But Green says she parks the car outside her home that only has a few small windows, and that there aren’t any homes on the other three sides.

“I’m so frustrated,” she said. “It’s uncalled for. I’m just so frustrated about it.”

Green says she’s upset about the damage but even more upset that Mazda said it won’t fix the damage under the warranty.

She told Stoogenke that Mazda sent her two emails to that effect. One gives more detail than the other, saying the problem is a “phenomenon outside influence. In other words, the bubbling was caused by outside factors from the elements of nature beyond Mazda’s control.”

Stoogenke contacted Mazda and the automaker told him it had reached out to Green to “resolve the situation.”

Green says the company did email her, but it told her the repairs would cost more than $1,100 and only offered her a $250 voucher.

She said she was “flabbergasted.”

Stoogenke asked Mazda follow-up questions about heat damage, its warranty, and advice for customers. The company did not respond in time for this report.

Stoogenke offers this advice to car owners:

- When a warranty won’t cover something, you usually have to pay out of pocket.

- Check with your car insurance company to see if it will cover the damage. However, most of the time, insurance only covers bodywork because of a crash, fire, break-in, etc.

- Consult with a consumer protection lawyer or government agency such as the Attorney General’s office, but you may have to wait a while for results.

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