Disclaimer: All information shared on this page is purely for informational purpose only. Therefore, we suggest you consult with your lawyer for professional advice.
There are affiliate links on this article. If you make a purchase through any of the links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Motor Vehicle Service notification is all about auto warranties. It is a notice to inform you that the warranty coverage on your car is getting due and needs to be renewed or extended. However, this notification is usually unsolicited, and sometimes, it’s SCAM.
So, how do you verify if a Motor Vehicle Service notification is real or a scam? One quick way to identify a real service notification or postcard is this: The company’s name would be clearly identified, and usually accompanied by a phone number, which you could call for more information about the notification.
Since the motor service notification isn’t presented to you by a representative of the “indicated” warranty issuer, instead, it is sent via mail, there are chances the notification isn’t legitimate – but a way to rip off some reasonable amount of money from you. Here’s how to spot a FAKE motor vehicle service notification.
What is Motor Vehicle Service Notification?
This is simply a letter or postcard warning you about the expiration of your car’s warranty – usually an extended warranty, but in some cases, the notification is sent in regards to the manufacturer’s warranty coverage on your car.
It’s simple, the notice is to draw your attention to the near-ending warranty coverage on your car. So, with respect to the notification, it is expected that you bring in your car for inspection and renewal of the warranty coverage.
If you ignore the notification or delay responding for a long time, you’d solely pay for any repair or replacement of any part of your car – when the warranty period elapses. Apparently, auto repairs can be very expensive, especially when a part needs to be replaced.
Some motor vehicle service notifications would identify your car’s model, make, and chassis/year. Also, usually, the phone number included is toll-free, so you can call to get more clarification about the postcard, or notification sent to you.
But, don’t be too quick to respond to this notification – some of them are not real. To make sure you’re treading right, hereunder is a comprehensive explanation of how to identify a fake vehicle service postcard.
See Also: What States is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car?
Is Motor Vehicle Service Notification Legit?
Carmakers and some warranty companies do send out service notifications to inform their customers about the expiration of the warranty on their vehicle. Notwithstanding, some fraudsters also send out motor vehicle service notifications.
These scammers try to design the notification postcard to look as real as possible so that their victims won’t easily detect it’s a scam. But then, a legit service notification from your warranty company must conform to some factors.
If you can confirm that the letter or postcard you received is from your actual warranty issuer or the automaker that made your vehicle, then it’s a real notification. In a situation whereby you cannot ascertain the actual company or person that sent you the letter, then it’s a fake/scam.
How to Tell If a Motor Vehicle Service Notification is Fake or Real
Before you proceed with the instructions in the notification you got, thoroughly check for this information.
1. Name of Issuer
The notification must carry the name of the issuer, and the name must match the name of your warranty issue or automaker. If a motor vehicle service postcard does not clearly show the name of the company sending you the notification, then, it’s most likely a fake one, and you should discard it.
For clarity’s sake, check the name of the issuer carefully; some scammers may use the same name of your warranty issuer, but would interchange the letters in a way that’s not too noticeable.
For example, PREAMBLE INC. may be written as PRAEMBEL or PRAEMBLE. Once the issuer name is not correctly spelled, discard the notification.
2. Inaccurate Phone Number
Motor vehicle service notifications include a toll-free number you can call; crosscheck the number in the notification or letter to see if it is the same as the known customer support phone number of your automaker or warranty issuer.
When you check and the numbers don’t rhyme, the notification is most likely a fake one and you shouldn’t act by the instructions it carries. If a company changes its official customer support number, it’d tell its customers about the change.
You probably have some paperwork about your car’s warranty issuer, check the customer support number on the paperwork and see if it corresponds with what’s written on the notification sent to you; if it doesn’t correspond, discard the notification.
See Also: Is it Illegal to Sleep in Your Car in San Diego?
3. Wrong Company Address
When the address on the postcard doesn’t match with the original address of your warranty issuer or car manufacturer, then it’s fake.
Yes, motor vehicle service notification is either sent by your car manufacturer or extended warranty issuer; so, if the notification is not from any of these two bodies, it’s a scam and should be discarded.
4. Wrong Timing
Most manufacturers’ warranties last for 50,000 miles or years; so, even if you’re going to get a service notification, you need to have driven the car for at least 4.5 years, or you’ve done 40,000+ miles on the odometer.
It’s suspicious to receive a vehicle service postcard when the car hasn’t approached half of the warranty coverage period. For example, getting the service postcard when you’ve only done 10k miles and the car is less than 2 years old, is a clear sign that the sender of the notification is not real.
5. Call To Ask Questions
If you got your car from a dealership, when you receive a vehicle service notification, call the dealership and ask them if they sent you any card. The reply from your dealership would tell you if the notification is real or fake. Of course, if the dealership says it didn’t send you the postcard, it’s most likely fake.
However, if you got an extended warranty from a third-party issuer (not the dealership where your car was bought), then you should phone the warranty issuer and ask if they sent you a notification about vehicle service.
6. Content of the Message
Another way to spot a fake motor vehicle service letter or notification is the content of the notification. Fake service letters typically do not contain correct information about your car; such as the model number, engine number, purchase date, etc.
Notwithstanding, scammers can easily get some basic information about your car by looking up the VIN. But, generally, if the letter does not contain solid information about the company, your name, and your car, correctly, it’s fake.
Are Extended Warranties Worth It?
Anything warranty is worth renewing – it reduces the cost of repairs you may need to do on your car. Without warranties, you’d have to pay solely for any repair or replacement, and the cost of most auto repairs can go above $500 – up to thousands of dollars.
Yes, extended warranties are worth it, especially if you’re buying a used car. Brand new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty, so you don’t need an extended warranty until the manufacturer’s warranty elapses.
However, before picking up an extended warranty with an issuer, ensure to check around for more options with friendlier terms, and of course, cheaper plans. Buying warranties from dealerships can be extremely expensive, you may want to check other alternatives.
See Also: Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car At A Truck Stop?
So, is Motor Vehicle Service Notification a scam? It is basically not a scam, but scammers do try to use the medium to rip off some car owners. If you can crosscheck the notification/letter, you’d be able to find out if the one you got is real (from your warranty issuer) or a fake one from a random dude.
The most reliable way to detect a fake service notification letter or postcard is by calling the warranty issuer to confirm if they sent it to you. Hopefully, this article provided sufficient information to clear your understanding of Motor Vehicle Service Notification.