— "Vehicle Services Department" of Plano, Texas, also known as AutoAssure, has been sued by the attorney general of Minnesota for mailing letters that claim car owners need to purchase unnecessary car warranties.
Attorney General Lori Swanson says after using deceptive mailings (see below) to convince car owners to call the company, AutoAssure allegedly lies about multiple things to convince car owners to purchase the unneeded warranties for thousands of dollars.
Swanson says the letters falsely claim that car owners need to contact the "Vehicle Services Department" because the manufacturer vehicle warranties are about to expire or have already expired. But in some cases, owners receive those letters even though years remain on the original car warranties.
Consumers are also wrongly told AutoAssure car warranties will reactivate the original service contracts that came with the vehicles when they were new.
According to the lawsuit, Minnesota consumers report horror stories about dealing with the"Vehicle Services Department."
In one case, a 76-year-old woman was told, “with your policy as of right now, you are expired. You have nothing.” AutoAssure allegedly sold the woman a service contract for $3,433, but the attorney general says the woman's Kia Sorento was still covered by its basic warranty for another five months and by its powertrain warranty for many more years.
In another example, a 59-year-old woman received a letter from the “Vehicle Services Department” that she wrongly believed came direct from Ford. The AutoAssure rep allegedly told her, “I don’t like to be the one to tell you, but your car is out of factory warranty.”
The rep allegedly sold her a warranty for $3,791 even though her original Ford warranty still had 18 months or 45,000 miles remaining.
Car owners are also allegedly completely misled when the "Vehicle Services Department" says it works directly with car dealerships and automakers, something Swanson says is not a fact.
The lawsuit provides a real-life example of a Minnesota car owner who asked, “are you Chevrolet people,” and the AutoAssure representative allegedly responded by claiming, “Yeah, we’re on direct pay with the Chevrolet dealership, sir, yes”.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims some policies advertised as covering "everything from A to Z" actually contain 40 paragraphs of vehicle parts and services that are excluded once consumers sign the paperwork.
To further scare consumers about their vehicle coverage, the lawsuit alleges AutoAssure sales reps lie by saying the warranty offers are only good for the duration of the sales calls.
CarComplaints.com will update our website with results of the AutoAssure lawsuit.