A Virginia woman almost missed out on a free paint job for her Honda Civic because she was unaware of an extended warranty.
Lara Gold of Falls Church bought the car in 2009.
“It has been a great vehicle all these years,” she said.
But she said she noticed the paint on the vehicle peeling a couple of years ago. Layers of paint faded away, leaving behind chalky, discolored patches on the trunk, roof and hood of the car.
Several years ago, Honda noticed a problem with the paint on some of its vehicles. The manufacturer extended the paint warranty on the affected vehicles, but most car owners didn't know because they were never told about it.
"One of my friends, who is also a Honda owner, she noticed the paint and said, 'Lara, did you know that Honda was actually offering an extended warranty on the paint?' I had no idea," Gold said.
She said she didn't realize the paint job would be covered under her warranty in the first place.
She contacted her dealer.
"The only catch is you needed to bring it to the attention of Honda within seven years of the purchase date of the vehicle," she said.
Gold was a few months too late, but she didn't give up.
"I wasn't rude but I stated my case,” she said.
She explained the problem started before the seven-year deadline and she had never been notified about the warranty extension, which she felt was unfair.
"They said it was up to the customer to bring it to their attention," Gold said.
Honda was under no obligation to tell her about the warranty extension. Automakers are only required to notify owners about safety recalls.
But Honda re-evaluated Gold's case and decided to honor the warranty.
"They told me that they were willing to pay for the entire $3,400 paint job,” she said. “I just had to pay the $200 deductible, so I was thrilled.”
"In the interest of customer satisfaction, we welcome the opportunity to address any customer concerns through Honda's Automobile Customer Service group, and we are pleased that Ms. Gold is happy with the resolution of this issue with her vehicle," Honda said in a statement.
Only certain Honda Civics from years 2006 through 2013 are eligible for the extended warranty, and, of course, many of those have already passed the seven-year deadline.