Do I pay for car repair work that suddenly falls out of the warranty period?

By Maggie ShaderConsumer Reports

I took my car to the dealer for a repair covered under warranty, but the necessary part didn't come in for a couple of months. By the time the car was repaired my warranty had expired. Now the dealership is charging me $200. Do I have any recourse?—S.T., New York, N.Y.

According to a Federal Trade Commission information sheet, "If you reported a defect to the company during the warranty period and the product wasn't fixed properly, the company must correct the problem." First, remind the dealership that it was notified of the problem and that it ordered the part during the warranty period.

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If it still insists that you pay, send a letter explaining what happened to the regional management for the car's manufacturer, which you can get from the dealership or the company's website. Then complain to corporate headquarters if necessary. Send all letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep copies. If you still can't get the company to see it your way, consider going to small-claims court.

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—Consumer Reports

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