Motor Vehicle Service Notification – Is It a Scam?

What is this Motor Vehicle Service notification? Did you just recently get an unsolicited letter or postcard that explicitly warns you about the expiration of your car’s warranty? What do you need to do in case you receive this kind of notice? In this article, I will discuss what this notice is about and what you need to do about it.

What is this Motor Vehicle Service Notification postcard? This is a notification that claims that the manufacturer’s warranty of your car is about to expire. In reality, it refers to the service contracts issued by car service companies. However, some of these companies are already insolvent and most often deny repair coverage once you need the required car repairs.

The notice may mention your car by model, make, and year. It may warn that you need to update your protection plan or be responsible for all the required repairs. The notice may also provide a toll-free telephone number that you can call.

Some refer to this letter as a Motor Vehicle Service notification scam. Is it a scam? Some companies who send this letter are legitimately trying to sell you an extended warranty. But many times, the warranty doesn’t actually cover most repairs which they might write in the fine print. Many people receive this letter or postcard for a car they haven’t owned in years. So for these reasons, this notification could be labeled as a scam.

Read on to learn more about the Motor Vehicle Service notification and what you need to do if you happen to receive it.

motor vehicle service identification postcard

What Is the Motor Vehicle Service Notification Postcard or Letter?

This notice comes with a warning of the impending expiry of your vehicle’s warranty and a toll-free number that you can call. Most often, the letter will include just enough information about your car’s make and model to convince you that it is legit and there’s indeed a problem.

The letters will seem to be legit at first glance since scammers design them to induce you to assume that they came from the car dealer or manufacturer where you bought the vehicle. The said notices may even bear the Department of Motor Vehicles logo complete with the seal of the state.

The companies which are sending out these notices are actually ‘extended warranty’ sellers. This is the kind of business that is full of outright thieves and scammers. Some of them may be legit, but most are unfortunately there only for whatever money they can scam from you.

If you can still depend on your vehicle to bring you to wherever you want to go, keep it well-maintained, and the repair costs, whenever they come, will always be manageable. It will be a lesser cost than the service contracts these extended warranty sellers are quoting. In all likelihood, whenever you need their services, they will say that the service contract does not cover your repair problem.

People Have Been Receiving Such Notices All the Time

It’s not just you who has received this kind of notice. If you access the different car forums on the web, you will find that many people said they had received such notices. Some of them have received these notices all the time.

One forum contributor said that he got such notices all the time. He believes that this is simply a marketing strategy of companies offering extended car warranties. They may be legit; they maybe not. Just ignore them, he advised.

Another forum participant said that he was receiving such letters and postcards for about one year, saying that he owns a particular car make and model and stating that it was time for him to renew his vehicle protection.

The problem is: he has never owned that car make and model all his life. He owned a vehicle of the same brand of an earlier model, which he already brought to the junkyard one year ago.

Is It a Scam or Not? Motor Vehicle Service Notification Scam?

Some refer to this letter as a Motor Vehicle Service Notification scam. Is it a scam? Some companies who send this letter are legitimately trying to sell you a warranty for your car. But many times, the warranty doesn’t actually cover most repairs which they might write in the small print on the contract. Many people receive this postcard or letter for a car they haven’t owned in years. So for these reasons, this notification could be labeled as a scam.

I would not like to label all these extended warranty service companies as scammers. But I would advise you to be very cautious when dealing with them. If you are not yet satisfied, allow me to give you some more real-life experiences of people who have been recipients of these kinds of warranty notices.

A forum contributor was reluctant to call them scammers. But he admitted that, more often than not, these are companies that are not connected to the original warranty of your vehicle. They want to sell you an extended warranty. You have all the right to refuse their offer.

They recommend you read the original papers of your vehicle and check if your warranty has expired or not. The vehicle warranty is typically indicated by the miles or years used and not by the date.

Another forum participant said that it could be a scam. But he also admitted that many car dealers even sell car warranties. Some of these dealers will sell your personal information to others. In general, it is not worth adding an extended warranty to your car – unless you intend to use it for heavy-duty work or to keep it longer than ten years.

There’s another forum contributor who received this unsolicited notice many times. Finally, he dialed the phone number indicated in the letter. He called the company to ask why he is continuously receiving this notice because he was not interested.

The person who took his call started arguing with him right away. He asked to speak with his manager, but the person said NO! When the supervisor finally took the call, his manners were no different. In exasperation, he just hung up his phone. His evaluation: they’re scammers.

Another forum participant gave this wise insight. These extended warranty sellers will convince you that their policies cover most major car repairs. Just like what you will get with the original vehicle warranty from the carmakers.

But after signing on the dotted line and paying up, you will discover that most vehicle repairs are not covered. If you need them, you have to pay them out of your pocket. What good is their service contract then?

They can get away with this because most people don’t read the fine prints of the contracts they sign. This forum contributor also said that some of these companies change their phone numbers after selling their contracts.

motor vehicle notification scam

Why Did You Receive This Vehicle Service Notification?

Why and how did it happen that you receive this unsolicited service notification? If you are inside a car showroom looking for a new or used car, the salesperson may advise you to get an auto service contract. He will claim that this will protect you against any unforeseen expensive repairs.

If you did not buy this service contract at that time, the car dealer, through this salesperson or any of its sales staff, may have stored your personal information that they will use for their purpose and time. And that time has come.

They are following up on their proposal for a service contract in a way that will surely get your attention. It may also be that they sold your personal information to a third party who sold it to extended warranty companies who are now hounding you to give them a chance.

Please understand that extended warranty contracts are sold by car manufacturers, car dealers, and independent car service providers. If you find that you really need this warranty, shop around. You need to know what your options are and what you are buying into.

We’ve answered the question, “What is a motor vehicle service notification?” Also, “What is the motor vehicle service notification scam?”. Next, let’s look at whether you need to buy a service contract or not.

Do You Need to Buy a Service Contract?

Normally, there is no need for you to buy an additional service contract upon buying a new car. Additionally, the car dealer should not require you to sign this contract if you purchased your car through financing.

If the dealer claims that you need this contract, call the lender and check if it is so. Don’t be like other car buyers who could not cancel their service contracts after learning that they are not required.

Additionally, be wary of some dishonest car dealers who may try to sneak in an auto service contract in your car loan without your permission. If you notice a fee for a specific service contract that you disagreed on, ask the dealer to remove it before signing the loan document.

How to Stay Away from Vehicle Warranty Scams?

There are many ways by which you can prevent these scammers from taking advantage of you.

1. Be Skeptical

Don’t just believe the motor vehicle notification letter or notice that you receive. The companies that do this will try to make the impression that they are from the car dealer or the car manufacturer. They will use terms such as Final Warrant Notice and Notice of Interruption. It will seem very urgent, and they will induce you to call their toll-free number.

If you call the number, it is more than likely that before you receive any information about their service contract, they will subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. They may even demand your personal financial information and possibly ask for a down payment.

2. Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information

Don’t just provide any personal information, primarily financial, to anybody that you don’t know. Never divulge personal financial details such as Social Security Number, Credit Card number, and bank account to just anybody. You shouldn’t give out even your Vehicle Identification Number or your driver’s license number.

3. Be Alert for Fast-talking Telemarketers

If somebody calls you about your vehicle warranty expiration, don’t take it at face value. Check your car’s warranty in your car owner’s manual or contact the dealer or car manufacturer where you bought your vehicle. Be wary if they want you to decide right away. Legit businesses will give their customers time to deliberate their decisions.

motor vehicle service notification letter

When to Buy Vehicle Warranty Protection?

I am not saying that you disregard buying a car service contract. It is entirely right to purchase such an arrangement if you buy a used car, mostly if sold on an “as-is – no warranty” basis.

Most used cars in this category have expired warranties. So all the repairs and fixes that it should have will be shouldered by you. Some used car dealers offer their customers a dealer-service contract within 90 days of buying a used car. There are “implied warranties” under state law that may provide you warranty rights.

Some states prohibit the sale of “as is” used cars, while other states demand the use of certain words to deny implied warranties. There are also some states which follow “lemon laws” for used vehicles. You can receive a replacement or a refund if the used car you bought is defective.

Is This Service Agreement Important?

In a vehicle service agreement or contract, the company promises to perform certain services of repair. Some deals are called “extended warranties.” They are service contracts and not warranty contracts, as stated by federal law.

These contracts cover loss caused by the malfunctioning of a car component or a mechanical part. Such agreements typically take effect or are entered into after the standard warranty of the vehicle has expired; hence, the term “extended warranty.”

For a company to engage in this service, it must have a license to sell this product in the state where it is operating. If a customer requests it, a company involved in this service should give a copy of the terms and conditions of the extended auto service warranty before the contract is signed.  

The company should give the customer a hard copy of the contract or direct the client to its website (if it has any) to download a copy for his scrutiny. You, as the consumer, need to study even the fine prints of the contract before signing it, to avoid unwanted repercussions.

Conclusion: Motor Vehicle Service Notification Postcard

So, to recap and to answer the question: What is this Motor Vehicle Service Notification letter or postcard? A service notification is a notice that claims that your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty is about to expire.

The notification refers to the service contract issued by car service companies. But these service companies most often deny coverage for the required car repairs, and some of them are already insolvent. Most of these companies also deny coverage at the time you need vehicle repairs.