Below is the US FEderal Government Emission Warranty Information
United States Air and Radiation EPA420-F-96-020
Environmental Protection March 1996
Office of Mobile Sources
EPA Environmental Fact Sheet
FOR 1995 AND NEWER CARS & TRUCKS
Federally required emission control warranties protect you, the
vehicle owner, from the cost of repairs for certain emission related
failures that result from manufacturer defects in materials and
workmanship or that cause your vehicle to exceed federal emission
standards. Manufacturers have been required by federal law to provide
emission control coverage for vehicles since 1972. There are two
federal emission control warranties discussed in this fact sheet: (A)
“Performance Warranty” and (B) “Design and Defect Warranty”. This
fact sheet explains each warranty in detail, provides you with a list
of some of the parts covered under these warranties, explains the
procedures for making an emissions warranty claim, and answers some of
the most commonly asked questions about emissions warranties.
Finally, we will give you some tips on how to prevent future
emission-related failures and maintain the longevity of your vehicle’s
A. PERFORMANCE WARRANTY
The Performance Warranty covers repairs which are required during
the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use because the vehicle
failed an emission test. Specified major emission control components
are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles. If you are a
resident of an area with an Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program
that meets federal guidelines, you are eligible for this warranty
protection provided that:
* Your car or light-duty truck fails an approved emissions test;
* Your vehicle is less than 2 years old and has less than 24,000
miles (up to 8 years/80,000 miles for certain components); and
* Your state or local government requires that you repair the
* The test failure does not result from misuse of the vehicle or a
failure to follow the manufacturers’ written maintenance
* You present the vehicle to a warranty-authorized manufacturer
representative, along with evidence of the emission test failure,
during the warranty period.
During the first 2 years/24,000 miles, the Performance Warranty
covers any repair or adjustment which is necessary to make your
vehicle pass an approved, locally-required emission test and as long
as your vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage
limitations and has been properly maintained according to the
B. DESIGN AND DEFECT WARRANTY
The Design and Defect Warranty covers repair of emission related
parts which become defective during the warranty period. The Design
and Defect warranty for model year 1995 and newer light-duty cars and
trucks is outlined below:
Design and Defect Warranty Coverage for 1995 and newer light-duty
* Emission control and emission related parts are covered for the
first 2 years or 24,000 miles of vehicle use; and
* Specified major emission control components are covered for the
first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use.
According to federal law, an emission control or emission related
part, or a specified major emission control component, that fails
because of a defect in materials or workmanship, must be repaired or
replaced by the vehicle manufacturer free of charge as long as the
vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations for
the failed part.
Design and Defect Warranty coverage may vary depending on the
type of vehicle you have (e.g., heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles or
recreational vehicles have different time and mileage requirements).
To determine the length of warranty coverage that applies to your
vehicle, look for the emissions warranty information in your owner’s
manual or warranty booklet. If you own a California vehicle, you may
be entitled to additional warranty coverage.
The owner’s manual or warranty booklet will also provide you with
guidance on the procedures for obtaining warranty coverage. If you
have questions about the emissions warranties on your vehicle or need
help in filing a warranty claim, contact your local car dealer or the
manufacturer’s zone or regional representative listed in your owner’s
manual or warranty booklet.
What Emission Control and Emission Related Parts Are Covered by The
Design and Defect Warranty?
An emission control part is any part installed with the primary
purpose of controlling emissions. An emission related part is any
part that has an effect on emissions. Listed below are some examples
of parts or systems which fall under these definitions. A more
complete list can be found in your owner’s manual/warranty booklet.
If any of the parts listed below fail to function or function
improperly because of a defect in materials or workmanship, causing
your vehicle to exceed federal emission standards, they should be
repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty if your vehicle is
less than 2 years old and has been driven less than 24,000 miles. One
manufacturer may use more parts than another, so the following list is
not complete for all vehicles.
EMISSION CONTROL PARTS
Exhaust Gas Conversion Systems
oxygen sensor thermal reactor
catalytic converter dual-walled exhaust pipe
Exhaust Gas Recirculation System
EGR valve thermal vacuum switch
EGR solenoid EGR spacer plate
EGR backpressure transducer Sensor and switches use to
control EGR flow
Evaporative Emission Control System
purge valve fuel filler cap
purge solenoid vapor storage canister and filter
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) System
PCV valve PCV solenoid
Air Injection System
Air pump diverter, bypass, or gulp valve
reed valve anti-backfire or deceleration valve
Early Fuel Evaporative (EFE) System
EFE valve thermal vacuum switch
heat riser valve
Fuel Metering System
electronic control module (unit) or EFI air flow meter, computer
command module or mixture control unit, deceleration controls,
electronic choke, fuel injectors, fuel injection units and fuel
altitude compensator sensor, bars or rails for EFI or TBI systems,
mixture settings on sealed fuel mixture control solenoid, diaphragm
or other systems, fuel metering components that achieve closed/other
feedback control sensors/loop operation switches and valves
Air Induction System
thermostatically controlled air cleaner, air box
electronic spark advance timing advance/retard systems,
high energy electronic ignition
hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps and other accessories used in the
EMISSION RELATED PARTS
These are examples of other parts of your vehicle which have a
primary purpose other than emissions control but which nevertheless
have significant effects on your vehicle’s emissions. If any of these
parts fail to function or function improperly, your vehicle’s
emissions may exceed federal standards. Therefore, when any of the
parts of the following systems are defective in materials or
workmanship and have failed in a way that would be likely to cause
your vehicle’s emissions to exceed federal standards, they should be
repaired or replaced under the emissions warranty:
Fuel Injection System
Air Induction System
turbocharger intake manifold
distributor spark plugs
ignition wires and coil
hoses, gaskets, brackets, clamps, and other accessories used in
the above systems.
What Are Specified Major Emission Control Components?
There are three specified major emission control components,
covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use on 1995
and newer vehicles:
* Catalytic converters.
* The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).
* The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).
Catalytic converters are critical emission control components
that have been installed on most cars and trucks manufactured since
1975. Since engines don’t burn fuel completely during the combustion
process, the exhaust contains a significant amount of harmful
pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of
nitrogen. The catalytic converter aids the conversion of these
pollutants to less harmful substances such as carbon dioxide, water
vapor, nitrogen, and oxygen before the exhaust is expelled into the
The electronic emissions control unit or computer monitors
certain powertrain functions and controls various operating parameters
to help the vehicle run efficiently and with the lowest possible
emissions. Ignition, transmission function, air injection, exhaust
gas recirculation (EGR), engine operating temperature and fuel system
parameters are some of the systems monitored and/or controlled by the
electronic emissions control unit.
The onboard emissions diagnostic device monitors the operation of
a vehicle’s emission control system and alerts the driver with a
dashboard light when malfunctions occur. The system will record where
the problem is occurring and assist automotive technicians in
diagnosing and repairing emission control malfunctions. Since some
emission control malfunctions do not have an adverse effect on vehicle
performance, they can go undetected by the driver for quite some time.
The onboard diagnostic device will help catch malfunctions early,
preventing a significant output of harmful exhaust emissions from your
vehicle, and possibly in time to be covered by the emissions control
warranty. Often this “device” is part of the electronic control unit
In the future, there may be other parts or components that
qualify for this coverage. Check your owner’s manual or warranty book
for possible additional coverage.
How Long Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Individual Parts of My
For 1995 and newer model year vehicles, emission control and
emission related parts are warranted for the first 2 years or 24,000
miles of vehicle use. Specified major emission-control components are
warranted for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use.
Parts with a stated replacement interval, such as, “replace at
15,000 miles or 12 months,” are warranted up to the first replacement
How Do I Know Whether I Am Entitled to Coverage Under the Emissions
If you or a qualified automotive technician can show that an
emission control or emission related component, or a specified major,
emission-control component, is defective, the repair or replacement of
the part is probably covered under the Design and Defect warranty. If
your vehicle failed a federally approved emissions test and has not
exceeded the time and mileage limitations for the Performance
warranty, any repairs or adjustments necessary for your vehicle to
pass should be covered by the manufacturer if the failure was not
caused by improper maintenance or abuse. When you believe you have
identified a defective part, or your vehicle fails an emission test,
you should follow the procedures for making a warranty claim as
identified by the manufacturer in your owner’s manual or warranty
booklet. When taking your vehicle in to have repairs performed under
the Performance Warranty, be sure to have with you a copy of the I/M
test report as proof of your emissions test failure.
May I Have My Regular Repair Facility Perform Warranty Repairs?
If you plan to have the manufacturer pay for a repair under
either of the emissions warranties, you must take the vehicle to a
facility authorized by the vehicle manufacturer for repair to give
them the opportunity to diagnose and repair it. Note that if your
regular repair facility is not authorized by the vehicle manufacturer,
they are not obligated to advise you of parts that are covered under
warranty. Before giving your automotive technician the “go ahead” to
perform repairs, check your owner’s manual/warranty booklet for
possible warranty coverage.
Do the Emissions Warranties Apply to Used Vehicles?
Yes. It does not matter if you bought your vehicle new or used
from a dealer or anyone else. As long as the vehicle has not exceeded
the warranty time or mileage limitations, these warranties apply.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before buying a used vehicle, be sure that all of
the emission control components as originally installed by the
manufacturer are present and functioning properly. If emission
control components are missing or have been tampered with, or the
configuration of the exhaust system has been changed, the emissions
warranties on this vehicle may be void. In addition, if you live in
an area with an I/M program, the vehicle will probably not pass
inspection and you will incur the expense of parts or repairs
necessary for the vehicle to pass.
Can Any Portion of An Emissions Warranty Repair Be Charged to Me?
If you have valid warranty claim, you cannot be charged for any
costs associated with the diagnosis or repair of the problem,
including labor charges, parts, or miscellaneous items that are
necessary to complete the repair. For example, if a manufacturer
agrees to replace a catalytic converter under the emissions warranty,
you should not be charged for the diagnosis of the bad converter, or
any pipes, brackets, adjustments, or labor needed to complete the
What Reasons Can the Manufacturer Use to Deny a Warranty Claim?
If your vehicle is within the age and mileage limits for the
applicable emissions warranty, the manufacturer can only deny coverage
if evidence shows that you have failed to properly maintain and use
your vehicle, causing the part or emission test failure. Some
examples of misuse and malmaintenance include the following:
* vehicle abuse such as off-road driving or overloading; or
* tampering with emission control parts or systems, including
removal or intentional damage of such parts or systems; or
* improper maintenance, including failure to follow maintenance
schedules and instructions specified by manufacturer, or use of
replacement parts which are not equivalent to the originally
What Should I Do If My First Attempt to Obtain Warranty Coverage Is
If your first attempt to receive emissions warranty coverage is
denied, you should do the following:
1) Ask for a detailed explanation, in writing as to why emissions
warranty coverage was denied; and
2) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) involved in the decision
to deny coverage, including anyone from the manufacturer’s
regional or zone office; and
3) Ask for the name(s) of the person(s) with the manufacturer you
should contact to appeal the denial of coverage under the
4) Contact and, if necessary, write to the person mentioned above
requesting coverage and giving the basis for your request. Repeat
and continue the appeal process until you are satisfied or have
exhausted all means of appeal.
What If the Dealer Claims That My Vehicle Can Pass the I/M Test
The law does not require that you fail every I/M test in order to
trigger the warranty. If a valid test shows that you have an emission
problem or there is a defective part, you should get it fixed, while
your vehicle is still within the warranty period. Otherwise, you
might fail a future test because of the same problem and have to pay
for the repair yourself. If you doubt your original test results or
the dealer’s results or diagnosis, you can always get another opinion
from another dealer or your I/M program.
How Can Maintenance Affect My Emission Warranty Coverage?
Performance and the cost of scheduled maintenance are your
responsibility. You may either perform scheduled maintenance yourself
or have a qualified repair facility perform it for you.
If a part fails as a direct result of your vehicle not being
properly maintained or being used in a manner inconsistent with the
manufacturer’s recommendations, or a part fails as a result of the
vehicle being involved in an accident, the manufacturer may not be
required to repair or replace the failed part under warranty. For
example, failure to replace the spark plugs at the intervals specified
in the maintenance schedule can lead to misfiring and eventual damage
to your catalytic converter – a very expensive part to replace. If
the maintenance is not performed properly as recommended, the
manufacturer may deny warranty coverage.
To ensure maximum air pollution reduction from the emission
control system, as well as to ensure continued warranty coverage,
better gas mileage and performance, and longer vehicle life, you
should have all maintenance performed as recommended by the
manufacturer’s schedule. A list of scheduled maintenance for your
vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual or warranty booklet.
Do I Have to Show Any Maintenance Receipts Before I Can Make an
Emissions Warranty Claim?
No. Proof of maintenance is not required in order to obtain
coverage under the emissions warranty if an emission control or
emission related component, or a specified major emission control
component, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship.
However, when it is likely that the lack of proper maintenance has
caused the particular part to fail, you may be asked to show that
scheduled maintenance was performed.
If you perform scheduled maintenance yourself, you should keep a
detailed log of work performed and any receipts for parts purchased to
perform the maintenance. In some instances, you may be asked to
qualify your ability to perform such maintenance. Vehicles should
always be maintained according to manufacturers’ specifications.
Are Dealers the Only Persons Allowed to Perform Scheduled Maintenance
Recommended by the Manufacturer?
No. Scheduled maintenance may be performed by anyone who has the
knowledge and ability to perform the maintenance and repair. You may
even maintain the vehicle yourself, as long as the maintenance is
performed according to the manufacturer’s instructions provided with
For your protection, before taking your vehicle to a repair
facility to have any maintenance performed, check your maintenance
booklet and make a list of the scheduled maintenance to be performed
at that time. We suggest that you present this list to your auto
technician as opposed to merely asking for a “tune-up” or a “12,000
miles servicing.” Your receipt should list all the maintenance
performed and should be kept for your records.
If you maintain the vehicle yourself, you should keep receipts
for parts and a maintenance log to verify your work.
If I Need Replacement Parts, Must I Use the Vehicle Manufacturer’s
No. A manufacturer cannot require the use of any specific brand
of parts in the maintenance of your vehicle. However, the
manufacturer can require you to use parts that are of equal quality to
the original parts.
If I Buy a Used Vehicle, How Do I Know Whether It Has Been Maintained
According to The Maintenance Schedule?
The best way to learn whether the vehicle has been maintained
according to its schedule is to ask the seller for receipts proving
that all of the scheduled maintenance was performed. Having the
receipts on hand will provide necessary evidence if the question of
maintenance arises when considering repairs under warranty. To
prevent any loss of your vehicle’s emission performance, you should
continue to follow the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or
If the seller does not have the owner’s manual, warranty booklet
or maintenance schedule, you can obtain them from the manufacturer.
How Will I Know If My Claim Has Been Accepted As Valid?
After you present your vehicle for a Performance Warranty claim,
the manufacturer has 30 days to either repair the vehicle or notify
you in writing that the claim has been denied. If you are making a
Performance Warranty claim and your I/M program imposes a shorter
repair deadline, the manufacturer must meet the deadline. Because of
the significance of these deadlines, you should get written
verification from the dealer showing that they acknowledge the date by
which repairs must be made.
There are no specific requirements for Defect Warranty claims,
however, manufacturer responses should be made within a reasonable
What Happens If the Manufacturer Does Not Respond to My Performance
Warranty Claim Within the 30-Day Deadline?
You may agree to extend the deadline, or it will be automatically
extended if the delay was beyond the control of the manufacturer.
Otherwise, a missed deadline means the manufacturer forfeits the right
to deny the claim. You may then have the repair performed at a
facility of your choice, at the manufacturer’s expense. (This
requirement only applies to Performance Warranty claims.)
What Do I Do If the Manufacturer Will Not Honor What I Believe to Be a
Valid Emissions Warranty Claim?
If you believe the manufacturer has not honored a valid claim and
your vehicle has not exceeded the time and mileage limitations, you
should contact an authorized warranty representative and follow the
procedures outlined in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet. If the
authorized dealer denies your warranty claim, contact the
manufacturer’s regional or zone office for further assistance. If you
are still not satisfied, follow the appeals procedure outlined in your
manual or warranty booklet.
Of course, you are entitled to pursue any independent legal
actions you consider appropriate to obtain coverage under the
emissions warranties. In addition, the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is authorized to investigate the failure of manufacturers
to comply with the terms of these warranties. If you have followed
the manufacturer’s procedures (including those for appeals) for making
a warranty claim as set out in your owner’s manual or warranty
booklet, have received a written denial and you are not satisfied with
the manufacturer’s determination, you may submit a letter to EPA at
the following address. It should provide details of the situation
including the basis for the claim, a copy of the written denial,
copies of your letters to the manufacturers, and copies of any
receipts for emission control parts and repairs you have paid for:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Vehicle Programs & Compliance Division (6405J)
Attn: Warranty Complaints
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
Other sources of assistance may be your local or State consumer
protection agency or office of the Attorney General. You also should
be aware that low-cost or free legal assistance may be available
through a local legal aid office, the State bar association, or a law
school clinic staffed by law students.
If an emission control or emission related part, or a specified
major emission control component is defective, or if your vehicle
fails an I/M test, and your vehicle is within the time and mileage
limitations for emissions warranty coverage:
* Present a warranty claim to an authorized warranty representative.
If your warranty claim is denied:
* Ask for the reason for denial, in writing.
* Follow the appeal procedures in your owner’s manual.
If you are not satisfied with the manufacturer’s decision:
* Contact the EPA, which will investigate the denial of a
valid emissions warranty complaint.
Keep This With Your Vehicle for Future Reference.