7 On Your Side: Retirees stranded after extended warranty woes

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Retirees stranded after extended warranty woes
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7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda helps a Long Island couple resolve a months-long warranty runaround after the engine of their truck is destroyed.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- A couple of Long Island retirees were dealing with big time warranty woes after their beloved Ram truck sat idle for months with a bum engine.

The fix should've been covered by not one, but two car warranties they purchased, but months later they were still getting the runaround.

"A loud clunking noise - bang, bang, bang - was coming out of the engine. I said, 'this sounds real bad,'" Charles Levato said.

His Dodge's powerful engine was done in by a single bolt that had sheared off and embedded into a cylinder wall, destroying it.

It's a good thing he had not one but two warranties protecting the truck he and his partner Michelle Antonelli use to haul their seven-ton RV around with five kids and three grandkids in tow.

In 2020, when Charles bought his truck used it came with a certified pre-owned warranty. Then he paid another $3,000 for an extra warranty.

"He paid a ton of money for and I said, 'what are you paying?' And he said, 'just in case.' Well, the just in case came," Antonelli said.

And so did the runaround.

Despite having two warranties since July, when 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda first interviewed the couple, neither company would cover the cost of a new engine.

"They have an inspector come in, and the inspector said no, denied the claim," Levato said.

During the finger pointing the retirees had to rent another car that cost them $3,600 and they needed to lease another truck to haul their RV to their campground in Lake George and in North Carolina.

The dealership told 7 On Your Side that even though the claim was denied, they understood Levato's frustration and continued to work on getting it approved.

Eventually their management staff got through to the manufacturer to green light the repair, at no charge.

A brand-new engine worth more than $60,000 was installed for free and the manufacturer even reimbursed Levato more than $3,600 in rental car fees.

After five long months, they're on the road again.

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