The Montana Department of Justice Warns Consumers of Deceptive Vehicle Warranty Notices

HELENA – Attorney General Tim Fox and the Montana Department of Justice want to make Montanans aware of deceptive vehicle service contract “notices” that claim to be issued from the “Motor Vehicle Division” that may be appearing in consumers’ mail boxes.

“We consider these notices deceptive because neither our Motor Vehicle Division nor the motor vehicle division of any other state is mailing them,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “These governmental entities are not in the business of selling vehicle service contracts. However, these notices are often addressed from senders going by names similar to the Montana Motor Vehicle Division.”

The notices can also appear to be coming from the car dealer or vehicle manufacturer, and may suggest that a previously purchased warranty has or is set to expire, even if no such warranty was purchased. The notice, which usually demands an immediate response on the part of the recipient, sometimes contains the year and model of the recipient’s vehicle. Additionally, the envelopes which contain these notices include warnings similar to those placed on some official government mailings.

Sarah Garcia, Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Division at the Montana Department of Justice, said, “It’s understandable that vehicle owners would be confused after opening one of these deceptive mailers. In Montana, these notices have been observed as having official-looking logos and are being sent from companies entitled “Motor Vehicle Division, “Vehicle Services Department,” “National Warranty Services,” and “Auto Repair Network,” among others. I want to assure people that the Montana MVD has not issued these letters and does not offer vehicle warranty services.”

Ed Eck, Chief of Montana’s Office of Consumer Protection, says his office has started to see an influx of calls from concerned consumers. Eck offers this advice: “If you respond to these notices by calling the number provided on the letter, be advised you would not be dealing with a government entity. Also, keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to obtain a written copy of the contract being offered before purchasing any warranty, even if a representative says the warranty can be canceled and refunded at any time.”

Click here to see examples of vehicle warranty mailings

For more information, contact the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or visit www.dojmt.gov