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Can I Get a Warranty on a Rebuilt Title?

by Christina Riopelle

A particular state's title-issuing agency may grant a "rebuilt" title to a vehicle previously declared a total loss. Aftermarket warranty companies consider the damage a pre-existing condition that invalidates a car for coverage. A "Rebuilt" or "Salvage" car designation may also void the factory warranty.

Salvage Title

When an insurance company assesses accident, fire or flood damage at more than a state-determined percentage of the vehicle's value, the car "totals out." For example, the State of Michigan maintains a threshold of damage consisting of 75- to 90 percent of the vehicle's pre-damage value. If the owner wishes to keep the vehicle, the Department of Motor Vehicles or other title-issuing agency grants a "Salvage" title.

Rebuilt Title

Once repairs or restoration take place, the car may earn a "Rebuilt" title after inspection. The "Rebuilt" car undergoes careful inspection by the title-issuing agency. Proof of ownership and purchase are necessary. Once it's inspected, the car may operate on the road if it's deemed road-worthy. However, the inspection does not re-activate a factory warranty or guarantee that the car approximates its original options or features.

Terms

Manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors specifically designate "rebuilt" cars as out-of-warranty. General Motors not only specifically excludes "rebuilt" cars under a blanket determination, but also prohibits covering them after extensive restoration. According to GM, "Alteration or modification to the vehicle including the body, chassis, or components after final assembly by GM," also voids the warranty.

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