Factory warranty guide: coverage & term lengths

See what each automaker offers for its new vehicles

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    All new cars sold in the U.S. come with warranties from the factory, but the specifics can vary considerably.

    We’ve broken down automakers’ current warranty offerings below to help you shop for your new car. We also go over what these factory warranties cover and what you should do if you want additional protection once your factory warranty expires.


    Key insights

    • All new cars sold in the U.S. come with at least three years/36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers the vast majority of parts on your car — but not all of them.
    • Most automakers also provide a longer powertrain warranty that covers your engine, transmission and drivetrain.
    • In addition to bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, most automakers provide warranties for corrosion, hybrid/EV batteries, accessories, etc.
    • If you want additional warranty protection, consider buying a certified pre-owned car or an extended warranty.
    If you’re just wondering whether your current car is still under warranty, you can look up its warranty status using your vehicle identification number.

    Factory warranty term list

    Here’s an alphabetical list of every major automaker operating in the U.S. and its current bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty offerings at the time of publishing.

    » SEE WHO EARNED THE TOP SPOT IN OUR RANKING: Best new car warranty

    Wondering what the difference between a bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty is?

    The industry standard for new vehicles is three years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage with five years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage, but some brands have different approaches.

    For example, the majority of German automakers simply offer a five-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper factory warranty. That’s more bumper-to-bumper protection than most brands offer, but you lose out on the additional powertrain coverage.

    Other brands, like Lexus and Hyundai, stick with the traditional warranty format but extend how long each term lasts, offering their customers better long-term protection.

    Other types of warranties

    In addition to bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, many manufacturers include the following warranties as well:

    • Corrosion/anti-perforation warranties protect the car’s body panels from rust building up inside the paint.
    • Battery warranties guarantee the traction batteries inside hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) for at least eight years/100,000 miles.
    • Accessory warranties cover any accessories that were purchased with the car (tow hitches, floor mats etc.) from the manufacturer.

    » MORE: Car warranty guide: what you need to know

    What if you want more warranty coverage?

    If you’d like additional coverage beyond what your factory warranty provides, you have two main options:

    • CPO warranties come with certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles and extend the remaining factory bumper-to-bumper warranty by an average of one year/12,000 miles.
    • Extended warranties are available from car manufacturers and third-party warranty companies, and they come in a variety of different coverage levels and term lengths.

    Whether spending extra for more warranty protection is worth the cost or not depends on your personal situation and preferences. For example, the average bumper-to-bumper extended warranty costs around $1,000 per year of coverage, but it might be worth it if you drive a vehicle with below-average expected reliability or simply want the added peace of mind.

    If nothing ever goes wrong with your vehicle, an extended warranty would cost you more than it saves you. On the other hand, it could be a godsend if you’re ever stuck with a large repair bill, like Veronica from Maryland, who told us, “When I had a $4,000 issue with one of my former vehicles, Endurance covered the entire balance except for $100.”

    » MORE: Is an extended car warranty worth it?

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    FAQ

    What is a factory warranty?

    A factory warranty (also known as a manufacturer’s warranty) is a minimum three-year/36,000-mile warranty that comes with every new vehicle sold in the U.S. These warranties are provided by the company that made your vehicle, which separates them from dealer warranties or warranties from independent warranty companies selling vehicle service contracts.

    Factory warranties follow the vehicle, not the owner, so it’s also possible to purchase a pre-owned vehicle with plenty of factory warranty remaining.

    » MORE: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

    What does a factory warranty cover?

    It depends on the type of factory warranty. Bumper-to-bumper factory warranties cover the vast majority of the parts on the car, while powertrain warranties cover your engine, transmission and drivetrain only.

    However, we should mention that auto warranties of all kinds — factory or extended — only cover manufacturing defects. In other words, if a part fails all on its own, it may be covered under warranty. But parts that fail due to damage, negligence, late oil changes, abuse, racing or other outside causes will almost never be covered under warranty.

    » MORE: What does a car warranty cover?

    Can you void your factory warranty?

    Technically speaking, it’s difficult to fully void your warranty. (The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 made it significantly harder for manufacturers to void customer warranties.) However, if you don’t follow the terms of the warranty, your automaker can deny your claims, which is basically the same thing.

    » MORE: What voids a car warranty?


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Kelley Blue Book, “ Average New Car Price Tops $49,500 .” Accessed Sep. 15, 2023.
    2. Kelley Blue Book, “ New-Vehicle Transaction Prices Up Less Than 1% Year Over Year .” Accessed Sept. 15, 2023.
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