Federal government mandates electric vehicle warranties, but what’s covered?

Oct 5, 2023, 12:00 PM

A gold electric vehicle plugged into a charging station....

An electric vehicle charges at a charging station at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Federal law requires vehicle manufacturers to warranty electric vehicles for eight years or 100,000 miles, according to Sloan Schrage, a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. 

“The batteries … are very, very expensive,” said Schrage. 

The long warranty is mandated by the federal government, however, it can be invalidated. Buyers should be sure they know how to properly maintain their vehicle before purchasing. 

Failing to install software updates is one way the warranty can be invalidated, Schrage said. 

According to Schrage, the process for installing updates may vary from brand to brand. Those who are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle should consult the manufacturer for details. 

Unless an electric vehicle is made for towing, Schrage said pulling another vehicle will invalidate your warranty. 

Like gas-powered cars, making aftermarket modifications can also invalidate your electric vehicle warranty.

Dismantling the battery or opening the coolant reservoir, even out of curiosity, could also void the warranty. 

Schrage said some people use the battery in their electric vehicles to get power to their homes. This is an unintended use, and will also invalidate the warranty. 

“Don’t use it to power your home, don’t use it to cook bagels, whatever it may be. Drive it as is intended,” said Schrage. 

Schrage said the used electric vehicle market is “pretty strong right now.” The U.S. government offers a $4,000 rebate on the purchase of specific used vehicles. However, they must be purchased through a dealership to qualify. 

The government’s rebate website said that the vehicle must undergo final assembly in North America. There are other criteria the vehicle and its purchaser must meet to be eligible, according to the IRS Clean Vehicle Credit website.

Specific new electric vehicles are also eligible for a higher rebate. 

Electric vehicle purchase

Research is crucial when buying any car. It is especially important when buying an electric vehicle, as they are so new to the market. Furthermore, if you are buying used, make sure you take important steps to protect your purchase. 

“The best thing you could probably do is maybe contact the automaker and find out what sort of warranty is left on the battery for that specific car,” said Schrage. You should also have the battery tested. 

Electric vehicle batteries degrade over time, like a cell phone battery. Schrage said it is important to know how much life it has left. 

The cost of replacing the battery is steep. It can sometimes exceed the value of the vehicle. Schrage said that the average cost is between $5,000 and $20,000. Some can cost more. 

Schrage worked alongside KSL TV’s Matt Gephardt on an investigative report into one man’s warranty. That investigation revealed an estimated $30,000 repair cost. That was more than the car’s value. 

Schrage said you need to know the exact history of a vehicle before you purchase. Use the car as intended to avoid voiding its federally mandated warranty. 

Related reading: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

9/11 flag at salt lake 2002 opening ceremony. Winter Games...

Curt Gresseth

As SLC steps closer to hosting 2034 Winter Games, a security expert looks back at 2002

Salt Lake City steps closer to hosting its second Winter Olympics in 2034. A security expert reflects on the lessons learned from the SLC's 2002 Winter Games.

1 day ago

emergency savings account...

Curt Gresseth

Should employers match an emergency-savings account for employees?

A Utah financial planner outlines a new law allowing an emergency-savings account, with a matching employer contribution.

2 days ago

celeste maloy, the newest member of congress...

Sam Herrera

Celeste Maloy sworn into Congress a week after special election win

Congresswoman Celeste Maloy was sworn in to Congress Tuesday night, but she had already started her work in the days following the special election in Utah.

2 days ago

A man counts U.S. $100 bills at the craft and art market in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, Aug. 16, ...

Curt Gresseth

Men, women, and generations disagree on how much money will buy happiness

How much money does it take to buy happiness. A Utah financial planner shares some surprising insights.

3 days ago

UTA's planning director discusses future possibilities to meet transportation needs in rapidly grow...

Curt Gresseth

Booming Utah County, UTA talks future plans for public transit

UTA's planning director discusses future possibilities to meet transportation needs in rapidly growing Utah County.

8 days ago

China spy expert...

Curt Gresseth

‘Partner and friend’? Expert says US should be careful trusting China.

All countries spy, including China and the U.S. But Beijing takes spying to a different level says a former FBI supervisor and counterintelligence expert.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Federal government mandates electric vehicle warranties, but what’s covered?