Beware of bullshit official-looking warranty notices

I got this letter in the mail from something called Vehicle Services Department, in an official-looking windowed envelope that, with its eagle logo and random codes that probably don't mean anything, vaguely resembles a notice from a government agency. But, it's actually a load of shit.

This is a sales pitch for an extended warranty that's trying to make it seem like you're in trouble if you don't sign up. It has warnings like:

You may no longer be eligible for this coverage once your factory warranty has expired.

Due to the nature of luxury vehicles, by neglecting to obtain coverage you will be at risk of being financially liable for any and all high cost repairs after your factory warranty expires.

No other notices will be sent. This will be our only attempt to contact you about your factory warranty which may have expired or will be expiring.

We reserve the right to revoke your eligibility for service coverage after 5 days.

This letter pinged my bullshit detector immediately because it didn't come from BMW, and my car is leased, so why the hell would I worry about an extended warranty?

But to a less-savvy person, the letter could easily be interpreted as, "oh no I won't have a warranty if I don't call these guys in 5 days." Then this shady company sells them a warranty they don't need, because they think they if they don't pay up, bye bye warranty.

Now here's the kicker. In teeny tiny fine print at the bottom, there's the following message:

You may have been selected to receive this special limited time offer from AutoAssure, LLC because of information in your consumer data. Final acceptance is subject to your eligibility to meet our full eligibility requirements. This is an advertisement to obtain coverage. AutoAssure offers vehicle repair coverage for most makes and models and is not affiliated with any specific manufacturer.

(Emphasis mine.)

Aside from deceptive scare-tactic advertising, is AutoAssure a viable aftermarket extended vehicle warranty? In a word: fuck no. Ok, that's two words.

AutoAssure, LLC has a D- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Complaints include lots of shady sales tactics in addition to the fake-official letters they send out, particularly taking advantage of the elderly. Then when people actually try to file claims against their ridiculously overpriced warranty—one person mentioned paying $6335 for a warranty on a BMW—AutoAssure habitually refuses to actually pay those claims.

Here are some former employee testimonials talking about how the company is a scam.

So basically, if you get a fake-official looking warranty notice in the mail, that didn't come from your vehicle manufacturer, promptly throw it in the trash. Or recycle it, if you want to be earth friendly. If you do want an extended warranty for your car, shop around.