Autos: Necessary, But Unwarranted

Next to styling, power and the solid thunk of quality as the door is closed, auto dealers like to spiel about the warranties behind their cars. By the time the happy customer drives off, he has every reason to believe that that handsome document from the manufacturer promises an absence of problems with his new car, fast, expert service when problems do occur and, in fact, just about everything short of Medicare.

As any car buyer knows, things rarely turn out that way. Last week, confirmation of that fact came from the Federal Trade Commission, which concluded in a 205-page...

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