Warranties will not cover vehicles with a salvaged or branded title. A brand on a title is anything that may have happened to a vehicle to make it non-original and is intended as a consumer warning.
Each state has its own terminology for different title brands. The general brands are:
This is a vehicle without any reported problems or a vehicle that may have been in a minor accident.
This is a vehicle that was in a major accident and the repairs would cost more than 75% to 100% of the value of the vehicle. These are typically vehicles that were declared a total loss by the insurance company. Some states will further classify salvaged as rebuildable, or not rebuildable and only suited for parts.
This is a vehicle that was declared salvage but has been rebuilt.
This is a vehicle that can only be used for parts and cannot be rebuilt.
This is actually just a consumer notice and technically not a brand. However, many theft recovery vehicles end up as salvage or irreparable.
Otherwise known as a “lemon law” vehicle. State lemon laws require a car manufacturer to repair a vehicle within a certain number of attempts, or a certain time frame, or they must buy the vehicle back from the owner. When this happens the vehicle is branded a buy back.
Scrubbing a Title
Some states do not recognize brands from other states. This makes it rather easy for someone to buy a branded vehicle in one state and re-title it in another state to remove the brand. This is known as scrubbing a title.
Vehicle history reports will show the title status in every state the vehicle was registered. If you are buying a used car always get a history report first from companies such as Carfax or AutoCheck. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System also has extensive reports.