Then later I learned that you must do the maintance through them. So it comes down to $600to 1000 worth of maintance or **** like this.
That is BLATENTLY illegal. The federal government sued and won against Mercedes many years ago because they said the same thing.The federal superior courts rules that as long as you performed that required maintenance and had receipts for it they HAD to honor the warranty. I believe it is now part of the Robinson-Patman Act and they damn well know it. Go tell them that is illegal and you are going to call the federal trade commission if they don't honor the warranty and you hope they don't because you would like to get a nice settlement including treble damages in the federal courts.