Vauxhall defends warranty withdrawal
21 October 2014
Vauxhall is ending its so-called lifetime warranty and dropping its offering back to a regular three-year or 60,000-mile arrangement from January 2015, with UK managing director Tim Tozer taking a swipe at those manufacturers still offering longer warranties.
"It's seen its day. We've researched it and from our brand perspective people don't buy cars because of the warranty," said Tozer. "The customer interprets a warranty as a guarantee. Some of our competitors with very long warranties, if you take the car to them and it's not been serviced by the network in line with manufacturer's recommendations then it will not be covered."
Tozer admitted the firm looked at moving to other lengths of warranty, such as Kia's seven years, Toyota and Hyundai's five years or Renault's four, but said he wasn't convinced because "they're not what they say on the tin". Vauxhall's lifetime warranty, launched in summer 2010, comprised a first-owner 100,000-mile deal, but the brand is now moving to the basic three-year or 60,000-mile offering.
The firm will introduce manufacturer-backed warranty extensions if required, and Tozer said if corporate customers are looking for a longer warranty as part of their fleet contract, pinpointing the police as one example, then "we'll wrap that into the deal".
For fleet customers, any vehicles ordered after 31 October will be given a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty rather than the first-owner 100,000-mile warranty given on orders placed by the end of this month, with the exception of the new Corsa, which will be given the new, shorter warranty regardless of when ordered.
Meanwhile, Vauxhall has extended its recall of Corsa, Corsavan and Adam models from the original 3000 vehicles to a total of 50,000, although the firm claims only a small number of these are likely to have the problem with the steering system part that caused the action.
The cars were all registered since February 2014, and the company is recommending they should not be driven prior to an inspection.
If the production code on the steering intermediate shaft is either 20E4 or 20K3 this means the car is affected, and Vauxhall is offering for The AA to come out and check the car, and if it is affected arrange recovery to a dealer and a replacement vehicle.
More information can be found at www.vauxhall.co.uk/recall, or through the Vauxhall Customer Assistance Centre on 0800 026 0034.
A spokesman told BusinessCar that the British carmaker estimates that "1-2% of the 50,000 vehicles will be affected, but the final total will be what it will be". He added that around half of the vehicles have already been looked at, and urged owners to check their cars if they fall into the above date range.