QUEBEC CITY, April 11, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Peace of mind from a
bumper-to-bumper warranty is among the key attractions of a new car.
But when the details are examined closely, it becomes clear that the
true extent of the coverage is often less generous than advertised!
There are major differences between brands, as indicated by the annual
inspection requirements for anti-perforation coverage or the short
audio system coverage provided by some brands.
To help consumers, CAA-Quebec has scrutinized warranties from 17
carmakers involving a total of 32 makes of vehicle. This 2014 Study of New-Vehicle Warranties facilitates comparisons of the coverage provided by the main industry
players at a glance, making it possible to judge key points of interest
and to make an informed decision.
Based on its comparisons, CAA-Quebec notes the emergence of "piecemeal"
coverage. For instance, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi offer shorter
coverage on audio systems than on the other parts of their vehicles. In
all three cases, coverage of the radio is limited to 3 years/60,000 km
rather than the 5 years/100,000 km applying to the rest of the car.
Similarly, the two Korean carmakers each limit the warranty to 2
years/40,000 km for certain parts, such as spark plugs at Kia or
batteries at Hyundai.
Although all warranties have exclusions, this phenomenon seems to be on
the increase among some carmakers. For example, modern audio systems
have become complex technological devices; they often incorporate
various electronic functions (such as GPS) with dashboard commands.
Repairing them can be very onerous.
"Carmakers decide on the conditions of the warranties they provide, and
they have the right to do this, but we feel that dealers have a duty to
explain this clearly and in detail to their customers before completing
a sale," says Sophie Gagnon, Vice President, Communications and Public
Affairs, at CAA-Quebec.
Restrictive anti-corrosion inspections
As regards improvements, in 2013 Mazda extended its warranty on
perforations caused by corrosion. It now stands at 8 years/unlimited
kilometres, or three years more than before. This is an excellent
initiative, especially since cars from this company experienced
problems of premature rusting up to 2010.
But Mazda has made this new warranty conditional on annual body
inspections. Where evidence is lacking, the manufacturer keeps its
anti-perforation coverage at 5 years/unlimited kilometres! BMW and Mini
are the only two other brands to require inspections - in their case,
every two years - to back their warranty's validity.
"These unusual requirements, often overlooked, can be costly for
motorists who don't expect them," Ms. Gagnon notes. "This emphasizes
again the importance of a careful look at the warranty booklet that
normally comes with the owner's manual, without waiting for a problem
Extended coverage for electric models
Motorists tempted by "zero emissions" can rest assured: all electric
vehicles enjoy longer coverage than gasoline models. The makers
normally guarantee electric powertrain components - battery, engine,
generator, power cables, etc. - for 8 years/160,000 km. The same
applies to components specific to hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges
to its 1,270,000 members.
For further information:
Assistant Director, Research and Public Affairs
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633