CAA-Quebec's 2013 study of new-vehicle warranties reveals disparities in coverage

QUEBEC CITY, May 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - CAA-Quebec today published its 2013 Study of New-Vehicle Warranties, providing consumers with a practical, at-a-glance tool for comparing the warranties offered by the major automakers. Among other highlights, the study reveals that increasingly widely available plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are sold with extra protection, which will likely be reassuring to prospective buyers.

"The manufacturer's warranty is a huge factor in the decision to purchase one vehicle over another," explains Pierre Beaudoin, CAA-Quebec's Senior Director, Technical Services. "It's important that consumers take the time to properly assess warranties, to understand what's covered, for example, or learn what specific protections there are for the main components of the vehicle, or in the event of perforation due to rust."

The bumper-to-bumper warranty: significant differences
This year, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi are the only manufacturers to warranty their entire vehicles (popularly known as a "bumper-to-bumper" warranty) for a period of 5 years or 100,000 kilometres. Mitsubishi even offers a 10-year / 160,000-km warranty on the powertrain, which consists of the engine, transmission and differential.

"Beyond the marketing strategy, the signal to consumers from these automakers is clear: they are banking on the reliability of their product," Mr. Beaudoin notes, adding: "Being able to count on the most extensive coverage possible is always a prime concern for members who call our Automotive Advisory Services for advice on a new-vehicle purchase."

Plug-in hybrids and plug-in electrics: adapted coverage
It's reassuring to note that, as a rule, the same warranty conditions apply to PHEVs and PEVs as to gas-powered vehicles. Some components are even better protected: several PHEV and PEV models are sold with an 8-year / 160,000-km warranty on key components of the so-called electric powertrain, including the battery pack, power cables, electric motor, electronic control module, charger, and more. "It's normal and above all reassuring that these manufacturers should offer extended coverage, given the fears that some consumers still have about the technology involved. So far, though, those fears have proved to be unfounded," Mr. Beaudoin emphasizes.

Body: some gains, but…
Corrosion coverage varies a great deal, whether in terms of surface rust or body-panel perforation. Generally speaking, automakers offer a 3- or 4-year / 60,000- or 80,000-km warranty against surface rust. Notable exceptions are Volvo and Suzuki (the latter will cease selling automobiles in North America in 2014), which offer meagre 1-year and 1½-year surface-rust warranties, respectively. One encouraging trend in recent years is that warranties against rust perforation are more generous among all manufacturers, and particularly in the case of Audi, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo, which now offer 10- to 12-year unlimited-kilometre coverage. The majority of automakers, however, still offer only 5- or 6-year warranties.

"The quality of materials used to build automobiles has considerably improved over the years, and today's vehicles are better protected against rust. Plus, considering our harsh climate, the huge amounts of abrasives used on our roads in winter and the challenge of properly washing a car during the colder months, consumers are looking for good basic warranties in that area," Mr. Beaudoin concludes, adding: "Consulting our 2013 Study allows them to make the required comparisons and then proceed with an informed purchase."

CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,210,000 members.


For further information:

Cédric Essiminy
Public Relations Officer
514 861-7111, ext. 3210
Cell.: 514 717-4040 

Philippe St-Pierre
Communications Advisor
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633

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