Receiving the adequate information on warranty

We warn consumers about the need to be vigilant on their vehicle warranty effects and the access to their personal data

Easra experts

12/20/20222 min read

What is really a warranty ? It is a promise from manufacturers that their vehicle will be free of defects for a certain period of time. Within this term, they oblige themselves to stand behind repair work and to assume product liability.

From that standpoint, vehicle manufacturers may exclude their liability in cases where repairs were incorrectly carried out by a repairer who was not cautious of vehicle security issue or not efficient in his work. They may also refuse a warranty claim, if there is evidence of lack of vehicle maintenance.

Practices exceeding the scope of warranty - Whilst vehicle manufacturers' control is acceptable as far as it is specific, i.e. restricted to the warranty scope, some manufacturers take for granted to govern all of the auto-motive aftermarket. As they enjoy a degree of privileged access to customers during and shortly after the vehicle purchase period, they take advantage of receiving their personal data to sending them continuous messages that lead them to believe that the warranty is invalidated if servicing work is carried out by independent repairers and if alternative brands of spare parts are used.

To this end, some provide either false or misleading information as follows, i.e they give incorrect advice explaining that to maintain their warranty it is "advisable", "recommended" or "preferred" to use manufacturers' networks.

Most of them use technology, especially in-vehicle data to convey misleading messages to motorists, for example with logbooks making it look that they have to be always stamped and signed by manufacturers' networks to keep warranty intact.

Another lock-in tactic is to let motorists understand that independent repairers are not able to offer all the soft-ware updates that are required for every service so that warranty be maintained.

Why these restrictive practices ? The reason behind the restrictive practices is an economic one. More than 30% of vehicle manufacturers' profits come from servicing, parts, vehicle finance and insurance, while they have been losing money on new vehicle sales. By generating sales volume, vehicle manufacturers create opportunities to strengthen their new customers' relationship, which result in a new stream of income.

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