I AM sure many new car buyers must have realised by now that the five-year warranty is more of a bane than a boon.
More and more car brands are resorting to this apparently subtle strategy to promote sales. The big question is whether such a warranty benefits the buyers or sellers more.
Cost of parts and services under the warranty period provided by authorised workshops is exorbitant (usually 200% more compared with freelance ones). The only good thing is that they (authorised workshops ) provide genuine parts, so to speak.
On the service side itself, at times it leaves one wondering whether certain parts and fluids have really been replaced/changed, as in all occasions car owners are not allowed to go in the workshop to see the work in progress even for a brief moment.
At freelance workshops, customers are permitted to see the repairs in progress if they want to do so.
When it comes to warranty claims, in most cases the buyers end up as suckers whereby, after much hassle, the faulty parts are usually only repaired but not replaced.
Why can’t big established automotive brands give their customers new replacements if the faulty goods are returned regardless of liabilities and with no questions asked?
Three weeks ago, I had an unpleasant experience when making a warranty claim on my car.
It was a claim to repair the drive shaft cover (bellow) which was punctured and leaking grease.
Even after much hassle, the car dealer refused to honour the warranty because the bellow is excluded in the terms and conditions.
I pointed out that the design of the oil drip tray does not provide adequate protection to the undercarriage parts like the bellows, hoses and etc, thus making them vulnerable to damage from objects kicked up by the front wheels.
The dealer agreed that it could partly be a design fault but I was still asked to pay for the total cost of the repair with only a discount of 20% on the price of the bellow. The bill came to RM409 just to change a small dust cover.
For now, it looks like this five-year warranty concept is only a sales gimmick and does not really provide benefits or peace of mind to the buyer.
I believe the situation was created by popular brands that are doing good sales and have become arrogant.
Hopefully, with greater competition from more car makers and players in the industry, like the fantastic bounce back of Proton/Geely, buyers will get to enjoy more and better benefits and terms in the future.
KHOO KOK HEONG