Fleet News

Warranty shake-up in pipeline as VW and SEAT cap mileage cover

MITSUBISHI, Skoda and Hyundai are the only remaining manufacturers to offer fleets a three-year unlimited mileage warranty on new cars following decisions by SEAT and Volkswagen to drop their mileage ceilings to 60,000 miles. From January 1, 2002, it is likely all car manufacturers will move to a minimum of two years' cover as a result of a European consumer guarantees directive created to provide a level playing field throughout the community on consumer goods statutory rights.

SEAT and Volkswagen claim the cost-saving move is unlikely to affect fleets as the traditional operating cycle is 60,000 miles and it would allow them to add value 'in other ways'. The Spanish marque's new 60,000-mile warranty came into effect on July 1, while Volkswagen's starts on September 1, the first day of X-registration.

Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Skoda said they have no plans to change their unlimited mileage cover. Mitsubishi became the first manufacturer to bring in a 36-month limitless mileage warranty in the mid 1980s, Hyundai followed in 1991 and Skoda introduced its version in July 1996.

While Rover and Peugeot cover on new cars is extended to three years with two years' dealer backing as part of the front-end price, Ford, Vauxhall, Fiat, Citroen and Renault offer cost-extra top-ups.

Ford is sticking to one-year/ unlimited mileage cover on passenger cars despite launching the new Transit van range with a three-year/ 100,000-mile package in a competitive move against its chief LCV rival, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Commercial guarantees such as those on cars are not directly affected by the Euro ruling, but a spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said: 'Manufacturers may choose to introduce two-year warranties when the directive comes into effect.'

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