Ireland loses out in warranty stakes
WE are very poorly served in this state in regard to warranties on new cars compared to many countries, most noticeably our nearest neighbours. Every week I have emails complaining about the operation of warranties or, more often, how things go wrong just days after a warranty expires. Quite understandably, people begin to wonder if this is a conspiracy.
The attitude by some manufacturers to giving cus- tomer satisfaction in this situation leaves an awful lot to be desired.
Last week, General Motors in Britain and Germany announced that they were giving a "lifetime", or 100,000 miles, warranty on all new cars. However, Opel in Ireland is not following suit, saying that it is just being tested in the UK and German markets. Some test when it involves the two biggest countries.
Meanwhile, Toyota in the UK is giving a five-year warranty compared to three years here. This, to be fair, is at least better than the miserly two years offered by Ford and Volkswagen.
Kia has been leading the pack for some time with a seven-year warranty, while Hyundai is at last starting to roll out the five-year warranty which has been standard in the UK. Renault's five-year warranty option has been a crucial plank in building the success of its scrappage scheme this year.
A three-year warranty should be an absolute industry minimum.
However, whatever warranties that you have, there are always quite stringent conditions attached. One of the main ones is that the car is serviced by properly accredited agents. This isn't as easy as it once was, as the many closures over the last couple of years have meant that there can be fairly vast distances to travel to find a service agent. It is a situation that must be addressed.