A warranty is usually bundled along whenever you buy a brand new car. In some respects, it gives customers peace of mind and confidence in their purchase.
What is a warranty?
A vehicle warranty is a guarantee of the integrity of a product and is given to a buyer in which the manufacturer of that product carries responsibility for repair and replacement of defective parts. Put simply, it’s a manufacturer’s agreement that protects the buyer from manufacturing defects and faulty components over the warranty period.
Usually, manufacturers provide a vehicle with a warranty period of 2 to 5 years, or even up to 10 years. This is all dependent on the manufacturer’s policy as well.
Types of warranties
To understand what is not covered in your vehicle’s warranty, you first need to understand what type of warranty it has. This will help you determine which parts are covered and which parts aren’t. Usually, there are four types of warranties, ones from the factory, extended warranties, bumper to bumper, and powertrain warranties. These apply to all new vehicles and in some cases to those that are pre-owned or used.
Starting with the factory warranty, this is the first type that is issued to your vehicle once it has been released to you. This type of warranty is often determined by the manufacturer depending on the vehicle’s type and will have varied coverage depending on the model you have chosen. It will be categorized into months and mileage. It is given to new owners to cover any defective parts due to poor workmanship or manufacturer error. This along with the bumper-to-bumper warranty is one of the more common types offered in the Philippines.
The second type is the extended warranty. While uncommon in the Philippines once, your factory warranty runs out you can have the option of purchasing an extension. Its coverage will be similar to the factory warranty, however, a few items in the coverage might be removed depending on the manufacturer.
The third kind is the bumper-to-bumper warranty. This is the most common and comprehensive out of the four types. It is also called the exclusionary warranty because it lists a few vehicle components that are not included in the coverage. This type of warranty is also usually paired with both factory and extended warranties. Similar to the other types coverage will vary on the manufacturer as well as the coverage period. The bumper-to-bumper warranty period will typically last about 3 to 5 years and with a certain amount of distance covered. These will only last until the designated year coverage is met or if the vehicle exceeds the mileage stipulated in the coverage.
The last kind is the powertrain warranty. This covers your vehicle’s powertrain components such as the engine, transmission, axles, driver shafts, seals, gaskets, transfer case if your vehicle has, and other specific components. This will typically last about 5 years with a certain amount of distance covered or whichever comes first. Some manufacturers already have this integrated with their bumper-to-bumper warranties while others have it as a separate entity entirely.
Can warranties be transferred?
A vehicle’s warranty can be transferred to a new owner as long as the vehicle is still within the coverage period. Though, this may depend on the manufacturer.
Warranty on OEM accessories
Some manufacturers will give out separate warranties on certain items or systems found in the vehicle released to you. These normally include the air conditioning system, the car video and audio system, the initial tires that were released with your unit, and the battery that was also initially released with your unit.
The warranty for OEM accessories pertains to those stipulated by the manufacturer, if these are found to be defective, dealers are requested to handle the warranty claims and make the necessary repairs in their own facility. The dealers are also authorized and are requested to make direct contact with the manufacturer so that maximum assistance can be given to the customer.
How to make a claim?
Before you make a warranty claim on your car, first determine if the issue was brought about by misuse or wear and tear. Depending on the manufacturer’s warranty policy, some items for wear and tear might be covered, while others may not be. So first and foremost, review your warranty policy. Consult your warranty booklet and use it as reference material when staking your claim.
Next, is to call your dealer ahead of time and report your problem to them and ask if what the next course of action is, and if it is covered under warranty. This will depend on your use case with the car, so make sure that you detail to the dealership how you drive and other possible triggers for the problem. On top of that, also as for any information about recalls, or do your research about recalled cars in the Philippines. Perhaps your problem is covered by the manufacturer’s recall programs. If you’re not entirely sure about what exactly is affecting the car, then report what is wrong, then bring it over for them to check on. It is important to note that recalls can be separate from your warranty, and can be availed of even after the period has ended.
Usually, a manufacturer will process your vehicle by first inspecting the car and investigating your claim. Depending on the scope of the problem, the availability of parts, and the time of repair, you might need to go home without your vehicle for a while especially if it is a major component. Smaller parts can be replaced within the day, but also note that there are other people in the dealership that the technicians also need to service so it would be best if you called ahead. Make sure that your warranty booklet is with you when you make the claim as it is also used to log valid claims. Also, make sure that your car is registered and has the proper documentation accompanying it.
What isn’t covered?
While a lot of items on your car are covered, most policies will dictate that these items listed below are not covered by the warranty policy of most manufacturers. Note that this is just a guide, so best to consult your policy, but in general, these are the items and scenarios that are not covered.
- Petroleum products and fluids such as oil, grease, battery electrolytes, radiator coolant, air conditioner refrigerant, power steering fluid, and other items not specified by the manufacturer. Any damage resulting from or related to the products mentioned above is also not covered by the warranty.
- Damage from participation in any race, rally, or competition of any form.
- Use of the vehicle as a taxi or as a rental unit.
- Use of the vehicle beyond the specified limitations or indecent purpose of the manufacturer.
- Use of non-genuine parts or the wrong fuel, lubricants, or fluid not recommended by the manufacturer.
- Modifications that were done to your vehicle that affect its function or performance with non-genuine parts or accessories without the approval of the manufacturer. However, if the dealership itself installs these modifications onto your vehicle, your warranty can still cover these new components.
- Corrosion or deterioration of plated surfaces, rubber items, and plastics due to rusting or aging. It also does not cover scratches or paint chips that have occurred after the release of the unit to the customer.
- Unusual noises or vibrations which do not affect the function or performance of the vehicle or compromise the safety of the user.
- Any damage incurred due to improper storage or transport of your vehicle.
- Having your vehicle towed and the additional costs associated with it.
- Damage caused by “force majeure” such as fire accidents/collisions, theft, and vandalism.
- If your car is not registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) it is also not covered by its warranty. This is also why dealerships are required to release the unit to you with complete documents along with the warranty booklet.
- Any alteration to the vehicle’s mileage also voids your warranty.
When can you make a warranty claim?
If any of the above scenarios are met, then it’s likely that the warranty claim won’t push through, and you may be billed for a repair if you choose to resolve your issue at the dealership. Again, wear and tear items or items that are classified as such do not fall under warranty, and cannot be made a claim for.
What voids a warranty?
Technically, your vehicle’s warranty as a whole won’t be totally void. Some policies carry a per-system basis or per part basis. Each part or system may also carry its own set of warranties depending on the policy, so if you modify a piece in the system, that doesn’t mean that your general vehicle warranty will be totally void.