Car makers given clean bill of health on warranty servicing

14 May 2004 #SMMT News

The Office of Fair Trading today confirmed that new car warranties are clear and fair. Manufacturers were quick to remove franchised dealer servicing as a condition on some new car warranties after the OFT raised concerns at the end of last year.

Today OFT issued a statement saying, ‘The remaining manufacturers whose new car warranties included servicing ties have all now lifted their servicing restrictions’.

Responding to the news, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘Our members took decisive action to address this issue. We did this quickly and in full cooperation with OFT. Although recommended, franchised dealer servicing is no longer a condition of any new car warranty.’

Free servicing is an incentive offered on many new models. The majority of owners also prefer to use a dealer as they can be confident that staff are fully trained and are also assured of the strongest resale values. However, those who wish to use a reputable, independent dealer can now do so whatever the make and model.

SMMT now encourages all those who represent consumer interests to promote a clear message.

The choice of where to service during the warranty period is yours. However, it is important that owners adhere to the servicing schedule. This means servicing at the right intervals and keeping evidence that all relevant work has been carried out.

Owners should therefore ensure that independent outlets supply a fully itemised invoice for any service carried out during the warranty period.

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