VW Upping Warranty Coverage

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VW can’t sell its excellent diesels here anymore, but it can up the warranty coverage it offers on its vehicles:

The company just announced it will add a six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper transferable warranty for each car and crossover in the brand’s 2018 U.S. lineup – except the electric Golf.

Unlike most competitors, Volkswagen’s “People First” warranty is transferable to subsequent owners for up to six years from the date of the vehicle’s original purchase or 72,000 miles.

The plug-in electric Volkswagen e-Golf, the one model exempt from the new warranty, will retain traditional three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage, with powertrain components warrantied for five years/60,000 miles. The e-Golf’s battery pack also carries its own warranty covering loss of more than 30 percent of its charging capacity for up to eight years/100,000 miles, Volkswagen said in a statement Friday.

The move to offer expanded warranties that are double the industry standard three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper is likely to give Volkswagen – which has a car-centric lineup in the U.S. – an edge against competitors amid waning consumer interest in traditional sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. It also comes as the brand attempts to restore market share in the wake of the “cheating” scandal.

The VW brand’s U.S. sales skidded 12 consecutive months starting in Nov. 2015 after the company acknowledged skirting U.S. diesel emissions rules. Analysts applauded VW’s expanded warranty coverage.

“It’s an excellent move for them,” said Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power and Associates. In 1998, early in his tenure as CEO of Hyundai Motor America, O’Neill instituted a five-year bumper-to-bumper/10-year powertrain warranty called the Hyundai Advantage. At the time, Hyundai was battling a reputation for poor quality. Within four years, Hyundai U.S. sales more than quadrupled.

“This is less about the diesel crisis and more about removing any reservations that consumers might have” about buying a VW, O’Neill said.  “Essentially, they are putting their money where their mouth is, and consumers like that.”

 

Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said the expanded warranty will play a key role in helping rebuild the VW brand.

“Our future success depends on how well we listen and respond to our customers to rebuild their love for Volkswagen,” Woebcken said during a press briefing at a dealership in Dearborn, Mich., on Friday.

Woebcken said the VW brand was at a “fundamental turning point” and laid out several goals for 2018 that include “rebuilding the trust of our customers, dealers, and employees.”

Michael DiFeo, chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council and dealer principal of Linden Volkswagen in Roselle, N.J., said he and other VW dealers have already seen the impacts of the expanded warranty offerings on consumers in their consideration of the Atlas and, more recently, the three-row Tiguan.

“Having a best-in-class warranty is impacting their buying decisions,” DiFeo said. Bringing the expanded warranty to the remainder of the lineup can only help sell vehicles, he said.

“The perceived cost of ownership of a Volkswagen has always been one of the reasons why people have not considered the brand, and I think having the [six-year/72,000-mile] warranty addresses that concern head-on,” DiFeo said.

As for Volkswagen dealerships, the additional warranty “will be beneficial for our service departments. Over time, we should see an increase in consumer business,” DiFeo said

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9 COMMENTS

  1. A bumper to bumper warranty on a VW in ownership years 4, 5, and 6 worth more than people think–probably more than VW execs even realize. Easily $100/month to $150/month, or $3.6k – $5.4k per vehicle. I know, I have two VWs. You need box-bottom manila folders to hold all the repair receipts.

    • I hear people keep saying this but I have owned over a dozen VW’s since 1975 and none gave me the first hint to of a problem until >150k miles and then only minor issues like alternator and a dead radio. Including a TDI Jetta with 347k miles, I have 3 in the family now, all 2014, 2016 and 2018 47k miles, 32k miles, and 26k miles all 100% trouble free

      • Once upon a time I had a few co-workers who owned VWs. So I got to overhear a lot of phone calls to the shops they took their cars to. Seemed that always one of them had their car in for something that broke or wasn’t working right or whatever. The current co-worker with a VW has an older one with TDI. Too old for the debacle. It seems fine more or less but he has multiple vehicles and I can’t hear him on the phone from my desk.

      • Hi Alex,

        I have two friends who are independent mechanics and own their own shops. The main issue with VWs, they tell me, is that servicing some of them can be more difficult due to packaging. It is hard to get at some things. But – in general – most of them don’t need an unusual degree of servicing. VW apparently had some glitches with its early DSG transmissions – and these are expensive to replace – but overall, VWs seem to be very sound/durable cars as far as the Big Ticket items.

        • I miss the Mk 1 Rabbit/Golf, it was very easy to work on, open the hood and every important part of that engine was accessible right there on the top, the engine was transverse and leaned back a bit, the water pump, distributor, oil filter, 4 spark plug all within easy reach.
          At around 250k miles I needed a clutch, I pulled then entire transmission assembly out of the car by myself, did what I had to do and put it all back in the space of a Saturday, no lifts, no hoists just my hands and a few tools

          Contrast that to a fuel injector replacement in a Maxima! I didn’t dare even attempt it myself and it cost me $1400 on a car with under 70k miles. Frankly, I am sick of hearing all the nonsense spread about VW’s and reliability.

          When people post about “check engine” lights I usually retort that it is not a check engine light but a Clover Detector, by your driving inputs the car realizes it has a clover behind the wheel and wants to get him out of the car. VW’s have too much personality – is, dynamics and steering feedback for a cover to handle.

          I had one tell me he hated VW’s because the steering was always needed to be corrected, I watched her drive, she was jerking the wheel all over the place on a straight away, I told her to hold it straight and the car will go straight, turn and it will turn. “I don’t like that” was the answer.

          • Well-said, Alex!

            I suspect VW has the same problem Audi once had (and may still have) among the demographic you describe… Americans unused to German cars who expect them to drive like American cars. Audi almost got bankrupted over pedal placement designed for people who actually drive confusing Down Syndromian people who don’t/can’t.

            • I remember the Audi 5000 debacle well. Also I remember 60 minutes faking the so-called “unintended acceleration” they had to rig the engine to do it and IT STILL wasn’t able to.overcome the brakes. Lying Media Scum now and always.
              It’s one reason I know the diesel “scandal” was all BS.

        • When I was in the UK last year I saw so many VW’s and Audis that a time traveler would assume the Germans won the war. I mentioned i to my friend on the way to Stonehenge, about how many VW’s I see, the first word out of his mouth was “reliable” , then “I have a GTI”

          A few more people told me the same thing, he let me drive his TDI Polo, what a hoot of a car and 80 mpg.

  2. Somebody came to their senses. The initial reaction was to promote new and more electronic features as well as alternative. meaning electric vehicles.

    No doubt every query of their customer base after that revealed their customer base wasn’t interested in such.

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