New car warranties and services

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New vehicle (manufacturer's) warranties

When you buy a new vehicle the manufacturer will "guarantee" the vehicle, usually for a limited period of time, provided the vehicle is used correctly.

This guarantee is known as a manufacturer's warranty or 'express warranty' because it is 'expressed', usually in writing, and is offered by or on behalf of the vehicle manufacturer.

A manufacturer's warranty sets out promises by the manufacturer to repair any defects in the product, in certain circumstances.

It is a voluntary warranty, which the manufacturer includes as part of the sales contract to make the vehicle more attractive.

If you find a defect in the vehicle during the warranty period, the warranty will normally give you the right to have it repaired free of charge.

The vehicle and all accessories fitted on behalf of the manufacturer at the time of sale are covered by the manufacturer's warranty.  Accessories fitted by the dealer are called after-market accessories and may not be covered by the vehicle manufacturer, but will normally be covered by the accessory manufacturer or the dealer.

Superficial damage (such as paint and upholstery) and normal wear and tear are not covered by the warranty.

A manufacturer's warranty will not normally cover:

  • routine services
  • tune-ups
  • defects caused from an accident or misuse of the vehicle.

The manufacturer's warranty for a new vehicle can vary  but some manufacturers are offer warranties for up to 5 years or 100,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

New vehicle warranties and servicing

New vehicle express warranties guarantee to fix the vehicle should something go wrong during the warranty period. This warranty can be subject to certain terms and conditions and often includes conditions to ensure any servicing is carried out by qualified staff, using appropriate quality parts and according to the manufacturer's specification. These conditions can usually found in the vehicle’s service log book.

If the requirements of the manufacturer’s warranty are not followed the warranty may be invalidated or benefits such as extended warranty periods (eg five years or 100,000km) may be lost.

These benefits should be weighed up against the savings that might be made by servicing the vehicle somewhere cheaper.

While consumers are still entitled to claim for a manufacturing defect, these can sometimes be difficult to prove. To prove an issue was caused by a faulty part or installation of the part during manufacture, it may be necessary to show the correct fluids or filters were used in servicing, or the after sale adjustments were made at the correct time.

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