Top end car brands resist the push to five year warranties

These companies sell some of the most desirable cars in the country, but potential buyers need to know where they fall short.

Some of Australia’s most sought-after luxury car brands are offering customers sub-par vehicle warranties.

More than 20 years after Hyundai introduced a five-year warranty on its cars in Australia, high-end brands such as Audi and BMW are refusing to budge on their three-year warranties.

Most major car brands moved to a five-year/unlimited km guarantee a few years ago, while some brands, including Kia and MG, offer seven years coverage.

Apart from Audi and BMW, Alfa Romeo and Porsche also have skinny warranty coverage.

Audi and Porsche are part of the giant VW Group, which also builds Volkswagens and Skodas that come with a five-year/unlimited km warranty.

Many of the vehicles in the VW Group share the same underpinnings and components such as engines and transmissions.

Audi and BMW Australia have been contacted for comment after Lexus announced it would extend its warranty coverage to five years, matching Mercedes-Benz. They are yet to respond.

But both brands have previously said they had no plans to extend their warranty.

Ultra high-end brands such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini have inferior warranty periods despite vehicle price tags that can exceed $1 million.

Ram Trucks, which imports and converts US pick-up trucks to right-hand drive in Australia, are similarly covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty. The rival Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck will also be covered by the same warranty period when it launches soon.

These shorter warranties leave owners at risk of being left out of pocket for two more years than most if any issues creep up with the car.

Most mainstream brands such as Toyota, Mazda and Subaru upped their cover from three to five years in the past few years.

Hyundai has had a five year warranty since 1999 and Kia has covered its cars for seven years since 2011.

Mitsubishi has a conditional 10-year/200,000km warranty for its vehicles, but you must get the vehicle serviced at a Mitsubishi dealership every year to be eligible.

Mercedes-Benz was the first luxury brand to up its warranty to five years in March, 2020.

Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo have since followed suit.

Lexus announced this week it would also join the ranks of brands offering a five year warranty from January 1, 2022, boosting its current four-year/100,000km guarantee.

The brand says it will also apply this warranty to any vehicle sold in 2021.

This is more than two years after its parent company Toyota switched to a five-year warranty period.

In 2020 Lexus Australia chief, Scott Thompson, said the company believed its four-year warranty period was at a good level at the launch of its Encore benefits program.

“Our focus has been on customer care, we believe that our warranty process of four years is basically, in terms of the industry, at a very good level,” said Thompson.

Lexus announced the new warranty period at the launch of its first electric car the UX300e last week.

The UX300e also has the longest battery warranty of any electric car on sale at 10 years/unlimited km. Most electric car batteries are guaranteed for eight years.

Originally published as Top end car brands resist the push to five year warranties

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