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GM Cuts Back on Complimentary Maintenance

» Posted February 4, 2019Resources | Share This Post

General Motors is putting its complimentary maintenance plan on a diet.

The country’s largest automobile manufacturer will allow owners of covered cars one free maintenance visit in the first year, down from three visits over three years. Although the company hasn’t said why it’s making the move, it comes amid other cost cuts.

The changes start with 2019 model vehicles from GM’s wide range of offering, including GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac cars. The single complimentary visit features an oil change, tire rotation and multipoint vehicle inspection. Owners can also continue to sign up for prepaid maintenance plans. Those deals, which vary by vehicle model, are offered through GM franchise dealerships.

Observers say the cut back on free maintenance is part of a larger push to trim spending. Late last year, the company announced that it was closing three plants—in Michigan, Ohio and Canada—and putting a fork in the production of six car models. GM also laid off about 15 percent of its staff.

The tweaks to the free maintenance plans won’t impact vehicle warranties. Chevrolet and GMC offer three years or 36,000 miles of coverage. Buick and Cadillac typically provide four years or 50,000 miles.

Understanding California’s Lemon Law

Just because GM is scaling back its free maintenance program, that doesn’t mean carmakers are off the hook when it comes to selling defective vehicles. That’s particularly true when the car is still under warranty.

California’s lemon law requires auto manufacturers to repair malfunctioning vehicles while they’re under warranty. If repair attempts are unsuccessful the manufacturer has to give the owner (or lessor) the option of a new, replacement car or a refund (including related expenses).

The law applies to both new and used cars, if repair attempts happen during the vehicle’s warranty period. The number of opportunities the manufacturer has to be given to fix the problem before invoking the law depends on the type of defect and the specific safety concerns it poses.

To be covered by the law, you must take certain steps to try to get the car repaired while it’s under warranty. You also have to document those efforts, as well as any signs that the repair work wasn’t successful.

Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Attorney

If you’re a California car owner with a lemon, you have the legal right to hold the manufacturer accountable. An experienced attorney can help by guiding you through the legal process and building the strongest possible case.

At the Bickel Law Firm, our California Lemon Law attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We take the time to understand each individual client’s unique circumstances, and draw on decades of experience to craft an approach tailored to your individual needs.  We are dedicated to helping the people we represent get the full remedies available under the law.

Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.


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