Volkswagen Drops Two Years From Warranties
Volkswagen is trimming an important benefit for VW drivers, apparently in a move to try to save the German automaker a few bucks.
New Volkswagens will come with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, rather than the 6-year/72,000 deal that the company had previously offered to owners. To ease the pain on owners, the company will also offer two years of free maintenance for all models starting in 2020.
The company’s previous warranty was an industry best. Volkswagen rolled out that deal in 2017 as it was attempting to turn the corner on the swirling controversy over its emissions cheating scandal. Company officials have since said that the warranty didn’t seem to play much of a role in enticing VW owners to buy cars.
The 6-year warranty was a “valuable tool,” but the new combination of a 4-year warranty and two years of free maintenance “builds upon those benefits by still providing robust coverage and further lowering the cost of ownership,” a VW spokesman told USA Today.
The new, reduced warranty brings Volkswagen closer in line with luxury manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It also still tops the 3-year/36,000 mile warranty offered by Honda and Toyota.
Volkswagen buyers who purchase new 2019 models will still get the 6-year warranty.
Investigators at the U.S. Environment Protection Agency in 2015 caught VW deliberately misrepresenting emissions information about diesel vehicles. They also found that the company was and tricking vehicle emissions systems to give false reads. The fall out cost the company at least $25 billion.
Implications on Legal Protections for Drivers
The VW move to shrink warranties could have a significant impact for drivers covered by state lemon laws. These laws are designed to protect buyers and lessors who have been stuck with defective vehicles.
The California lemon law, for example, requires carmakers to perform a wide variety of repairs on vehicles while they are still under warranty. If the manufacturer refuses or is unable to fix the problem, it is generally required to take the car back and reimburse the owner or lessor for the purchase price and other related expenses. The manufacturer can also offer to replace the car, but the owner or lessor has the final decision whether to take that option.
By reducing the warranty, Volkswagen is effectively shrinking the time under which VW owners and lessors will be protected by the California lemon law. That makes it all the more important that a person who has been stuck with a defective vehicle seek the advice of a seasoned California lemon law attorney.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney
At the Bickel Law Firm, our California lemon law attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We work tirelessly to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
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 a California lemon law attorney.