Kia mulls 10-year war­ranty

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Kia Mo­tors Aus­tralia chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Damien Mered­ith says the com­pany would con­sider ex­tend­ing its in­dus­trylead­ing seven-year war­ranty to 10 years if an in­creas­ing num­ber of its com­peti­tors ex­tend their own of­fer­ings to seven years.

The South Korean car-maker in­tro­duced the seven-year-un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre new-ve­hi­cle war­ranty in Oc­to­ber 2014, and the com­pany has cred­ited it as be­ing one of the key rea­sons for a 95 per­cent sales in­crease be­tween 2014 and 2017.

When asked if Kia had a plan to main­tain its war­ranty edge, Mr Mered­ith said the com­pany would look at ex­tend­ing the war­ranty to 10 years.

“It would be fair to say that is our unique sell­ing propo­si­tion,” he said.

“It has been for four years. I think if you did it, and I am not say­ing we would do it, but we would look at 10 years very, very se­ri­ously.”

A num­ber of car-mak­ers, in­clud­ing Holden and Honda, have an­nounced tem­po­rary seven-year war­ranties on cer­tain ve­hi­cles over a spec­i­fied pe­riod, whereas Kia’s of­fer­ing is per­ma­nent and cov­ers all mod­els in its line-up.

It also in­cludes seven years of capped-price ser­vic­ing and road­side as­sist and it is fully trans­fer­able.

Citroen was the next-best per­ma­nent of­fer­ing in the Aus­tralian mar­ket with six years un­der pre­vi­ous dis­trib­u­tor Sime Darby, but new im­porter Inch­cape halved that to three years100,000km late last year.

Mr Mered­ith said if the 10-year term even­tu­ated, Kia would try to keep the of­fer­ing at un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres.

He added the com­pany had to con­sider three things care­fully be­fore ex­tend­ing the war­ranty of­fer.

“Ob­vi­ously it is the cus­tomer, Aus­tralian con­sumer law and the ACCC, Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion,” he said.

“We are of the view that the sev­enyear war­ranty cov­ers those three pil­lars pretty well.

“But with what the de­mands of the con­sumer are, the de­mands of the ACCC and the chal­leng­ing as­pects of the Aus­tralian con­sumer law, maybe, I’m not say­ing it is the an­swer, but maybe a 10-year war­ranty-un­lim­ited cov­ers those three pil­lars quite well. We are think­ing se­ri­ously about that.”

Mid-last year, the ACCC re­leased a draft re­port of its mar­ket study into Aus­tralia’s new-car in­dus­try, which high­lighted is­sues with war­ranties and man­u­fac­turer’s fo­cus on war­ranty obli­ga­tions to the ex­clu­sion of their con­sumer guar­an­tee obli­ga­tions.

WIN­NING DEAL: Kia’s sev­enyear war­ranty has been a mas­sive suc­cess and cov­ers its en­tire model range.

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