Published on June 24th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin


Manufacturer’s Warranty Versus Extended Warranty

If you have shopped for a new car in the past five years, you may have noticed how warranties have evolved.

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Vehicle manufacturers are now offering longer new car warranty periods in Malaysia, although specific policies vary from company to company.

However, many Malaysian consumers continue to only focus primarily on the retail price of a new car when making their purchase decisions.

Why is it so important to pay closer attention to new car warranties? Well, if you want to enjoy optimal ownership experience, total cost of ownership and peace of mind in the long run, understanding and factoring in warranties is essential.

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Manufacturer’s Warranty and Extended Warranty – What Is the Difference and Does It Matter?

At its core, a new car warranty – offering bumper-to-bumper coverage – is a guarantee that validates a company’s faith in its products and their components. It reassures customers with the promise of fixing any defects or malfunctions that may appear within a set period of time, at no extra cost to the customers. An exception would be on ‘wear and tear’ items such as brake pads, wiper blades and tyres.

The duration of new car warranties offered in Malaysia have expanded significantly in recent years. Most manufacturers now offer five years’ coverage with limited mileage (always calculated by whichever comes first) or unlimited mileage. But even here, differences in terminologies and policies can often be confusing.

In Malaysia, there are two main classifications for new car warranties – manufacturer’s warranty and extended warranty.

A manufacturer’s warranty, as the term indicates, is fully backed by the automaker. It offers the most comprehensive coverage as terms and conditions as well as parts covered are the same throughout the warranty period. A good example would be the five-year manufacturer’s warranty with unlimited mileage from Renault that is fully backed by the company and its sole franchise holder, TC Euro Cars.

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An extended warranty, on the other hand, usually involves backing by external third parties like insurance companies towards the latter part of the warranty period. Extended warranties are typically two plus three years or three plus two years.

It is also important to note that a number of manufacturers and their dealers offer what is termed as a ‘five-year warranty’, which in principle may not be a full manufacturer warranty and instead, actually functions more like an extended warranty.

For maximum coverage, better ease of ownership and cost savings, as well as more peace of mind, a manufacturer’s warranty is most ideal for the following reasons:

  • No omissions or additional charges. As mentioned above, with a manufacturer’s warranty, terms and conditions as well as parts covered are consistent from the first year of ownership to the end of the warranty period. Customers can rest assured that there will be no surprises or hidden costs as long as the warranty is valid.

With extended warranties, terms and conditions may change at certain points in the warranty period. Additional charges could be imposed or selected parts initially covered could be excluded, resulting in extra costs for the customer

  • Fewer processes, more convenience. Also, a manufacturer’s warranty for new cars is not dependent on the processes and policies of third parties like insurance companies. As such, customers need not jump through additional hoops before relevant repairs or corrections can be made.

Extended warranties, however, are usually partially or fully backed by insurance companies. As such, customers are required to obtain additional verification and approval from authorised insurance adjustors before any action can be taken at the service centre. This typically means extra documentation and processes, which can be inconvenient.

  • More time saved with immediate rectifications. Customers who prioritise having a manufacturer’s warranty will also enjoy more time savings. As long as the relevant rectification is included under the warranty, immediate action can be taken. No need to wait for the authorised adjustor to check, verify and approve before rectifications can be conducted, as is the case with extended warranties.

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Tips to Avoid Warranty Issues

Whichever the case – manufacturer’s warranty or extended warranty – you should fully understand the finer details in your new car warranty.

Here’s how to get the most out of your vehicle’s warranty:

  • Read the fine print. Often bundled with your owner’s manual, the warranty gives specific details about your coverage. For example, did you know that should you get into an accident, you may void the warranty coverage on related parts affected? The same goes with modifications, particularly with non-factory parts. For instance, if you install a new audio unit and the factory speakers blow out, or if you put in aftermarket wheels that are a different size from the original equipment and sustain any suspension or brake damage, you will be denied coverage.
  • Be aware of your warranty period. Once you know what is covered under your warranty, ensure that you get any problems checked out before the warranty expires.
  • Service your car at an Authorised Service Center regularly. Getting routine maintenance is always a good idea. To ensure you keep your warranty intact, do follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.

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Renault’s Warranty Assurance

In Malaysia, all new Renault vehicles (except the niche Renault Sport models and electric vehicles), are covered by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty with unlimited mileage.

The Renault warranty underlines the company’s full confidence in the quality assurance and reliability of its modern-generation range of mass production vehicles. It is also a testament of the brand’s commitment to the Malaysian market and its customers.

With a comprehensive warranty and the exceptional value proposition of its contemporary, attainable passenger vehicles, Renault aims to deliver the real experience of peace of mind and stress-free ownership to customers in Malaysia.

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The Bottom Line

Buying a new car is a huge investment and there are many choices on offer as well as multiple factors to consider when making a purchase decision. Warranties may not top the list for most consumers, but it is worth considering if it can make a significant difference between two similar models.

New car warranties should be optimum and as a customer, you have every right to expect the best possible level of coverage and customer service when making a claim.

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Do your research thoroughly to ensure you are familiar with the different warranties provided as well as the terms and conditions covered before you sign on that dotted line.

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