CAA 2013 study of new-vehicle warranties: Hybrids Get Extra Coverage

CAA-Quebec published its 2013 Study of New-Vehicle Warranties, providing consumers with a practical, at-a-glance tool for comparing the warranties offered by the major automakers.

Among other highlights, the study reveals that increasingly widely available plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are sold with extra protection, which will likely be reassuring to prospective buyers.

CAA-Quebec is the Quebec arm of the Canadian Automobile Association, the Northern equivalent to the U.S. AAA.

“The manufacturer’s warranty is a huge factor in the decision to purchase one vehicle over another,” explains Pierre Beaudoin, CAA-Quebec’s Senior Director, Technical Services. “It’s important that consumers take the time to properly assess warranties, to understand what’s covered, for example, or learn what specific protections there are for the main components of the vehicle, or in the event of perforation due to rust.”

The CAA said it is reassuring to note that, as a rule, the same warranty conditions apply to PHEVs and PEVs as to gas-powered vehicles. Some components are even better protected: several PHEV and PEV models are sold in Canada with an 8-year / 160,000 kilometer (100,000 miles) warranty on key components of the so-called electric powertrain, including the battery pack, power cables, electric motor, electronic control module, charger, and more.

“It’s normal and above all reassuring that these manufacturers should offer extended coverage, given the fears that some consumers still have about the technology involved. So far, though, those fears have proved to be unfounded,” Mr. Beaudoin emphasizes.

Another aspect of note has to do with rust coverage.

One encouraging trend in recent years is that warranties against rust perforation are more generous among all manufacturers, and particularly in the case of Audi, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo, which now offer 10- to 12-year unlimited-kilometer coverage.

The majority of automakers, however, still offer only 5- or 6-year warranties.

“The quality of materials used to build automobiles has considerably improved over the years, and today’s vehicles are better protected against rust. Plus, considering our harsh climate, the huge amounts of abrasives used on our roads in winter and the challenge of properly washing a car during the colder months, consumers are looking for good basic warranties in that area,” Mr. Beaudoin concludes.

CAA-Quebec’s 2013 Study of New Vehicle Warranties can be found through this link.