Duck and Coverage: Volkswagen Extends Factory Warranties to 6 Years/72,000 Miles

Keen to improve its image after its diesel emissions fiasco, Volkswagen has decided to provide 2018’s lineup with some of the juiciest, most delectable extended warranties available from an automaker. Better still is that the warranty is transferrable to subsequent owners.

While most manufacturers provide the typical three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty with separate five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on their cars, Volkswagen is tossing 6-year/72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage on practically everything coming out next year. The only exception is the battery-driven e-Golf, which will persist with the industry standard. 

However, averages do have outliers. Among the furthest from the center are Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi — all of which offer 5-year/60,000-mile basic coverage and some of the most extensive powertrain warranties in the industry. But only Mitsubishi allows it to be transferred to secondary owners.

“Volkswagen has always been ‘the people’s car,’ and with the People First Warranty, we’re putting our customers first,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “By bringing the right cars, at the right time and making the offer very competitive, we believe we’re in the position to grow in the US market.”

VW is already growing in North America. Despite the diesel drama, the company’s U.S. sales have risen 6.4 percent this year. As the automotive market cools off and consumers turn to crossovers in ever-greater numbers, sales of the VW Golf are stronger than ever.

The improved basic warranty, initially introduced on the Tiguan and Atlas this spring, is part of a clear strategy to avoid losing any recently-taken ground.

“Volkswagen has begun to grow again in America, and buyers have welcomed the Atlas and Tiguan into their homes,” said Derrick Hatami, VW America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Expanding this warranty beyond those two models gives our dealers another compelling argument for the rest of our lineup, and we believe it will lead to a reduced overall cost of ownership for buyers.”

It’s definitely an impressive set of numbers and, with subsequent customers benefiting as well (assuming they buy prior to five years or 60,000 miles), it puts almost every other automaker indirectly on blast.

Automotive News is reporting the expanded coverage has already provided positive results at dealerships. In an interview, Michael DiFeo, chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council, said it’s helping steer customers into both the Atlas and Tiguan.

“Having a best-in-class warranty is impacting their buying decisions,” DiFeo said. “The perceived cost of ownership of a Volkswagen has always been one of the reasons why people have not considered the brand, and I think having the [six-year/72,000-mile] warranty addresses that concern head-on.”

We’d like to agree, but summer sales of the Tiguan don’t appear to have been all that strong and the Atlas is far too new to make any kind of comparative assessment. Still, adding this new warranty to dealer arsenals couldn’t possibly hurt, and could turn more than a few conflicted heads VW’s way.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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