Manufacturers causing owners ‘stress’ over servicing during lockdown

Time 9:23 am, April 9, 2020

A number of car manufacturers are causing owners ‘unnecessary stress’ because they can’t get their vehicles serviced during the lockdown.

Drivers who need to get their car serviced are worried that missing a check-up could invalidate their warranty. 

Some car manufacturers have come out with blanket extensions to calm worried owners, but other brands are refusing to budge.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘In these uncertain times, everyone should be following government guidance concerning non-essential travel. 

‘Expecting drivers to go for a standard maintenance service during lockdown is against the spirit of government advice. Telling drivers to do something seemingly contrary to government advice may also add unnecessary stress to owners.’

Jim Holder, editorial director of Autocar and What Car? Magazines, added: ‘From a national perspective there is a wider responsibility for car manufacturers to act with integrity at this critical juncture, and they should put the needs of the country and the care of our critical workers, before the need to get cars serviced.’

Car dealerships were shut by the government on March 23, but their workshops and garages have remained open. This is designed to keep key workers on the move and not for the general public to have their cars serviced.

An MOT extension of six months and lasting for a year is in place as of March 30 to stop drivers worrying about getting their car checked and experts believe this should set a precedent for servicing too.

PA Media contacted every UK car manufacturer and asked what sort of leeway they were offering customers when it came to getting their cars serviced. 

The VW Group – including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat – would not offer a blanket extension. All the brands said they would deal with issues on a ‘case-by-case basis’. Porsche, part of the same group, said customers who made a request for a service in writing that couldn’t be completed due to the lockdown ‘would not be penalised’.

Alongside the VW Group, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Honda and Jeep have all refused to issue an automatic extension. Advice from those brands varied, with most asking customers to contact the firm’s respective customer services department.

A spokesperson for VW Group said: ‘If there is a valid warranty claim on a customer’s vehicle but the repair could not be completed before the warranty expires due to the current Government measures related to COVID-19, these repairs will be accepted by Volkswagen Group UK as being covered by warranty for up to 90 days after the warranty’s expiry date.’

BMW, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Vauxhall and Volvo have all issued blanket extensions for their customers who would have needed to get a service during the lockdown. These vary in time and mileage, but will give customers peace of mind.

Kia has put no limit on the time or mileage within which customers need to get their car serviced.

A spokesman said: ‘People need to look after their car wherever possible if they can by checking the oil and tyres, but car servicing is not important right now – what is important is staying home and protecting the NHS.’

MG and Rolls-Royce failed to respond.

All car manufacturers offering extensions and for how long

Maker / Time extension / Mileage allowed

BMW Three months / 2,000

Citroen Three months / 1,800

Dacia One month / Not specified

Ford Three months / 1,000

Hyundai Three months / 1,500

Jaguar Two months / 2,000

Kia Not specified / Not specified

Land Rover Two months / 2,000

Mazda Not specified / 1,875

Mercedes Three months / 3,728

Nissan Not specified / Not specified

Peugeot Three months / 1,800

Renault One month / Not specified

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Vauxhall Three months / 1,800

Volvo Three months / Not specified

Source: PA Media Motoring

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