THE announcement of a 10-year new car warranty by Mitsubishi Motors Australia has courted controversy because it is conditional on customers exclusively servicing their vehicles at Mitsubishi dealerships, else the warranty duration is reduced to five years.
Announced before Mitsubishi had obtained full approval from the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), the proposed warranty has been met with more than 150 objections from of automotive parts suppliers, industry associations and small independent repairers.
Concerns have been raised that the terms of the warranty set a precedent for other brands to follow suit and, in a market where the average age of a vehicle is 10 years, potentially cut aftermarket repairers out of the loop almost completely if enough big-selling carmakers introduce similar incentives.
GPC Asia Pacific, which owns VASA member Ashdown-Ingram along with the Repco and NAPA Auto Parts brands, was among the organisaitons submitting an objection to the Mitsubishi warranty.
“We have long championed the cause of choice of repairer for Australia’s vehicle owners,” said the GPC submission.
Such choice is critical to ensuring a vibrant competitive industry of automotive service and repair workshops, tens of thousands of whom are independent small businesses, as well as a competitive market for the supply of service and replacement parts.”
Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) CEO Stuart Charity described the Mitsubishi warranty as encouraging consumers “to trade away their statutory rights to avoid any potential future issues.”
“It is a blatant attempt to reinforce the myth promulgated by car companies that the only protection a consumer has on their vehicle is under the manufacturer’s warranty.”