Volkswagen Kills Six-Year/72,000-Mile Warranty

Volkswagen gives a little, and takes a little. On the heels of their 2015 Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen Group of America wanted to present a positive face. They began offering a six-year and 72,000-mile new car warranty. It was a great way to show potential and returning customers they were solidly behind their products in spite of a lapse in judgment over their diesel emissions testing debacle. But, alas, all good things come to an end. Now VW has announced that the six-year warranty will be gone for 2020. Instead it’s being replaced with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, according to Automotive News.

But there’s still good news. VW will offer two years of free maintenance in exchange. This includes oil changes and scheduled maintenance for the first 24 months you own your new VW. As most manufacturers like Honda, Toyota and Ford offer a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, VW’s 2020 warranty still beats the industry standard. In fact it matches some premium brand offerings.

VW is also offering its dealers a $200 per vehicle advertising program for what it is calling a means to “better develop local markets.” Dealers have complained for years about dwindling profits. This seems to be one way VW will address those concerns.

In making the warranty change VW’s North American senior vice president of sales Duncan Movassaghi said most customers were unaware of the previous generous warranty. He said tha instead they found out in the dealership upon purchasing one of their products. VW wanted to shift resources toward satisfying the customers’ early ownership period.

VW feels that they have recovered from the bad publicity starting in 2015 from the news they had configured emission controls to sense and then shut off restrictive emissions hardware once laboratory emissions testing was concluded. The ensuing scandal applied to over 500,000 VWs in America, and over eleven million cars worldwide. In January 2017 VW plead guilty to rigging emissions testing. They paid a $2.8 billion fine.

The German auto manufacturer now appears to be aligning themselves for their upcoming increase in new vehicle launches. The “I.D. Buzz” their modern electric take on the classic VW Microbus will debut in 2021. Meanwhile, VW says they are investing over $50 billion in an all-new electric vehicle platform with development partner Ford Motor Company. Both are investing in a joint venture that could extend beyond this one platform-sharing alliance.

A reworked VW logo and the new slogan “Drive Bigger” are also part of Volkswagen’s new face. They’re trying to further distance themselves from their earlier transgressions. Additionally they announced the goal to reduce their carbon footprint by a third in 2025. “We have a responsibility to do better, to be greater and we intend to shoulder that responsibility,” says president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America’s Scott Keogh.