Mitsubishi is poised to introduce Australia’s first 10-year warranty – the longest coverage offered by a car-maker locally, and double the length of time offered by most rivals.
The warranty is set to increase from five or seven years currently offered on selected models, to 10 years coverage across the entire range from October 2020.
However, the extended coverage only applies to vehicles serviced within the Mitsubishi dealer network using the company’s fixed-price service program.
Five, six, and seven-year warranties offered by other car companies do not compel customers to service within their brand’s dealer network.
Mitsubishi customers will still be able to get their car serviced by licenced mechanics outside the dealer network, however those cars will be excluded from the 10-year/200,000km warranty offer – and will instead only have a full factory warranty of five or seven years, as disclosed at the time of purchase.
Mitsubishi notified the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about its plans and the peak consumer authority is considering the 10-year warranty proposal.
A statement from the ACCC said it is “currently seeking submissions about the notification by 2 October 2020. Details about how to make a submission are available from the link below. The ACCC intends to make a decision regarding the notification in October 2020. This will either be a decision to issue a draft notice to revoke the notification, or a decision to take no further action and allow the notification to stand.”
Although Mitsubishi’s 10-year warranty offer comes with conditions – and customers will be obliged to stay within the dealer network and a fixed-price servicing schedule – it is the latest chapter in automotive warranty wars.
The increased warranty coverage across most major automotive brands over the past three years was triggered by numerous investigations by the ACCC into the entire car industry, following customer complaints of dodgy practices and systemic failures when it came to repairing manufacturing defects under warranty and free-of-charge.
The ACCC put the car industry on notice five years ago and has since signed court-enforceable undertakings with a number of major automotive brands, obliging them to honour their agreements under Australian Consumer Law when presented with a customer vehicle with manufacturing defects.
While Hyundai introduced five-year warranty coverage in 1999 and Mitsubishi followed in 2004, the remaining Top 10 car brands did not adopt five-year warranties until 2018 and 2019, about three years after the ACCC began putting the industry under the spotlight.
Hyundai’s sister brand Kia introduced a permanent seven-year warranty in 2014 and Mitsubishi has had seven-year coverage on selected models since late 2018.
In addition to extending its capped price service program from three years to 10 years, Mitsubishi will provide free roadside assistance for four years on vehicles serviced within the dealer network.
A representative for Mitsubishi Australia said: “We look forward to being able to offer a 10-year warranty to our customers soon.”
Hyundai was the first brand in Australia to offer a five-year warranty across the range, introducing the extended coverage in 1999.
Mitsubishi was second with permanent factory-backed five-year coverage, from December 2004.
Isuzu launched a five-year/130,000km warranty on its D-Max ute in January 2013 and the MU-X SUV gained the same coverage when it was introduced in November 2013.
Renault introduced a five-year warranty on passenger cars – but not sports models or vans – in April 2011. The French brand added a five-year/200,000km warranty to commercial vehicles from July 2020.
Hyundai’s sister brand Kia introduced a permanent factory-backed seven-year warranty across the range from October 2014.
Jeep launched its 'There & Back Guarantee' five-year warranty in February 2017.
Volkswagen’s sister brand Skoda moved to a five-year warranty in January 2017.
Honda introduced a five-year warranty in July 2017, and has from time to time done monthly sales campaigns offering seven-year coverage on selected models.
Citroen adopted a six-year warranty in July 2014 but that coverage was wound back to three years in November 2017 after a change of distributor in Australia.
However, following a backlash, the importer of Citroen and its sister brand Peugeot increased warranty from three years to five years/unlimited kilometres on all models except vans (which have five-year/200,000km coverage) from February 2018.
As part of its relaunch, emerging Korean car maker Ssangyong boosted warranty coverage from five years to seven in September 2018.
In December 2018 Mitsubishi added seven-year/150,000km warranty to the Triton ute (up from five years/unlimited kilometres) as a special offer, but it effectively became permanent on the Triton and most other Mitsubishi models through to the end of September 2020 (before switching to 10 years coverage in October 2020).
Subaru and Toyota introduced five-year warranty coverage in January 2019 while Nissan finally rounded out the Top 10 brands by adopting five-year coverage in April 2019, to coincide with the start of the Japanese financial year.
Chinese car maker MG added seven-year warranty to selected SUV models in November 2017, while its older passenger cars retained six-year coverage. However, MG switched to a permanent seven-year warranty across the range in March 2019.
In October 2019, Suzuki increased its warranty from three years/100,000km to five years/unlimited kilometres.
In August 2018, Hyundai Australia executives told media the company was considering increasing its warranty coverage beyond five years, in response to other brands eroding what was once a marketing advantage. It has since experimented with seven-year warranty on selected models in monthly promotions.
In September 2019, Renault offered a seven-year warranty on selected models for a limited and repeated the offer in April 2020.
In October 2019, Hyundai introduced a seven-year warranty across most of its model range from the beginning of October to the end of December 2019, and then intermittently applied the offer to selected models in the first half of 2020. As this article was published, Hyundai said it had no plans to move to a permanent seven-year warranty across its entire range.
In December 2019, despite growing pressure to increase its warranty from three years to five, luxury brand BMW said it has no plans to adopt longer coverage. Less than six months later it would be the only mainstream luxury badge not to introduce five-year coverage either as a permanent or special offer.
In March 2020 Mercedes-Benz introduced a five-year warranty across its entire car, SUV, AMG, ute and van ranges.
In April 2020 Jaguar Land-Rover announced it would experiment with five-year warranty for a limited time, to the end of June 2020. But then it extended the offer to the end of September 2020.
In April 2020, Audi offered a five-year warranty on selected models as a limited promotion until the end of June 2020. In the same month, Swedish car maker Volvo announced it would introduce a five-year warranty across the range permanently.
In October 2020, Mitsubishi became the first manufacturer in Australia to offer a permanent 10-year warranty across the range and, as this article was published, Kia remains the only Top 10 brand with permanent seven-year warranty coverage across its range.
All other Top 10 brands – besides Mitsubishi and Kia – have five-year warranty coverage.