The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has allowed Mitsubishi's conditional 10-year warranty offer to stand, ruling that it does not prevent competition in the automotive repair and servicing industry.
The consumer watchdog announced that is had not objected to an exclusive dealing notification lodged by Mitsubishi in regards to its recently-announced 10-year, 200,000km extended warranty.
The warranty is conditional on the car being serviced only at authorised Mitsubishi dealers and service centres for 10 years, while a five-year, 100,000km warranty is now offered on new Mitsubishi vehicles serviced outside the dealer network.
The ACCC found this arrangement did not limit consumers to one particular service provider and therefore did not threaten competition in the sector.
“The ACCC carefully considered a variety of factors in its decision, including a large number of submissions from independent mechanics, aftermarket parts suppliers, members of the public and associations,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said in a statement.
“While a number of consumers will no doubt value a longer warranty, we recognise the concerns that the requirement to use Mitsubishi dealers and service centres may have an impact on independent mechanics’ ability to provide competition.
“The ACCC has allowed this notification to stand based on current information. There is no basis at present to conclude that the notified conduct has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition."
However, the consumer body acknowledged that if evidence were to later emerge suggesting Mitsubishi's offer "materially harms competition", it would be able to revoke the notification at any point.
Mitsubishi is the only car maker in Australia to offer 10 years of coverage in its new-car warranty, with the next best warranty periods coming courtesy of Kia, Ssangyong, MG and Haval – all which provide new-car buyers with seven years of coverage, with no limit on the number of kilometres travelled.