Lithia Motors dealership chain has broken with service-industry tradition and is extending its vehicle repair warranty on non-maintenance parts to three years/50,000 miles.
The extension from a warranty of one year or 12,000 miles is designed to help boost loyalty at Lithia's 110 dealerships, says Ron Stoner, Lithia vice president-fixed operations.
Excluded from the overage are routine “wear” parts such as brake pads and clutches in manual transmission vehicles.
Introduced as part of Lithia's Assured Service program, the longer warranty plan was tested last year at several stores. They saw a 21% boost in non-warranty retail parts and labor revenues.
Under the Assured Service program, Lithia stores provide free tire rotation and no-cost repairs of flat tires. If flats need to be replaced, Lithia does so up to two years after purchase.
Dealers have been advised by Lithia's headquarters to tell customers the new warranty applies only to parts being replaced or serviced, not to failures of related parts, Stoner says. So, a transmission-seal replacement would not cover subsequent failure of the transmission oil pump or the transmission itself.
The Assured Service program promises customers same-day service on most maintenance parts and no charges above the quoted price on any repairs.