The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that KIA Motors breached its code by not giving enough prominence to the 100,000-mile limit on its heralded seven-year warranty and that the advertisements were misleading because they did not highlight the varying periods of cover for different parts such as batteries and air conditioning units. Kia has been asked to remove the advertisements from circulation in their current form.
The ASA ruling against the KIA Motors’ 7-year warranty should help expose the small print restrictions of other manufacturer schemes, according to Warranty Direct. Just days after Vauxhall continued the trend of manufacturers extending their cover by launching its own ‘lifetime’ care package, the leading independent specialist says consumers should not be fooled by the marketing hype.
“The ASA ruling is a lesson to check the small print rather than just being sold on the headline,” says Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct.
Warranty Direct, which challenged KIA’s advertising, says the ASA ruling should have far-reaching implications on how manufacturers market warranties and how the public view them.
“It is going to be interesting to see how the others react,” says McClure Fisher. “I’m intrigued to see how Vauxhall now take the lifetime cover to market – is it for lifetime or for 100,000 miles?”
Other manufacturers to have recently extended their cover include Hyundai (7 years), Toyota (5 years) and Chevrolet (5 years).
The increase in emphasis on manufacturer warranties in their marketing and the number of growing number of independent and dealer warranties available in the market, lead Used Car Expert to create sister site Warranty Expert, which helps consumers compare warranty cover.
One of the key areas that consumers can be caught out on is whether the warranty protects them against parts failing due to wear and tear - in most cases manufacturer warranties do not, but some dealer and independent warranties do. This makes a big difference to the consumer's risk of being hit by a surprise repair cost.