According to edmunds.com, a warranty is a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an item, by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time. What is important to note is that different circumstances will determine if your car dealer will or will not honour your warranty claim.
Sheena Kuteesa bought her Toyota Raum from a local bond approximately a month ago. Like any other motorist, she needed a certain level of assurance from the dealer that her car would be serviced at no cost if she experienced any mechanical breakdown. After a long discussion with the dealer, Kuteesa was assured that she would be entitled to free service for her engine for three months.
“After driving the car for two weeks, its radio started freezing. When I called the dealer about the problem, he recommended that I drive to the bond. The radio was replaced at no cost,” Kuteesa recalls.
Zepha Matovu, the senior sales executive at Spear Motors Limited, says a dealer, especially if they deal in brand new cars, will deny you warranty if you do not service it with the official dealership within the prescribed period. This is usually after covering 100,000 kilometres, which is the equivalent of three years.
Modifications on the car
Some motorists prefer having their cars modified. This could include adding spacers to give your car a high and raised ground clearance. If these modifications are carried out without guidance and supervision of the dealer or their agent, your claim will not be paid.
Modifications may also include mounting a wrong body on a truck. This is because it may be big, heavy and with wrong measurements on the chassis of the car or truck body. This will offset many things such as increased wear and tear of the suspension system, among others.
Abuse of the car
According to Matovu, car abuse exists in different ways. For example, if you are engaging 4WD system and you drive at a speed of 80km/hour, you are likely to damage the driving shaft. In some cases, this is also accompanied with damage to the wheel axle.
“A dealer will deny you warranty in this situation because you will have damaged the axle and driving shaft yourself. The assumption from the manufacturer is that by the time you buy a car, you must understand how all its systems work, including driving at a low speed in the 4WD system,” Matovu adds.
If your brand new car was manufactured to carry, say, 1,000 kilogrammes and you load it with 1,200 kilogrammes, it means some vehicle components such as shock absorbers and suspension system will get damaged. These will be based on by the manufacturer to deny you warranty upon carrying out a vehicle inspection whose results are likely to show that you damaged the shocks and suspension system by overloading the car beyond the manufacturer’s limits.
Warranty for selected parts
Besides brand new cars, Bilal Saeed, the sales manager at Yuasa Investments Limited in Nakawa, notes that second hand cars equally come with warranty, but only for selected key parts. A case in point is the engine and the gearbox.
“Before we release the car from the bond, we check with you (buyer) and make sure it functions normally. In case of any occurrence within the 90 days, we take responsibility for the required repairs,” Saeed explains, adding that you will not be entitled to warranty on the car body upon knocking objects that lead to damage.
Zepha Matovu, the senior sales executive at Spear Motors Limited, says different vehicles are manufactured for different markets basing on different road conditions. For example, Ugandan roads are rough compared to those in countries such as South Africa and Europe. As such, cars with lower ground clearance are meant for countries with smooth roads while those with raised ground clearances such as pick-ups and SUVs will be meant for use in countries with rough terrains.
It is, therefore, strongly advisable to ask as many questions about warranty as you can before sealing the deal if you are to benefit from it.