VW reduces 6-year new-car warranty, adds 2 years of free maintenance
It was one of the best warranties available in the industry, but the new one is still competitive.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
In order to help earn back consumers' trust after Dieselgate,
expanded its new-car warranty to six years or 72,000 miles, whichever comes first. It started with the latest iterations of
before eventually expanding to nearly all 2018-model-year vehicles. Now, not too many flips of the calendar later, it's coming to an end.
Volkswagen is trimming a bit off the top of its People First Warranty, Automotive News reports. Instead of a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty, it will be reduced to a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty. The change begins with the 2020 model year, so if you buy a 2019 Volkswagen, you'll still get one hefty warranty. Thankfully, this shorter new warranty will remain transferable to subsequent owners.
VW isn't just leaving 2020 buyers high and dry. Instead, the automaker will supplement its shorter warranty with two years of paid maintenance. "We felt that a combination of a strong warranty with a service and maintenance package ... was the best way forward," said Duncan Movassaghi, VW's SVP of sales and marketing for North America, in a chat with AN. Movassaghi said that dealers won't be hit too hard by the free maintenance perk because it will be paid out at the full warranty rate.
According to AN's report, the People First Warranty didn't have its full intended effect. It never became a sticking purchase point, especially for people who lease cars, because the lease terms would end well before the warranty did. Movassaghi also said that most Atlas customers hadn't even heard of the warranty until entering the dealership. It's believed that free maintenance will be more effective as it's an immediate reduction in the cost of ownership.
While the reduction might be a bummer to some, it's still ahead of competitors like
, which have stuck with the traditional three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. VW's new warranty is actually closer to luxury automakers --
all offer four-year, 50,000-mile warranties, too.