Vauxhall, a GM brand in the UK, has introduced a “lifetime” warranty for the original owner of any Vauxhall vehicle registered after August 1, 2010. What’s the catch? Vauxhall defines the “lifetime” of the car as 100,000 miles. At first glance, that would make their warranty coverage comparable to coverage offered by Hyundai and Kia (10 years, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty) or even by GM divisions (5 years, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty) in the United States.
Autoevolution points out a few significant differences, though. First, the Vauxhall warranty doesn’t appear to have a time limitation, so if it takes you 20 years to rack up the miles, you’re still covered. Next, the Vauxhall warranty covers more than just the powertrain; in addition, it covers the steering system, braking system and electrical system for the same period. Wear parts, such as tires and brake pads, would be excluded from warranty coverage.
To verify that the car is being properly maintained, Vauxhall will require owners to schedule an annual inspection, which is done at no charge to the car owner. The warranty is also transferable to the second owner of the car, but a fee for the warranty transfer applies.
The overall build quality of cars has been increasing steadily for the past ten years, and I’d go so far as to say that no one builds bad cars anymore. It will be interesting to see if this kind of a premium warranty makes its way across the pond; if it does, I’d expect to see it in GM’s premium brands (like Cadillac and Buick) first.