Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice-president of sales and marketing, used this week’s Australian launch of the 2019 Toyota Corolla to stress that the company has ‘no plans’ to extend the brand’s current 3 year/100,000 kilometre warranty to include additional years or distance covered.
Toyota Australia’s existing warranty of the first of 3 years or 100,000 kilometres used to match the average guarantee offered in the Australian new car market, but advances over the last five years have left the pre-eminent Japanese brand looking a little stingy.
Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki are the only passenger car brands in the Australian market that have retained this lowest tier of new vehicle warranty. Sean Hanley, Toyota’s local vice-president of sales and marketing, told Chasing Cars ‘we certainly look after our customers, that’s proven: we stand by our great product. [Toyota warranties] conform with, and always will be aligned to the Australian Consumer Law, but we don’t see an extended warranty as a sales tool.’
By contrast, warranties that cover five years with unlimited kilometres travelled are becoming the norm. The industry leader in this regard, Kia, has offered the best new car warranty in the form of a seven year, unlimited kilometre guarantee since 2014, while Kia’s sister brand Hyundai has offered a 5 year, unlimited kilometre warranty since 2007.
Hyundai are far from alone in offering the five year, unlimited distance warranty: this coverage is also standard on new cars from Skoda, Renault, Holden, Honda, Jeep, Peugeot and Citroen. At the end of last month, Mazda joined this group, upgrading its warranty to five years and unlimited kilometres from 3 years or 100,000km. Mitsubishi also offers five years of coverage, but only up to a distance of 100,000km.
Toyota’s own in-house luxury brand, Lexus, offers slightly superior coverage in the form of a four year, 100,000 kilometre warranty. This is matched by small luxury player Infiniti. The other major premium brands – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – each have a three year, unlimited kilometre warranty. Alfa Romeo and Fiat use a three year, 150,000km warranty.
Mazda Australia recently upgraded its warranty to five years’ duration.
An unrestricted three year warranty is also common to Volkswagen and Subaru, though these brands have faced similar calls in recent times to up their coverage to five years.
Given Toyota’s firm stance on the warranty issue, we don’t see progress to a four or five year warranty as likely in the medium-term, though we’ll certainly be watching this space, as it’s clear the industry is only going one way – and that’s toward more, rather than less, generosity.