Is the new Mitsubishi warranty of 10-years/200,000km in breach of Australian Consumer Law?
The new Mitsubishi warranty period of 10-years/200,000km could be in breach of Australian Consumer Law (ACL) according to the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA).
As recently reported, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited’s (MMAL) new 10-year/200,000km warranty – part of the Diamond Advantage Program – replaces the brand’s previous 7-year/150,000km warranty, which seems like a good deal for consumers. But to qualify for the new 10-year/200,000km warranty, Mitsubishi says new vehicles must be serviced exclusively through Mitsubishi dealers, or the warranty will revert to 5-years/100,000km.
According to an AAAA press release, the practice of putting restrictions on warranties is prohibited by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), but Mitsubishi has asked the ACCC for an exemption via an ‘exclusive dealing notification’.
As the “voice of the aftermarket”, the AAAA says it strenuously opposes this ‘Notification’ on the grounds that the warranty conditions will restrict customer choice and are a significant threat to the automotive aftermarket industry.
The AAAA press release states: “In short, MMAL already offer a 5 years warranty, and they acknowledge that (under ACL) vehicles don’t have to be serviced by Dealership in order for warranty to apply. What they want – and are asking for an ACL exception – is to offer to increase the warranty to 10 years, provided the vehicle is serviced at a Dealer.
“We know that if this is approved, very quickly we will see the other brands follow suit – as they always do.
“We object to this Extended Warranty offer because this conduct would substantially lessen competition, and in all the circumstances, will not result in likely public benefit which would outweigh the likely public detriment.”
In addition to the conditional 10-year/200,000km warranty, other components of new Mitsubishi’s Diamond Advantage Program include a 10 year/150,000km capped-price servicing schedule and 4-years roadside assistance (also conditional on servicing at a Mitsubishi dealer).
It’s expected that the ACCC will make a decision regarding the exclusive dealing notification sometime this month.