Duck and Coverage: Volkswagen Extends Factory Warranties to 6 Years/72,000 Miles

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Keen to improve its image after its diesel emissions fiasco, Volkswagen has decided to provide 2018’s lineup with some of the juiciest, most delectable extended warranties available from an automaker. Better still is that the warranty is transferrable to subsequent owners.

While most manufacturers provide the typical three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty with separate five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on their cars, Volkswagen is tossing 6-year/72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage on practically everything coming out next year. The only exception is the battery-driven e-Golf, which will persist with the industry standard.

However, averages do have outliers. Among the furthest from the center are Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi — all of which offer 5-year/60,000-mile basic coverage and some of the most extensive powertrain warranties in the industry. But only Mitsubishi allows it to be transferred to secondary owners.

“Volkswagen has always been ‘the people’s car,’ and with the People First Warranty, we’re putting our customers first,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “By bringing the right cars, at the right time and making the offer very competitive, we believe we’re in the position to grow in the US market.”

VW is already growing in North America. Despite the diesel drama, the company’s U.S. sales have risen 6.4 percent this year. As the automotive market cools off and consumers turn to crossovers in ever-greater numbers, sales of the VW Golf are stronger than ever.

The improved basic warranty, initially introduced on the Tiguan and Atlas this spring, is part of a clear strategy to avoid losing any recently-taken ground.

“Volkswagen has begun to grow again in America, and buyers have welcomed the Atlas and Tiguan into their homes,” said Derrick Hatami, VW America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Expanding this warranty beyond those two models gives our dealers another compelling argument for the rest of our lineup, and we believe it will lead to a reduced overall cost of ownership for buyers.”

It’s definitely an impressive set of numbers and, with subsequent customers benefiting as well (assuming they buy prior to five years or 60,000 miles), it puts almost every other automaker indirectly on blast.

Automotive News is reporting the expanded coverage has already provided positive results at dealerships. In an interview, Michael DiFeo, chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council, said it’s helping steer customers into both the Atlas and Tiguan.

“Having a best-in-class warranty is impacting their buying decisions,” DiFeo said. “The perceived cost of ownership of a Volkswagen has always been one of the reasons why people have not considered the brand, and I think having the [six-year/72,000-mile] warranty addresses that concern head-on.”

We’d like to agree, but summer sales of the Tiguan don’t appear to have been all that strong and the Atlas is far too new to make any kind of comparative assessment. Still, adding this new warranty to dealer arsenals couldn’t possibly hurt, and could turn more than a few conflicted heads VW’s way.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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7 of 78 comments
  • Ravenchris Ravenchris on Sep 30, 2017

    This warranty will make me look at VW more closely next purchase, service requirements too. I see a 2018 Golf TDI advertised at Fitzmall.

    • See 4 previous
    • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Oct 01, 2017

      @Fighter835 "Carmakers like GM (with their ignitions, for example) or VW, with the unbelievable diesel cheating that went on for too many years, will never see a penny from me, no matter the warranty." Hear hear. GM is the other one on my mind, for the same reasons. And then there's American Honda Motor Manufacturing, who will equally never get another dime of my money.

  • Turbo_awd Turbo_awd on Oct 10, 2017

    Now if Audi would follow suit...

  • Lou_BC Question of the day: Anyone actually care to own an old TVR?
  • Bd2 First, this was totally predictable. 2nd, Genesis already does have hybrids in the form of a 48V mild hybrid, but more performance oriented (supercharged and turbocharged), so not really helping with regard to fuel consumption. 3rd, Hyundai's hybrid systems don't really help as there currently isn't one that would be suitable power-wise and the upcoming 2.5T hybrid system would have to be heavily reworked to accommodate a RWD/longitudinal layout. 4th, it seems that Genesis is opting to go the EREV route with the GV70 the first get the new powertrain.
  • Bd2 Jaguar's problem was chasing the Germans into the mid size and then entry-level/compact segments for volume, and cheapening their interiors while at it.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Aja8888 I expected that issue with my F150 starting at 52,000mi. luckily I had an extended warranty and it saved me almost $8,000. No more Fords for me, only Toyota.
  • Lou_BC I saw a news article on this got a different read on it. Ford wants to increase production of HD trucks AND develop hybrid and EV variants of the SuperDuty. They aren't scaling back EV production. Just building more HD's and EV variants of HD's .