New car manufacturers cannot void your statutory warranty because you have your car serviced outside of a registered dealership. Provided the correct parts,oils and lubricants are used, manufacturer’s guidelines are followed and the work is performed by qualified mechanics, the statutory warranty remains valid.
Many new cars come with two types of warranty: A statutory (implied) warranty and a manufacturer’s warranty. It is important to understand that these are two distinct warranties.
One is applied to all goods and services sold in Australia, regardless of manufacturer and is designed to protect all consumers. The other is a specific warranty given by the manufacturer in addition to the statutory warranty, usually paid for by the buyer at the time of purchase.
Statutory warranties are implied by law and are covered by the Trade Practices Act.
The Act states all goods must be of merchantable quality and be fit for the purpose for which they are provided. This effectively means they should be fit to sell and will perform the job for which they were intended, to a reasonable degree.
These 'free' warranties rely on a "Reasonable Test" rather than being set at chronological or distance based measurements.
The value and quality of the car, the parts used in its construction, and the manner in which the product was generally intended to be used will be used to determine whether the statutory warranty applies, rather than a specific set time or distance travelled.
New car manufacturers are prohibited by law from claiming statutory warranties are void just because your car was serviced by an independent mechanic.
Provided only OEM approved parts and recommended oils and lubricants are used in the service, the work is undertaken by qualified persons and any manufacturer’s specifications are followed, having a car serviced by an independent mechanic will not void the statutory warranty.
Also known as Extended, Express or Extra warranties, this term covers a range of warranties offered by new car manufacturers in addition to the new car statutory warranty implied by law. These warranties are usually paid for by the buyer of the car at the time of purchase, but may also sometimes be used to sweeten or close a sales deal.
Generally speaking, manufacturer’s warranties apply for a set period of time or distance, whichever comes first, and usually include very specific conditions.
Independent repairers can carry out servicing on new cars where a Manufacturer’s Warranty applies, but both you and the mechanic need to be aware that certain conditions may apply under that warranty which must be taken into account in order to preserve it.
These conditions are usually more stringent than those required to preserve statutory warranties and very specific rules apply.
You should always confirm that the mechanic servicing your car is aware of any extra warranties you have and any special conditions which may apply to your vehicle under those warranties. Simply meeting the requirements of a log book service may not be sufficient to maintain extra warranties, as they usually require a very specific schedule, must use genuine parts and so on.
Being aware of exactly what warranties apply to your car and the requirements of maintaining them is the first step to preserving all of your warranties. Making sure the mechanic you choose is aware of and can meet those requirements is the next.
Australian consumers have the right to have their vehicle serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice.
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is currently campaigning to ensure protection of free choice and competition in the vehicle repair, servicing, replacement parts and accessories sectors by eliminating any technical or legal barriers that impact on Australian consumers’ ability to make that choice.
In essence, the AAAA is trying to make sure that independent mechanics have full access to technical information to enable them to properly service and repair your car in a safe and efficient manner.
To find out more about protecting your right to choose your own repairer or service provider, or the Right To Choose Campaign in general, visit www.choiceofrepairer.com.au
For more about statutory warranties and consumer rights visit the ACCC website