Tired of fixing your old car and then having to pay for the same repair a year or two later? Volvo has an answer for you.
The Swedish maker has introduced a new lifetime warranty on repair parts and labor it’s calling the “Pay Once and Never Pay Again” program. The program appears to be aimed at both building the brand’s image and helping drive more repair work into dealer service bays.
“The lifetime parts and labor warranty is a commitment to both quality vehicles and quality customer relationships,” says Lex Kerssemakers, the recently appointed President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, “everyone should feel confident that Volvo is here to support our customers throughout the ownership of their vehicle.”
Struggling to rebuild itself under Chinese ownership, Volvo is in the midst of a broad transformation. It has begun the rollout of a new array of products, notably including the completely redesigned XC90 sport-utility vehicle. It’s also shifting to a new 4-cylinder-only powertrain strategy. And it’s putting more emphasis on customer service, including customers who have driven beyond their traditional warranty.
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The Pay Once program is an expansion of the current Volvo Service Advantage program that offers owners free software updates, complimentary diagnostics, personal service, alternative transportation and a complimentary car wash when they come in for service.
A number of makers have expanded their traditional new-car warranty programs in recent years to include such things as free maintenance, but this appears to be the first time a manufacturer has offered to guarantee post-warranty repair work, something that can add up to big money for an owner looking to keep a vehicle for an extended period.
And industry data show that Volvo owners do tend to keep their vehicles longer than for many other major brands.
“We look forward to redefining the way manufacturers service and support their vehicles” says Scott Doering, Vice President of Customer Service, Volvo Cars of North America.
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The program is far from altruistic. Volvo needs to take some steps to ensure it stands out in a crowded market. It has lost a lot of momentum over the last decade or so, sliding precipitously under the tutelage of former parent Ford Motor Co.
And while its products once had a reputation for reliability, that appears to have slipped a bit in recent years. The latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study released last month found Volvo coming in with a score of 120 problems per 100 vehicles, a fair bit below the industry average of 112.
(For more on the 2015 JD Power IQS, Click Here.)
The new Pay Once program covers a wide array of components, but it excludes accessories and war parts. So if your water pump or transmission fails a second time you’ll be in luck. If you bust a ski rack or wear out a battery, tire or brakes, however, you’ll be stuck with the bill.