What will happen if my car service is due during lockdown?

The car industry in SA looks set to offer some leeway to customers who are unable to service their cars as scheduled due to the impending lockdown.
The car industry in SA looks set to offer some leeway to customers who are unable to service their cars as scheduled due to the impending lockdown.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Don’t stress if your car is going to miss a scheduled service while the nation is under lockdown - the motoring industry appears to be rolling with business unusual by extending service plans and warranties.

“If your car’s warranty expires during the lockdown period, we will extend it by the number of ‘lost’ days,” said Toyota SA’s Clynton Yon.

“And should a service plan expire during this time, we will also allow some leeway. We will be posting information about this on our website.”

The timing of car services is critical. If a vehicle under warranty is not serviced at the stipulated service intervals - for example at 30,000km or within 12 months of the last service, the warranty can be voided by the manufacturer.

And when a service or maintenance plan expires, the car owner is left to fund the cost of the service or mechanical repair themselves.

But thankfully, it appears the industry is taking the high road on this one.

Volkswagen SA told TimesLIVE that where bookings were made prior to the lockdown and the expiry of a maintenance plan, they would be honoured “on the assumption that the majority of customers will not be putting a lot of mileage on their cars during this time”.

“The same will apply to warranty work,” said a company spokesperson. “If the maintenance plan has expired during the lockdown period, a one-month grace period will be allowed for repairs and services.”

In the case of services, a grace period of 1,500km or one month after the scheduled service will be allowed. And all maintenance and service plans within six months of expiring as of March 25 will be extended by one month.

But the same won’t automatically apply to warranties: “Individual cases will be considered,” said Volkswagen SA.

Ford Motor Company of SA’s head of communications, Minesh Bhagaloo, said the manufacturer was “very aware” of the issue.

“We should have some clarity by the end of the week. We will communicate to customers through our social media channels,” he said.


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