General Motors is intending to reduce its powertrain warranty on MY2016 Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, saying that its current offer of 100,000-mile coverage wasn't a strong enough selling point. This means that the five-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage will be trimmed to five years/60,000 miles for MY2016 models.
Chevrolet and GMC, however, will still offer courtesy transportation and roadside assistance during the coverage period. The new warranty would be similar to those offered by GM's largest rivals like Ford, Toyota and Honda. South Korean carmaker’s Hyundai and Kia offer a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
Additionally, GM will trim its offer of two years of free maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations, on most new Chevrolet, GMC and Buick vehicles. Starting with MY2016 models, these brands will only allow two free service visits. GM started offering the current powertrain warranty for MY2007 vehicles, as announced by then-CEO Wagoner in September 2006.
The offer was perceived as a way to close the gap in the quality perception between GM and its Japanese rivals while giving its customers a greater sense of confidence in its models. GM also believed that the offer would lead to a surge in certified pre-owned sales. However, the offer failed to become a major selling point for GM vehicles.
According to memo sent to dealers by Chevrolet vice president Brian Sweeney and GMC vice president Duncan Aldred, GM has determined through research that when purchasing a new vehicle, included maintenance and warranty ranked low on the list of reasons why consumers consider a particular brand over another.
According to a GM spokesman, both the powertrain warranty and the inclusion of free scheduled maintenance remain "among the most competitive in the industry." He quipped that the financial impact of the change is immaterial, adding that savings will be reinvested in features that customers value.