UPDATED The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ratified Mitsubishi's 10-year warranty policy, after the car company filed an exclusive dealing notification with the consumer watchdog.
Exclusive dealing, according to the ACCC, occurs when one person trading with another imposes some restrictions on the other’s freedom to choose with whom, in what, or where they deal.
Exclusive dealing is against the law only when it substantially lessens competition.
Part of the deal with the second five years of the warranty is that all servicing needs to be carried out at a Mitsubishi dealer.
“The ACCC carefully considered a variety of factors in its decision, including a large number of submissions from independent mechanics, aftermarket parts suppliers, members of the public and associations,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said in a statement.
“While a number of consumers will no doubt value a longer warranty, we recognise the concerns that the requirement to use Mitsubishi dealers and service centres may have an impact on independent mechanics’ ability to provide competition.”
“The ACCC has allowed this notification to stand based on current information. There is no basis at present to conclude that the notified conduct has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition,” Mr Ridgeway said.
However, the ACCC is able to revoke the notification at a later date if the relevant circumstances and available information change.
Mitsubishi Australia introduced a new option for customers with a 10-year/200,000km warranty under its Diamond Advantage program, but there’s more to the story than just that.
Owners who wish to receive the benefits of a 10-year warranty from Mitsubishi must also undergo their regular servicing through Mitsubishi dealerships for the full decade.
If owners take their vehicle outside the dealer network for servicing, the warranty is halved to what is now: Mitsubishi’s standard five-year/100,000km warranty. The exclusion to this is plug-in hybrid vehicles, which are covered by an eight-year/160,000km warranty separately.
Prior to this, Mitsubishi offered a seven-year/150,000km warranty for many of its popular models.
Mitsubishi says the new system of five- and 10-year warranties is to “put owners in control”. This comes with a 10-year/150,000km capped-price servicing plan, though astute readers will notice this is 50,000km short of the full Diamond Advantage 10-year warranty.
After the first 150,000km, owners will need to pay full servicing prices to maintain their 10-year warranty.
However, Mitsubishi does provide prospective buyers with a full table of the specific prices for each service.
A span of four years of roadside assistance is also covered by Mitsubishi for owners that continue to service within the brand’s dealer network.
Small businesses with fewer than five vehicles can also access the warranty, though for many vehicles it’s likely the 200,000km limit will be reached well before the 10-year end of warranty.
Though it’s not a standard warranty, the 10-year period offered by Mitsubishi now eclipses the 7-year warranties offered by Kia and MG, not to mention the five- and three-year warranties most other manufacturers offer.
Mitsubishi has outlined the costs for each of the ten annual (or 15,000km increment) services. The Mitsubishi Mirage and Eclipse Cross work out the cheapest at $3,790 each for the span of the decade, while the off-roading but outgoing Mitsubishi Pajero is the most expensive to service with its $7,390 total.
Many of the Pajero’s capped price services nudge $1000.
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