The frequency of oil changes has decreased while the cost of preventative maintenance is increasing.  - Gettyimages.com/fotografia

The frequency of oil changes has decreased while the cost of preventative maintenance is increasing. 

Gettyimages.com/fotografia

New-vehicle warranty recovery and good will assistance in calendar-year 2021 has become more difficult due to the ongoing microchip and various parts shortages that have created constraints in the ability of fleets to obtain ordered replacement vehicles. This has lead to extended cycling of units currently in service that were already long-in-the-tooth. 

“Goodwill warranty recovery opportunities have continued to decrease in comparison to the previous two years.  We believe that the continued tightening of restrictions by OEMs will result in a continuation of this trend in 2022,” said George Albright, director of fleet productss at Merchants Fleet. “In addition, supply-chain delays related to the pandemic and general parts availability have increased rental-related recovery requests.”

This is part of an ongoing trend by OEMs becoming more stringent in terms of vehicle recovery and support. This is being manifested by tighter enforcement of manufacturer-recommended service and compliance with PM intervals to qualify for warranty recovery dollars. 

“Warranty recovery has been a difficult issue for OEMs and fleets this year.  With manufacturing and transportation challenges causing lengthy delays for many components, fleets have been challenged to maintain their own productivity,” said Dale Jewell, senior director – fleet service operations for Emkay. “OEMs have done a good job recognizing this and assisting fleet customers as reasonably as possible.” 

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One segment that is being impacted by stringent enforcement of warranty coverage are last-mile delivery fleets. 

“The last-mile sector will continue to present unique opportunities and challenges to OEMs, as the extreme wear experienced by these vehicles tends to exceed the severe-duty application associated with traditional urban driving,” said Albright of Merchants Fleet.

As last-mile delivery fleets push the envelope of severe-duty usage, it is increasingly important to maintain an accurate and complete maintenance history of their vehicles in operation. 

“It is important to note that proper vehicle maintenance plays an even more crucial role today when considering warranty recovery assistance,” said Kelley Hatlee, senior service advisor for Enterprise Fleet Management. 

It’s critical to follow the manufacturers’ recommended PM schedules to maximize the changes of warranty being covered at a dealership. 

“During the last several years, there has been a noticeable trend of OEMs growing increasingly stringent in terms of warranty recovery and support. Specifically, the OEMs are looking for additional documentation to support warranty claims in an effort to ensure the units were properly maintained prior to failure,” said Chris Foster, manager, fleet management services for ARI. “This really underscores the importance of PM compliance. Adhering to consistent preventive maintenance schedules to minimize PM variability is something the OEMs are stressing across the board. During the warranty claims process, PM variability is closely scrutinized.”

The shortage of replacement parts, which is extending turnaround time on repairs, is impacting warranty repairs. “We are seeing and expect to continue to see potential delays with repairs due to supply chain constraints and parts shortages. These factors could impact warranty or non-warranty repairs,” said Ryan Koenig, national service department vendor operations manager for Enterprise Fleet Management. 

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