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Think twice before buying these car brands

This week's decision by Jaguar and Land Rover to extend their warranty coverage to five years for the next few months has added pressure to a select group of brands who are sticking with below-par three-year warranties.

The Land Rover-Jaguar decision - which at this stage is only temporary - came a month after the luxury car sales leader, Mercedes-Benz announced it would adopt a permanent five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty from the beginning of this month.

The move matched the mainstream brands, which have gradually increased their consumer protection over the past couple of years.

Mercedes-Benz's main rivals, Audi and BMW, didn't blink when the brand made the move, and both are persisting with three-year warranties. Lexus, the fourth major luxury brand, offers a four-year warranty, while Volvo covers its buyers for three years.

It was expected that the Mercedes move would cause a domino effect but so far, its rivals are resolute.

Audi said in a statement that it believed its three-year warranty was competitive.

"Since 2019, Audi Australia has offered a full range of competitively priced 3- and 5-year prepaid service plans that give owners certainty when it comes to running costs. All customers purchasing new Audi vehicles can take advantage of these service plans, enhancing their ownership experience," the brand says.

"We will continue to monitor the market to ensure that all aspects of our value proposition are as are competitive as possible."

BMW Australia was contacted for comment after the Land Rover announcement but has so far declined to respond.

In the past the company's chief executive Vikram Pawah has said the brand "has no plans to change its warranty offering at this point".

Volvo also declined to respond to questions about the issue.

Lexus says there are no planned changes to warranty, but the brand provides customers with other valuable after-sales support, including vehicle pick-up and drop-offs for servicing and loan cars.

Top-end luxury brands don't offer the extended coverage, either. Porsche has three years' coverage, despite being part of Volkswagen, which offers five years' coverage.

Maserati isn't budging from its three-year warranty either. It says customers can opt for a warranty extension and most turn over their cars every three years. It argues that a five-year warranty would build unnecessary cost into its cars for these customers.

Mainstream brands are almost all on board with five-year or longer warranties, although the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado, as well as RAM trucks, persist with three years.

In a statement RAM said: "we monitor the situation locally and overseas with our colleagues at RAM Trucks International but currently there are no plans to change our existing 3yrs/100,000km term."

Originally published as Think twice about these car brands