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Ford SA has become the first local motor manufacturer to unbundle its service plans from the purchase price of its vehicles.
This follows the new Automotive Aftermarket Guidelines, also known as Right to Repair, which came into effect on July 1 2021.
Ford Protect Service Plans, previously included as standard on new Fords sold locally, are now available as added-cost options, along with comprehensive maintenance plans and extended warranties.
Customers that choose not to purchase a Ford Protect service or maintenance plan have the option of servicing at a Ford franchised dealer, or at an independent workshop where parts and labour may be cheaper.
Service or maintenance plans have been part of the purchase price of most new cars sold in SA in recent years. The Right to Repair campaign successfully lobbied to have these plans unbundled from car prices to give consumers the choice of servicing their vehicles at independent service providers (ISPs) at a potentially cheaper cost.
“Ford is acutely aware of consumers’ growing desire and right to choose where they wish to service, maintain or repair their vehicles,” says Neale Hill, president of Ford Motor Company Africa.
“Customers have the option of selecting where to service their vehicles, but it’s important that they familiarise themselves with the guidelines,” Hill explains. “For example, if you choose to service your vehicle outside the Ford dealer network while you have a Ford Protect Service Plan in place, Ford is not obliged to pay the ISPs for any services rendered.
Should a customer choose to use an ISP for the service and maintenance of their vehicle, the standard warranty will not be affected. However, if there is a failure as a result of a part or the workmanship, that portion of the repairs will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Services also need to be done according to the manufacturer’s applicable service intervals.
While the Service Plan is now an added-cost option, the vehicle’s standard original equipment manufacturer warranty remains in place. The Ford Protect package on all new Ford vehicles comprises a four-year/120,000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
Prices of the unbundled Ford Protect service plan:
Ford Fiesta, Figo, EcoSport four-year/60,000km service plan — R7,532.50
Ford Ranger, Everest, Mustang, Transit, Tourneo six-year/90,000km service plan — R13,283.99
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.