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Your Beef: Repair coverage took some pushing to get

Warranty provider relents after reader contacts Your Beef.

Published October 19, 2012
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Q: In May, we bought a used 2007 F150 pickup from a St. Catharines Ford dealer.

They advised we buy the Global 4-Star Warranty as they said it had better coverage than Ford’s extended warranty. It cost $2,400 and we were told all we’d ever have to pay is $150 deductible per claim.

In July, a steering problem was repaired at the selling dealer.

I paid the $150 deductible, but the dealer, at Global’s direction, also charged $108 for less than an hour of diagnostic service.

Global’s contract states: “In the event of a covered claim, diagnostics shall be covered beyond the first hour, at Global’s sole discretion (pre-approval required).”

This section refers only to diagnostics beyond one hour. It does not speak to diagnostics which take less than one hour.

In September, the truck was diagnosed with a broken lower right manifold stud.

I wanted it repaired at a nearby Ford dealer, not the selling dealer, but Global directed it instead be taken to a “Global-preferred” facility in Niagara Falls.

However, the contract states: “Authorized Repair Facility means any Licensed Repair Facility of your choosing, or choose one of thousands of Global’s Preferred Repair Centres. Mechanical Breakdown/Failure means the inability of a covered part to perform the function for which it was originally designed under normal service.”

The exhaust manifold can’t function properly without the stud, yet they denied warranty coverage on that part.

Since mid-September, the truck has sat in our driveway unused. I hope this can be resolved without litigation.

A:After this reader contacted Your Beef, he received a reply from Bob Crane, claims adjuster with Global Warranty:

Regarding diagnostics, it clearly states “shall be covered beyond the first hour,” therefore, there is no coverage within the first hour.

Regarding the manifold, the failure is a broken bolt only. The manifold is a listed component (under warranty). However, failure of the fasteners is not covered.

Regarding the use of Preferred Repair Facilities versus the Ford Dealer, it is a benefit to use our shops as they know how to expedite the process to get you on the road again and we receive discount parts and labour rates which are passed on to the customer.

On behalf of our business partner Ed Learn Ford (St. Catharines), Global is willing to compromise as follows.

We will, on this occasion only, as a goodwill (gesture), reimburse you for the one-hour diagnostic fee.

You may take your vehicle to Brock Ford (your nearby dealer) for repairs in future, providing they are willing to work within Global’s policies and procedures.

Regrettably, the broken fastener on the manifold is not a repair covered under your policy.

Eric Lai adds:

Further pressed by the reader, Global relented and agreed to cover the second repair as well.

Ultimately, for the consumer to enjoy any “savings” with an extended warranty, the total cost of covered repairs would need to exceed the price of the warranty itself.

In this case, an independent garage estimates the two repairs above would cost roughly $1,000 if paid out-of-pocket.

“Extended warranty coverage” has, so far, cost this consumer $2,700 for the warranty, plus deductible times two.

Any future claim will incur another $150 deductible and up to one-hour of diagnostic fees per incident ($100-$130 depending on the shop’s hourly rate).

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.

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