Volvo Cars of North America Inc. is dropping the $50 deductible customers must pay when they seek warranty repairs of the brand's certified used vehicles.
John Teah, Volvo's pre-owned car manager, says the automaker likely will eliminate the deductible in January.
"We think it's an opportunity to improve the warranty, and it's a win for customers," Teah says.
Many automakers' certified programs do not charge deductibles for warranty repairs. They include Acura, Lexus, Nissan Division and General Motors brands. Other programs - such as those by Audi, BMW, Toyota Division, the Chrysler group and Ford Division - charge deductibles of $100 or less.
Certified used Volvos are covered by a 6-year/100,000-mile warranty that starts when the vehicles are sold as new.
Volvo enables dealers to file warranty claims for certified used vehicles through its electronic warranty system. That eliminates the need for paper claims, Teah says.
Volvo sold 22,487 certified used vehicles in the first 10 months of this year, down 8.9 percent from 24,678 vehicles in the year-ago period.
Teah says Volvo has not placed as much marketing emphasis on its certified program this year as it did in the past. Unlike many automakers, Volvo does not offer cut-rate financing for its certified used vehicles.
"We're probably going to do some things the first part of next year to kick the program off and get it going again," Teah says.
To protect residual values, Teah says Volvo limits the number and types of its vehicles it allows in rental fleets. Large numbers of retired rental vehicles can depress prices of new and used vehicles.
"We've limited the S40 to very small numbers and are keeping the XC90 out entirely," Teah says.
"There is a strong retail demand" for those models, he says. "Our first preference is to give them to our retailers so they can sell them."
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