TO THE EDITOR:
I wanted to provide an automotive technician's take on "Warranty wars" (autonews.com, Feb 24). Though I know all too well the injustice of warranty labor times, I find it comical that dealerships are trying to frame the warranty struggle as them championing the technician, and that an increase in warranty labor times is needed for them to pay their technicians well. Techs are keenly aware that they are not being cut in on dealers' record profits, and any sense of loyalty is being effectively destroyed.
That being said, I feel compelled to at least offer a solution. Since the argument boils down to technician retention, an easy compromise would be for the manufacturer to directly pay the technician (not the dealer) a "bonus" each month that would account for the difference in time between warranty and customer pay. That way, the dealer spends no extra money out of pocket, and the manufacturer only pays a small fraction (the technician's hourly rate) compared to what the dealers are demanding through legislation (the warranty labor rate).
Of course, there would not be a direct financial benefit for the dealer in the form of a windfall, or for the manufacturer since they would still wind up paying out more than they are now. But that is what true compromise entails.
MATTHEW SCHMITT, Enfield, Conn. The writer has been an ASE master technician for 25-plus years.