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Home » Manufacturer Website Access » Independant servicing of vehicles still under Manufacturers Warranty / Block Exemption

Including Digital Service Records
02/02/2017

Graham Goode Motors
Graham Goode Motors
Posts: 42
Reputation: 4
This seemed the most suitable place for this question.
Most of the cars that we service that have a digital service record are also still under the manufacturers warranty, but our customers prefer to come to us as an independent rather than to visit the main dealer.
We have had a number of conversations here recently about want we have to do in order to carry out this service work, without invalidating any warranty. My feelings are that we MUST use all genuine parts and replace everything exactly as stipulated on the service schedule*, others say that as long as we use OEM Specification parts then we are OK.
It would be useful (for all independent garages) to have this confirmed by the IGA so that we can all ensure that we're giving our customers whet we think we are, and not creating potential problems for everyone should a warranty issue arise.
*Also we are experiencing great difficulty in obtaining EXACT and ACCURATE information about what a genuine service (and their schedules) should be, are there any suggestions about where we can find this information please?
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12/02/2017

Gordon Woods
Gordon Woods
Administrator
Posts: 74
Reputation: 4
Good morning Graham,

This subject is widely debated within the independent automotive sector and has been for some time - the answer is found within an EU legal document entitled 'Supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles' - this document isn't exactly straightforward - so I will attempt to clarify the information as best as I can.

When carrying out services to vehicles under manufacturer warranty - the manufacturers service schedule should always be adhered to. As you have stated, these aren't always easy to obtain; certain manufacturers will allow the schedules to be generated without a log-in (e.g. Ford), whereas others require registration before these documents can be accessed (e.g. JLR). However, on the off chance that these documents cannot be found, the safest alternative is to use third party service schedules such as those from Autodata, Alldata and E3 (this is as these schedules are usually sourced from the manufacturers specifications).

As for which parts should be used - the guidelines state that manufacturers parts or 'parts of equivalent quality' should be used - this statement is open to interpretation, a good piece of information on this subject can be found at:

- http://www.aftermarketonline.net/Business/2015/28640-/Who-can-define-matching-quality

Best practice would be to source any parts required for these services from the manufacturer directly - invoices should be retained to ensure traceability in the event of a warranty claim (as really, this is the only proof, along with the garage invoice that the service actually took place) - however, parts used in the manufacture process are often supplied by an external supplier; you can obtain identical parts without the OEM branding on them (the difficulty comes in defining what is 'equivalent').

Completing the Online Service History or stamping the service book is not enough to prove that service work has been carried out as per the manufacturers specification.

Following the guidelines above, you will be in the best possible position to provide a first rate service (which complies with OEM warranty requirements) to your customers.

If your customers have any questions regarding the process and any warranty implications, please feel free to use these articles to help explain:

- https://trustmygarage.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/you-have-the-right-to-choose-independent-value/
- https://trustmygarage.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/owner-of-a-new-car-then-reap-the-benefits-of-independent-maintenance/

If you have any additional questions, or feel like I have missed something, please feel free to ask.

I hope this helps,

Gordon
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15/02/2017

Graham Goode Motors
Graham Goode Motors
Posts: 42
Reputation: 4
Thanks for taking the time to read my question, and then formulate your great reply Gordon.
Alastair
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