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A look at the warranty process

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Many OEMs offer multiple processes for warranty claims depending on the type of fleet that is filing the claim. Smaller fleets can work with a local dealer who files a claim on behalf of that fleet, requiring minimal knowledge or input from the fleet; while larger fleets with their own warranty department will have the ability to file claims directly to the OEM online. You’ll want to check with your OEM about what options they offer and which is right for you.

“This only works well for those fleets that have sufficient volume and infrastructure to make the systems and training investment worthwhile,” Kurt Swihart, Kenworth’s marketing director, says of direct filing, which is offered to a limited number of fleets with the approval of their local dealer and Kenworth.

Many larger fleets have a warranty administrator, and if so, that is who this entire process runs through.

According to John Crichton, director of field service for International Trucks, the warranty administrator will make sure the claim data contains all the pertinent data from the technicians, including what Crichton refers to as the “three C’s:” complaint, cause and correction.

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“All vendors typically want to know why the truck came in, what the problem was, and what they did to correct it,” he continues.

Coverage also applies to third-party components that are spec’d on the original order of the truck—though there may be some exceptions.

“Generally, if the part that is the root cause of the failure was supplied and installed in production, it receives coverage according to the applicable Warranty Certificate for the time and miles on the certificate,” says Stu Russoli, highway product manager for Mack Trucks. “Certain components, such as non-Mack engines and transmissions, are specifically excluded from coverage on our certificates. Claims for most other parts can be filed through our warranty system.”

With that being the case, you’ll need to double-check with your truck OEM that the part in question is covered before submitting for warranty.

But overall, International’s Crichton says, if your processes are sound it doesn’t matter if you’re filing your warranty claim with the truck OEM or with a third-party supplier.

“Each third party may have some guidelines they want to follow, but they’re all going to be interested in the same type of information: when was the truck placed in service, how many miles does it have on it, when was the fail date, and what were the three C’s, and then what parts and labor were used for it. The shop is going to collect that information anyway,” he says.

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