Whilst diesel cars are not as well known in America as they are in the UK, one thing that is for certain is that the U.S.A is much better at representing the rights of the consumer, than either the UK or Europe.
Suffice to say, that if a DPF system was a mandatory requirement in America, then it would be covered by the mandatory Emissions Component Warranty which lasts for 8 years / 80,000 miles, and has been around since 1996!.
Can you imagine what a huge difference this would make to the consumer in the UK, if our Government protected us with the same rights?. No longer would the car manufacturers be able to weasel out of a claim for an expensive DPF replacement based on the customers’ driving style or for a failed EGR Valve.
I suspect that if we did get such a warranty then the reliability of emissions based components on European cars would improve rapidly.
In years to come, we are likely to see more and more emissions control equipment bolted onto engines in order to comply with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, however can a growth also be attributed to the reliability of these components?
The 80k mile Warranty on Emissions Components which exists in America is shown below, along with the various Components which it covers. Shouldn’t we be campaigning for the same rights as our American counterparts have had for nearly two decades?.
America Emissions Component Warranty
In addition to the standard vehicle warranty, there also exists an emissions warranty, which covers certain components for 8 years/80,000 miles. This warranty, mandated by the government, is there to make sure that the pollution-related equipment lasts for at least the eight years so that the cars remain clean. Otherwise, the manufacturer is obliged to repair the parts or system for free. In other words, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure the emission system works.
Typically, the components covered are:
AIR system controls Catalytic converter
Deceleration throttle control Distributor and related components
Exhaust and intake manifolds EGR system
Exhaust pipes up to the catalyst Fuel injection system
Ignition coil Oxygen sensor
PCV valve Speed sensors
Spark plugs Temperature sensors
Throttle body Turbocharger
Vacuum hoses, clamps, emissions systems tubing Valves and switches used in emissions systems
Secondary ignition wires
Some of these parts are covered only to the first replacement interval (such as spark plugs), but some are covered for a longer period. The catalytic converter, by law, is now covered to 8 years/80,000 miles if it is 1996 or newer. Every new car comes with a booklet or it is stated in the owner’s manual what is and isn’t covered.
As you can see from the list, quite a bit of the car’s electronics are covered. What constitutes an emissions-related problem? Basically, anything that makes the car run worse than it normally does. This can be an uneven idle, hesitation when cruising or accelerating, and even poor gas mileage. Sometimes bad gasoline or water in the gas may show the same symptoms so switch to a different brand of gasoline before you go to the dealer complaining. They’ll tell you do that first anyway.
We have a Duramax Diesel that constantly needs repairs and is in the shop now for another $1000 repair that GM is willing to cover $300 of it. This Diesel engine has been in repair shop for a different repair off and on since 2014. Without the repair the power train will not operate. What is our rights about this DEF system?
I’m in the UK, so I can’t advise or go into any legal detail in relation to legislation in the U.S, so non of this should be taken as legal advice. However the Federal Emissions Warranty exists, although the exact terms of this warranty I believe vary from State to State but generally last for 8 years from the Vehicle Build Date and cover major emissions related components, although the vehicle may first need to fail an inspection or emissions test in order to qualify for a claim. It may also be worth first googling to see if there have been any group or class actions brought by other owners of this vehicle (or others using the same Motor), or at least printing out all of the forum or social media discussions with owners complaining about the same problems as yours – potentially indicating a ‘known’ issue, and then presenting it to the dealer or GM in relation to requesting that they increase their “goodwill” offer of $300. Sometimes having a whole bundle of similar complaints proving that there may be a common problem put in front of them is enough to make your point and get the dealer to revise their contribution to the repair cost. Also mention to them that if you can’t reach a favorable repair settlement then you are going to obtain advice in relation to your consumer rights under the Federal Emissions Warranty. Also check out the Consumer Rights pages for your State as there may be more information on this Warranty given there and any further action you can take. For example, this is one for NC https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/federal-extended-emissions-warranties-are-often-forgotten-or-overlooked.html