Promotion by Kia has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority and has been changed after advertisements were ruled to be misleading.
The ASA ruling referred to the car maker not making it clear that its publicised seven-year warranty did not highlight the varying periods of cover for different parts such as batteries and air conditioning units and it did not give enough prominence to the 100,000-mile limit.
The move should help expose the small print restrictions of other manufacturer schemes, according to independent specialist Warranty Direct.
Warranty Direct’s managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “The ASA ruling is a victory for the consumer against the smoke and mirrors being employed. It’s also a lesson to check the small print rather than just being sold on the headline.”
“It is going to be interesting to see how the others (car makers) react,” he added. “I’m intrigued to see how Vauxhall now take the lifetime cover to market – is it for lifetime or for 100,000 miles?”
Other manufacturers to have recently extended their cover include Hyundai (seven years), Toyota (five years) and Chevrolet (five years).
The Kia advert in question has now been amended to say “Terms and exclusions apply” instead of “Terms and conditions apply” and is now on screen for the duration of the advert. The wording has also been changed on Kia’s print and radio adverts.
Simon Hetherington, marketing director, Kia Motors (UK) said: “At Kia we are very proud of our warranty and are absolutely committed to communicating clearly on it. We believe that this is what we tried to do and that we were in line with other comparable advertisements, nonetheless we accept the ASA ruling and immediately acted to change the advertisements concerned”