Jul 272004

Air conditioningFour out of five new cars come fitted with air conditioning today, yet the likelihood of an expensive failure has jumped 55 percent over the past eighteen months.

According to data released by independent automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct, 1 in 20 claims are now air con related with the cost of repair running into the hundreds, if not thousands.

Analysis shows that the most susceptible vehicles are those aged 4 years old.

Vehicles in months 48-60 of their life accounted for more than 44 percent of claims handled by the warranty specialist. The previous 4 years represented just 14 percent of claims.

And when it does go wrong, the must-have cooling system has a tendency to hit the bank balance hard.

On average, owners will be presented with a bill of £444.68 making the air-con unit the fourth most expensive item to repair after the automatic gearbox, turbo and engine.

Although the air con units on some models look less reliable than others on paper, for example, the Volvo 850 reports a failure rate of 37 percent and the Ford Galaxy nearly 27 percent, the fact is that too many motorists fail to see the importance of servicing.

” Too many people treat air con as a fit and forget option,” warns Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher. “Units need regular use and regular servicing to help prevent expensive breakdowns.”

An annual health check and service should cost around £40 from an independent specialist – a far cry from the pre-fit £920 it would cost to buy an air con compressor unit on a Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon.

Jul 142004

Plain EnglishIndependent automotive warranty provider, Warranty Direct, has been awarded the campaign in recognition of the clarity and honesty of the wording on its policies.

With cover from as little as £15 a month, Warranty Direct (0870 731 7001) provides owners of cars up to 10 years old with protection against unforeseen breakdown and repairs.

Available on a monthly, annual or longer basis, all policies uniquely operate without the controversial wear and tear exclusion, and a low excess of just £15. This means that if a covered item fails, as it comes to the end of its natural life, motorists will still be able to make a claim.

” We’re naturally delighted to receive the stamp of approval from the Plain English campaign,” says Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk). “It’s far too easy nowadays to leave the consumer confused – and a confused consumer is unlikely to commit and understand the benefits of the policy.”

In keeping with its principle of openness and honesty, Warranty Direct publishes the Reliability Index www.reliabilityindex.co.uk – the only comprehensive, real-time analysis of the health of cars on the road today.

Visitors to the website, launched last year, are able to examine a host of data including the average cost of repair and length of time it should spend in the garage. Importantly it also plots the chances of a car suffering from engine
meltdown, transmission hiccups, air-conditioning failure and axle or suspension trouble.