Hartech Warranty Guarantee and Lifetime Maintenance Plan

Hartech have always offered their own warranty and guarantee with all cars sold - to ensure that their customers have the option of reliable and comprehensive protection.

The Hartech guarantee is a comprehensive written report describing the condition and specification of the car. This details the work that has been done and the condition of the parts inspected, which should all be satisfactory and serviceable. It is similar to the report that follows a "C" service except that it should not include anything that does not work or that is outside of specifications. It follows closely the information gathered during the sales preparation as listed on page 55.

If the information in this report is misleading or incorrect then Hartech are liable to correct the error at their cost (for which purpose there is no time limit - only what would be seen to be "reasonable"). This means that the car you thought you were buying must be just that - as this description is a contract in it's own right. Very few other dealers (if any) will offer such a genuine method of putting the customers mind at rest about the quality of the car they are getting and that it is as described and confirms all their sales information, in writing.

For example, if the report states that a new water pump has just been fitted, then it would be "unreasonable" if it failed within 12 months and if so Hartech would replace it. If however it failed after 3 years - it would not be unreasonable and therefore either be covered by the Hartech Lifetime Maintenance Plan or repaired at the customers cost (if they are not on the Plan). If a new water pump was not needed at the time of the sale because the existing one was inspected and found to be perfectly OK, but then started leaking after "say" 12 months, there will not have been an inaccurate or misleading description in the report, because a perfectly serviceable old water pump can still fail unexpectedly (and it is almost impossible to predict when).

Although it would not then be covered by the guarantee, it would still be covered under the Lifetime Maintenance Plan. Other examples of components that cannot absolutely be tested during sales preparation (unless they have already failed of course), but might be found to be OK but still might fail shortly afterwards, are - Clutch rubber cush drive, Cylinder head gasket, Oil cooler or seals, Torque tube drive bearing, Metal fatigue of gearbox final drive gears, valve springs etc, Electronic control unit (ECU), ABS units & sensors, differential locks, warm up regulator valve etc, inaccessible hoses etc (list for example not exhaustive).

The HARTECH LIFETIME MAINTENANCE PLAN (hereafter referred to as the HLMP). Full details about the origin of this plan, what it covers and its intentions both for Hartech and non-Hartech cars) are described in the later section titled "Background to the Lifetime Maintenance Plan" page 49. The details in brief and the terms and conditions are as follows.

For Hartech Sales Cars. Although Hartech cars have a superb reputation and track record for long-term reliability, there are still some things that can go wrong that no one on earth could possibly have predicted, despite the most thorough checks. Typically these would be items like the above water pump, or parts that cannot be practically checked because they are inside the engine or gearbox.

Similarly, some electronic circuits or electrical motors give no warning of impending failure. If these go wrong after the date of sale then as long as they would not be interpreted as having been the subject of a misleading or inaccurate description in the report, then they come into the sphere of the maintenance plan. This means that the labour to repair them would be covered free of charge but the parts will have to be paid for by the customer.

In grey areas, where no clear position can be found, we will always be as helpful and accommodating as possible to reach a mutually agreeable compromise that is fair and honourable. This is one reason for providing the first three months cover - after the date of sale - free of charge, to ensure everyone is covered against any small problems that may occur soon after collection.

The HLMP is intended to cover three separate items.

(1) Anyone on the scheme receives an annual MOT entirely free of charge.

(2) All the standard services are carried out at the appropriate mileage intervals, entirely free of charge (including service parts).

(3) The internal Hartech labour costs for the repairs for anything that goes wrong with the car (or anything found that has not yet gone wrong, but will do so before the next service interval) - or anything that has worn out through normal wear and tear (or that will wear out before the next service interval) are entirely free of charge. The only costs that the customer should incur will be for the parts that have failed or worn out (that are not normal service items).

The first three months period is included free with the sale but can be extended towards the end of that period by choosing an annual mileage limit and setting up a standing order accordingly (full details and mandate available from Hartech upon request). Options are available for maximum annual mileage's of 6K, 12K, 18K, & 24K, each providing the relevant number of services completely free of charge (including free service parts), an annual MOT and the labour for all repairs and wear and tear items, for as long as you own the car and continue the payments (with very few exclusions - see page 44).

In addition - if a repair is undertaken that involves the removal and replacement of some parts unrelated to the fault - but that the customer would also like replaced at the same time, then usually these will be replaced free of labour charge, providing the parts are paid for (or for a small additional cost). This would typically be during an engine or gearbox rebuild to correct a small fault perhaps, during which it would be prudent to take the opportunity to fit a few other parts that might not yet be completely worn out, but would save having to do it again in a few years time.

Unlike most Warranties the HLMP DOES cover against normal wear and tear of parts and not just against failure. There are no other similar schemes that we are aware of that provide this cover - or get close to the total cover provided. There are no upper cost limits, no age or mileage limits, no limits to the number of claims and no escape clauses or methods of cancellation of the policy - providing the car has been exclusively worked on by Hartech in accordance with it's schedules, all recommendations have been followed and none of the exclusions have been invoked.

This means that (unlike any other plan) parts can be repaired or replaced under the HLMP before they fail -when they are detected as only beginning to go wrong. (Other warranties usually only apply after failure has occurred). This reduces the eventual cost, minimises the inconvenience and enables the HLMP to cover serious oil or water leaks etc (not normally covered elsewhere until it is too late) - noisy parts detected before failure occurs and "Grey areas" where a customer is concerned about a problem - that is spoiling their driving pleasure and yet which is still relatively minor. Typical parts covered are all engine problems, gearbox, brakes, transmission, water leaks, steering, wheels, tyres, electrics, interior parts, instruments, auxiliaries etc.

EXCLUSIONS: By offering a scheme that covers almost every eventuality, potentially - for as long as the owner keeps the car - regardless of the total miles covered under the scheme, Hartech's intentions are to provide the most comprehensive and customer friendly back up service available anywhere. The very few exclusions listed are not therefore an attempt to wriggle out of compliance (as many other schemes seem to be) because the whole intention of the plan is to be able to help as many customers in as many situations as at all possible. However - in all fairness to the provider and also because of the very low cost of the HLMP (and bearing in mind that the full costs are being born by Hartech and are not re-insured) - there must be some exclusions listed.

The HLMP cannot cover repairs that must be subcontracted - but only those that can be completed within the abilities and facilities of Hartech's own workshops and staff (which are extensive). It therefore excludes complex electrical or electronic work, insurance repairs or bodywork, paintwork, outside sub-contract work, some elements of work on automatic gearboxes, alarms, radios and air conditioning (although it will cover those repairs within the exclusions that it is capable of) and parts.

Also excluded are faults caused by the owner not taking proper care and attention to obvious routine maintenance (like keeping oil and water topped up etc), not returning the vehicle to Hartech within time or service mileage intervals, accident damage, damage caused by a third party, minor oil leaks, collection and delivery, etc. In addition - to protect Hartech from unfair claims - the HLMP will only be valid if:

(1) The car is returned to Hartech at or before the agreed service mileage or monthly interval and that during this routine check any work recommended (whether or not covered by the terms of the HLMP) but that would effect the future performance and reliability of the car must be carried out under the HLMP terms or at the customers cost (where appropriate).

(2) The car must not have any work whatsoever (that is in any way connected to any item being claimed under the terms of the HLMP or that would reasonably effect the condition of associated parts) carried out by any other party other than Hartech Automotive - or the HLMP may be invalid.

(3) The car must not have been subjected to competition use nor the fault to be related to driving at speeds exceeding the legal speed limits on public roads.

(4) The mileage indicated by the speedometer must be genuine. Since the costs for the scheme are based on mileage covered, there may be customers that decide to disconnect their speedometers to gain an unfair advantage. We record technical information to check authenticity and if we suspect that a car on the scheme has been "clocked" we reserve the right to exclude it from the scheme. However in fairness to all concerned, we will allow a mutually acceptable arbitrator to adjudicate, if necessary.

(5) The nature of the complaint must be "reasonable" (and again a mutually acceptable arbitrator can adjudicate). To explain the need for this clause we should explain - for example - that we have had customers wanting us to completely strip down an engine because they can hear a noise that they do not think should be heard or that they claim was not present when they bought the car. If we in all honesty cannot hear the noise or find it normal for the age and mileage - we cannot agree to such a cost on what we believe to be an uneducated whim. It may also be that the customer hopes for a free engine rebuild once it is apart. It would inflate the prices of the scheme for any genuine claims, if we did not resist such pressures - so while we will do all we can to help customers - we do reserve the right to refuse action where we feel it is inappropriate. If shortly afterwards it became clear that a fault did occur related to the noise and we were therefore wrong to ignore the customers concerns, then we would indemnify them against any additional cost of repair. We would then still charge for the parts that would have been necessary anyway to have repaired the original problem if we had acted when requested, but would indemnify them of any additional parts costs brought about through delaying acceptance of a problem. All this seems typically fair and reasonable.

n.b. Buyers NOT taking up a HLMP (or after it's expiry or after stopping monthly payments) in the event of a problem - will only be protected if the description provided in the Engineers Report is clearly inaccurate, incorrect or misleading, (although in grey areas Hartech will always try and be flexible and accommodating if customers are reasonable).

Unlike other schemes there are no large initial payments (before you may even know how long you intend to keep the car) and no contracted term - as payments can be stopped anytime by the owner, which automatically cancels the scheme without further costs or come back. However, Hartech do reserve the right to refuse to take back a car on the scheme once it is out of cover or payments have been stopped.

There is a need to cover unexpected problems that were not experienced when the costs were worked out. This is particularly relevant on newer models where they are not yet old enough nor covered enough miles, to find out what any unusual long-term weaknesses are. Since the scheme is costed out to just cover anticipated faults (not leave any additional profit) any unusual common failure that becomes general knowledge in the fullness of time may result in an increase in premiums to cover that new fault. Or as an alternative - the repair of that specific fault may them be excluded from the scheme for those who cannot afford an increase. This above clause will not be put into effect except in very exceptional circumstances where an expensive new and entirely unexpected fault occurs to a lot of newer cars and everyone would be informed of it before they experienced a failure or made a claim.

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