Ford South Africa continues to show its commitment to the new Automotive Aftermarket Guidelines, which are informally known as ‘Right to Repair’. As of 1 November 2021, the inclusive Ford Protect Service Plans, which were previously included as standard on new Fords sold in South Africa, have been unbundled from the purchase price of the vehicle.
Accordingly, in line with the guidelines, customers that purchase a new Ford vehicle from 1 November are able to purchase a Ford Protect Service Plan separately, should they wish to do so, as has been the case with the optional comprehensive Ford Protect maintenance plans and extended warranties. Furthermore, customers that choose not to purchase a Ford Protect service or maintenance plan have the option of servicing at a Ford franchised dealer. Servicing at a Ford dealer guarantees quality workmanship using factory-trained and certified technicians, genuine Ford parts and lubricants, and access to the latest diagnostic equipment.
“We are committed to delivering the very best products, services and customer experiences, and are focused on treating each customer as part of the Ford family,” says Neale Hill, President, Ford Motor Company Africa. “Ford is acutely aware of consumers’ growing desire and right to choose where they wish to service, maintain or repair their vehicles.
“As a result, we have been working to implement the systems and processes necessary to unbundle the Ford Protect service plans,” Hill says. “It has taken some time to deal with the complexities of unbundling the service plans from the price of the vehicle, but we have now implemented the changes and customers can choose to purchase these separately when buying a new Ford.
“Customers have the option of selecting where to service their vehicle, but it’s important that they familiarise themselves with the guidelines,” Hill explains. “For example, if you choose to service your vehicle outside of the Ford dealer network while you have a Ford Protect Service Plan in place, Ford is not obliged to pay the Independent Service Providers (ISP) for any services rendered. The ISP cost will be for your own account - and although the Ford warranty remains in place, should there be a failure as a result of the parts used or the workmanship of the ISP, that portion of the repair may not be covered by the Ford warranty.”
Customers should note that only Ford dealers are authorised to conduct recall repairs on Ford vehicles, which are performed at no cost to the owner. Similarly, factory warranty repairs may only be performed by a Ford dealer.
While the Service Plan is now an added-cost option, the vehicle’s standard original equipment manufacturer (OEM) warranty remains in place. The Ford Protect package on all new Ford vehicles comprises a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
Should a customer choose to use an ISP for the service and maintenance of their vehicle, the standard warranty will not be affected. However, if there is a failure as a result of a part or the workmanship, that portion of the repairs will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Services also need to be done according to the manufacturer’s applicable service intervals.
“Guaranteeing the quality of work done and the parts used on what are increasingly sophisticated vehicles is essential in delivering the best ownership experience,” Hill states. “This is part of Ford’s commitment to ensuring that the reliability, durability and safety of the vehicle meets the needs and expectations of our customers.”
Ford Protect Service Plans, Maintenance Plans and Extended Warranties are fully backed by Ford Motor Company, which gives the customer peace of mind that all work on their car is performed to the highest standard, and that all workmanship and parts are guaranteed.