We often forget that the only reason the manufacturer is paying for a repair is because they did something wrong in the manufacturing of the vehicle that caused the breakdown.

Sometimes the advisor forgets this because he is just trying to please the customer and get a good survey. The customer just wants his car fixed for free so it doesn’t matter if he ran over something or not, he doesn’t feel getting billed is justified; after all, he bought a NEW car! The technician often times is already into the repair before he figures out the repair probably should not be going to warranty but continues on or he won’t be paid at all for what he has done.

But to be covered by warranty the repair must be due to a defect in materials or workmanship.

That means, in the story, the technician must make clear what the defect is and that the defect wasn’t caused by outside influence. We have been in many meetings to hear the technicians say “it’s just defective.” So let’s look at the correct sequence and terminology to verify the repair being covered under warranty.

  • Re-verify that the customer's concern is evident and can be duplicated. Most of you do that, but you forget to write it down! This is the first comment that should be in the story.
  • Determine the main cause of the customer's concern and the part that needs to be repaired or replaced to correct the concern. Which part caused the failure?
  • What the manufacturer is looking for is why. Why is the repair the manufacturer's responsibility? What is the manufacturing defect?

So let’s look at that last one for a second. Let’s say you are the one making the car and you are proud of what you make. You have been so successful that you now have extra workers that help you make the vehicle. You get parts from several different stores to make your cars.

Now, out in the marketplace, people want you to fix their car because they say it is defective. Wouldn’t you like to know what is defective? Is it the way you are assembling them? If it is, you would want to know why so you don’t do that anymore (and fire the helper that is messing it up).

What if the parts are coming apart? You would want to find another source to get those parts so you could stop having that problem.

That is exactly why the manufacturer wants a precise cause of failure.

Take, for example, a wiring repair. When you state the cause, such as "loose connection" then state the color, circuit, and harness. The manufacturer can then trace that down to the very robot that did that (or the man that feels like a robot).

Sometimes the cause just isn’t that easy to confirm. Let’s take a transmission. Sometimes the manufacturer doesn’t want you to open the case. In these instances, it could be that in verifying the concern it is the shift points and measurements that are going to be the cause. Be sure even if you attach a sheet that all of this is in your story.

The same may be true of modules and self-contained components. In these cases, the cause will be the codes that are pulled along with the additional comments of “internal defect”.

For vibration and noise, make sure to indicate how you determined that this particular component was found to be noisy. What did you do to isolate the sound to make sure this part is the one that is making noise? My grandfather was a tech and he hated fixing noises. So he never found a noise. He would always say, “Noise, what noise? I don’t hear a noise."

For body components such as weather-strips and moldings state if it is due to poor adhesion, warped, wavy, etc. to describe the defect.

When you are doing engine work, it is especially important to explain the root cause of failure. In some instances, one component will cause another to fail. Be sure to explain that in your story making sure the part that caused the failure is clearly stated.

Remember also that if more than one component caused the failure, it is likely that you have a run-on or add-on repair and need to get management involved before completing your repair.

Learn more at www.awninc.com

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