Issue Date: Warranty Administrator for Dealers Feb 1, 2010, Posted On: 2/5/2010
Ford eliminates multi-level warranty program It's hard to believe, but Ford has operated on a dual-level warranty system for almost a decade now. "Level 1" dealers were those that had experienced low warranty costs and good customer viewpoint scores and were rewarded with reduced controls and the elimination of some prior approval requirements.
As Ford transitions into ONE Warranty Solution in 2011, there are various items that they are releasing immediately, such as the claims filter, to simplify the warranty administration process.
Beginning March 1, 2010, the Level 1 and 2 designations will be eliminated. Since the only main difference between the two levels was in the need to obtain prior approval on certain repairs, this means that your internal processes will need to be revamped.
The technical hotline will still be used for prior approvals. All Dealers will now be required to obtain prior approval to replace diesel engine assemblies, a number of diesel engine components and hybrid components.
Some dealers will have additional prior approval requirements on gas engines and automatic transmissions, based on their 126 Report and shown at the bottom of the report as we are accustomed. In conjunction with prior approvals there will be a new Powertrain Cost Cap Tool on the FMC Dealer/PTS website that will replace the reference charts. The repair vs. replace worksheet will be completed online.
Digital Imaging (DI) and Real Time Diagnostics Assistance (RTDA) will be transferred over the technical hotline activity as well.
In a comparison with its peers, Ford continues to provide as much transparency as possible regarding its warranty measurement process and audit processes. Like many auto manufacturers, Ford for years used complex indices in measuring warranty performance - indices that meant little to real world claims. A 0.6 variance number did not specifically tell you what your dealership was doing different. Further, the audit selection process was ripe for manipulation by political forces within the regions.
While it might have been a good thing for those with the political power to change results to their favor, it left the majority of dealers unprotected, or worse, it punished those who were on the outs with the company.
Ford has been striving for years to treat all dealers the same. A goal they have largely achieved over the past decade. The elimination of the two-level system allows for more consistent management of the warranty compliance program.