Ford SA takes a major step in approach to service plans as 'Right to Repair' takes flight

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A Ford dealer in South Africa
A Ford dealer in South Africa

• Ford South Africa is committed to the new Automotive Aftermarket Guidelines, also known as 'Right to Repair'.

• From 1 November 2021, Ford Protect service and maintenance plans are unbundled from the purchase price of the vehicle, and will be available as an added-cost option.

• Ford SA says that servicing at one of its 140 dealers guarantees quality workmanship using factory-trained and certified technicians.

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Ford South Africa has taken a significant decision as it commits to the new Automotive Aftermarket Guidelines. These guidelines, more commonly known as 'Right to Repair', came into effect on 1 July 2021 in South Africa and allow independent service providers (ISP) to also service and maintain vehicles.

Effective 1 November 2021, all new Ford vehicles sold in South Africa will not come with a service plan as standard. Instead, new owners can purchase it as an optional extra, giving them the freedom to have their vehicles services and maintained either at an authorised Ford dealer or with an ISP.

Neale Hill, President, Ford Motor Company Africa, said: "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. Ford is acutely aware of consumers' growing desire and right to choose where they wish to service, maintain or repair their vehicles."

Servicing a Ford vehicle

Warranty remains intact

Though service- and maintenance plans can now be purchased separately, Ford South Africa will continue to offer its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) warranty. Every Ford vehicle sold in South Africa will be backed by a four-year or 120 000km comprehensive warranty, a three-year or unlimited km roadside assistance, and a five-year or unlimited km corrosion warranty.

Hill further adds: "Customers have the option of selecting where to service their vehicle, but it's important that they familiarise themselves with the guidelines. For example, if you choose to service your vehicle outside the Ford dealer network while you have a Ford Protect Service Plan in place. In that case, 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 because of the parts used or the workmanship of the ISP, that portion of the repair may not be covered by the Ford warranty."

READ: Four facts we now know about SA's motor industry, thanks to Right to Repair

If new owners do not specify for either a service or maintenance plan as part of their purchase, damages and/or mechanical due to vehicles not being serviced according to Ford's applicable service intervals will not be covered by Ford's warranty.

Another aspect that owners should be aware of is that even if they opt against a Ford service or maintenance plan, recall repairs should be performed by any one of Ford's 140 dealers across South Africa. Recall repairs are at no cost to the customer.

Hill concludes: "We have been working to implement the systems and processes necessary to unbundle the Ford Protect service plans. 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."

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Ford Rangers en route to local dealerships
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