By The Numbers: Comparing Electric Car Warranties

One of the biggest benefits about buying a new car, truck, or SUV of any kind, is the peace-of-mind that comes with getting a warranty from the manufacturer that covers the cost of necessary repairs for the first years of ownership. Warranty terms can vary significantly from one brand to another, with longer coverage, needless to say, always better. It’s typically expressed as extending for a set number of years or miles from the original purchase date (for example, 3 years/36,000 miles), whichever comes first.

As with all vehicles, an electric car’s warranty includes comprehensive and powertrain coverage. Comprehensive (“full”) coverage applies to parts and labor costs for covered repairs. Three or four years coverage is typical, though a few makes extend this to five years. Powertrain coverage is usually in effect for a longer period, usually five or six years or more, and applies specifically to major mechanical components like the electric motor and transmission.

Not typically covered is scheduled maintenance service, wear-and-tear items like brake linings and windshield wiper blades, and failure caused by abuse or improper maintenance. Also, select components, most notably tires and dealer-installed accessories, can have separate warranties backed by the original-equipment manufacturers, and come with their own exclusions.

Automakers’ warranties also include specific coverage against corrosion. However, this applies to body panels that have been completely “rusted through,” and not to mere paint bubbling. In addition, many manufacturers include roadside assistance programs with value-added features that rival the benefits of auto-club memberships.

Those considering an electric car should be aware that automakers, by law, are required to add extended coverage for the battery pack, which is an EV’s most expensive component to replace should it fail or lose its ability to hold a sufficient charge. Minimum coverage is 8 years/100,000 miles, though a few brands include longer periods. Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia cover their EV batteries for 10 years/100,000 miles, while it’s 155,000 miles on the Mercedes-Benz EQS. Of note, electric vehicles sold in California are required to include battery coverage for 10 years or 150,000 miles.

But be aware that every new-vehicle warranty contains exceptions and exclusions aplenty. For example, some automakers only cover an EV’s battery pack against total failure, while most will replace it if it dips below a specified reduced capacity percentage, usually 60-70%, while under warranty. Coverage can be denied for reasons that include use of non-standard charging and failing to install software or firmware updates, among others. Needless to say, it pays to check the fine print regarding warranty coverage at the dealership or via the manufacturer’s website to get the full story before signing on the proverbial dotted line.

Here’s an overview of the warranty coverage included with 2022-2023 model-year electric vehicles:

Full Coverage, Powertrain, EV Battery

Audi: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

BMW: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Cadillac: 4/50,000, 6/70,000, 8/100,000

Chevrolet: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Ford: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Genesis: 5/60,000, 10/100,000, 10/100,000

GMC: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Hyundai: 5/60,000, 10/100,000, 10/100,000

Jaguar: 5/60,000. 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Kia: 5/60,000; 10/100,000, 10/100,000

Lucid: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Mazda, 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Mercedes: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 10/155,000*

MINI: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Nissan: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Polestar: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Porsche: 4/50,000: 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Rivian: 5/60,000, 5/60,000, 8/175,000

Subaru: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Tesla: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/150,000**

Toyota: 3/36,000, 5/60,000, 8/100,000

Volkswagen: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

Volvo: 4/50,000, 4/50,000, 8/100,000

* EQE: 10/100,000; ** Model 3 and Model Y: 8/120,000

Next up By The Numbers: The Best And Worst States For EVs


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