Vehicle warranties are often overlooked by individual Canadians and commercial importers fixated on scooping up U.S. cars bargains.
With the buying power of the Canadian dollar up, there are a slew of bargain-basement deals readily available via eBay and government car auctions.
Yet vehicle problems can and do arise after import into Canada. Without car warranty coverage, those vehicle problems can result in costs that quickly erase all savings from what first appeared to be super bargains for must-have U.S. cars.
Perceptive import buyers want to know in advance whether vehicles for sale in the U.S. will be covered under any car maker’s warranty after delivery in Canada.
Toyota Auto Warranties on Imported U.S. Vehicles
According to the latest data from the Automobile Protection Association (APA), U.S. warranties will continue to be valid for service and repairs on Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Canada after their import from the U.S.
Below are other major auto makers that honor auto warranties in Canada for American-made vehicles:
- General Motors
Car makers like BMW require that warranty repairs or other eligible services must be performed at their authorized dealerships only.
Volkswagen Car Warranty Exclusions
Some auto makers craft their vehicle warranties with specific exclusions that apply when automobiles are exported outside the U.S.
For example, reimbursable Volkswagen car warranty charges cover imported 2008 car models but exclude all 2009 automobiles.
Nissan car warranties are generally valid on U.S. exports to Canada, if 2 legal conditions are met:
- All new American-made Nissan cars must be first sold and registered in the U.S.
- U.S. Nissan cars cannot be re-sold until 6 months after original purchase.
Suzuki provides auto warranty coverage in Canada for imported American Suzuki vehicles unless those models are not for sale in Canada. For that reason, warranties for imported Suzuki Forenza and Reno models are not eligible simply because they are not sold at Canadian dealerships.
Ford Vehicle Warranties Have Limits on American Imported Cars
Warranties on Ford automobiles imported into Canada are generally valid, subject to warranty coverage limits. Ford vehicle warranties are good for 3 years or 36,000 miles, extended to 5 years or 60,000 miles for engine and transmission.
Infinity Canada warranty coverage is for up to 4 years or 60,000 miles and up to 6 years or 70,000 miles for engine and transmission. This is slightly more generous than Ford vehicle warranties.
By far, Mercedez-Benz has the most rigorous limits and pre-conditions on its warranty program for U.S. vehicles imported into Canada. After an official Mercedez-Benz dealership issues a letter of compliance, a 4-year or 50,000-mile car warranty applies. However, Mercedez does not offer corrosion or extended warranties.
No Honda Auto Warranties
Honda auto warranties are not valid on U.S. vehicles imported into Canada.
Also ineligible for Canadian vehicle warranties are all imported vehicles made by:
Chrysler’s warranty exclusion applies only on new Chrysler cars shipped from the U.S. to Canada.
Independent Research on Auto Warranties on U.S. Cars
Like most issues in International Trade, warranty regulations change regularly. This is particularly true of the global automotive industry and international vehicle warranties.
Therefore, importers are encouraged to do their own independent research on available car warranties well before submitting a bid on a U.S. vehicle.
A good place to start is the Automobile Protection Association (APA). This non-profit association tracks auto warranty eligibility for vehicles imported from the U.S.
The APA website lists contact information which importers can use to research more warranty details about the specific automobiles they wish to bid on. This enables importers to be ready to take positive action and resolve vehicle problems covered by warranty.