Volkswagen is really going all-out to buoy its flagging U.S. sales. Starting with its entire 2009 lineup, the company will add a Carefree Maintenance Program at no charge that will pay for all scheduled maintenance for the life of the new-car warranty: three years or 36,000 miles.
Interestingly enough, this includes just three services at 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 miles. The new Routan minivan will have more maintenance intervals — at 6,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 and 36,000 miles — all of which will also be covered.
VW is also adding a new “courtesy vehicle check” that allows owners to bring their new car back to the dealer within 90 days or 6,000 miles for a review of the car’s features and to have it checked for any mechanical issues.
Many luxury automakers offer similar programs, but with just three services included for most models, VW might have found a winning formula. It won’t cost the automaker much to perform three services, and the program will sound great in commercials.
Update: VW has confirmed that it will reduce its comprehensive new-car warranty to three years or 36,000 miles for the 2009 model year compared to the current four-year or 50,000 mile warranty for 2008 models.