SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Oct. 10, 2001) — Road hazard coverage for tires is among new enhancements offered by General Motors Corp. in redesigned Protection Plan and Mechanical Repair Protection programs announced by the company.
The new and revamped offerings, according to the car maker, provide a wide array of time, mileage and deductible options to meet the needs and pocketbooks of customers buying or leasing new or used vehicles.
“This redesign follows comprehensive research to determine the needs of both dealers and consumers,” said Thomas Callahan, a senior vice president at the GMAC Insurance Group, a part of GMAC and General Motors. “Customers are looking for coverage that is convenient and provides freedom from worry about unexpected expenses. Our goal is to provide them with competitively priced products that exceed their expectations.”
The changes include a renaming of plans under the GM Protection Plan and Mechanical Repair Protection umbrella program names. Traditional service contracts will incorporate the “Guard” name, GM said, while the “Smart” theme will be used in products targeted to lease customers, similar to GMAC's SmartLease, SmartBuy and SmartAuction programs for dealers and retail customers. The plans are marketed by GMAC Financial Services, and are serviced and administered by Motors Insurance Corporation, a member of the GMAC Insurance Group.
One enhancement being offered is tire road hazard coverage, which GM is offering as an option on any new vehicle service or maintenance contract. For tire damage caused by roadway hazards, this coverage provides zero-deductible protection for flat tire repair—up to $35 per tire—as well as complete or prorated replacement of the vehicle's original four tires, up to $150 per tire. Coverage extends for 60 months or 50,000 miles, regardless of the term of the underlying service or maintenance contract, the company said.
GM's expanded tire coverage comes on the heels of the company's announcement last June that it was launching a new retail tire program through its Service Parts Operations (SPO) unit. The so-called “On-A-Roll” program, piloted during the past year at several GM Goodwrench Service Plus dealer locations, is aimed at eventually offering tires at 1,800 Goodwrench shops nationwide.
Through GM's redesigned Protection Plan and Mechanical Repair Protection programs, expanded time and mileage modifications are being offered for Major Guard, Value Guard and Basic Guard plans. The new limits are 84 months (up from 72 months) for in-warranty vehicles, and a 48-month term (up from 36 months) for out-of-warranty vehicles no older than five model years.
In addition, time/mileage options for out-of-warranty coverage have been expanded to increments of 12-month/15,000 miles, 24-month/30,000 miles, 36-month/45,000 miles, 48-months/48,000 miles and 48-month/60,000 miles—complementing previous increments of 12 months/12,000 miles, 24 months/24,000 miles and 36 months/36,000 miles.
Following are the GM Protection Plan and Mechanical Protection Plan programs offered for the 2002 model year:
Major Guard coverage continues to supplement the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty with protection for virtually every electronic, electrical and mechanical part of the vehicle. Major Guard also provides 24-hour towing or roadside assistance as well as rental reimbursement when repairs require two or more service days. The protection is available on new and used vehicles up to seven years old.
Value Guard replaces the former “Custom” plan. It provides protection on vehicles up to 10 years old for an array of large, expensive components in eight major groups: gasoline engine, transmission/transaxle, drivetrain, steering, front suspension, brakes, electrical and GM-installed air conditioner. Value Guard provides the same rental coverage as Major Guard, and provides a $50 authorization or reimbursement for towing, GM said.
Basic Guard replaces the former “Powertrain” plan. Available on vehicles up to 10 years old, Basic Guard is a lower-priced alternative that provides basic protection for the gasoline engine, transmission/transaxle and drivetrain components.
Smart Care continues to provide prepaid basic maintenance benefits, such as oil, oil filters, chassis lubrications and tire rotations in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations. The company said this coverage can be packaged with any mechanical plan or purchased separately.
Smart Care Plus is a new maintenance contract that combines the Smart Care benefits with the addition of one replacement of the front brake pads, one replacement of the rear brake pads/shoes and annual replacement of front and rear windshield wiper blades. This coverage is available only on new vehicles.
Smart Protection is a new vehicle service contract that offers the same coverage as Major Guard, but for lease and SmartBuy customers. Coverage continues for up to a maximum of 48 months or the maximum odometer mileage reading selected by the customer, which can be any 1,000-mile increment from 37,000 to 60,000 miles. Smart Protection is available on new vehicles only.
Smart Protection Plus adds Smart Care Plus coverage to Smart Protection coverage. This means nearly all of a customer's service and maintenance needs are covered for the term of the lease or SmartBuy contract.
MRP Certified is a mechanical repair protection plan that extends coverage already offered on GM used vehicles to non-GM used vehicles sold by GM dealers participating in the Certified Used Vehicles program. If the purchased vehicle is still covered by manufacturer warranty, GM said that MRP Certified provides the Major Guard level of coverage to 39 months/39,000 miles. If the vehicle is not under manufacturer warranty, the MRP plan provides 3 months/3,000 miles of Major Guard level of coverage.