SOUTHFIELD, Mich.-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 GM.
One enhancement being offered is tire road hazard coverage, which GM is providing 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.
The changes to its protection plans include renaming them under the GM Protection Plan and Mechanical Repair Protection umbrella program.
Traditional service contracts will incorporate the ``Guard'' name, GM said, while the ``Smart'' theme will be used in products targeted to lease customers.
The plans are marketed by GMAC Financial Services, and are serviced and administered by Motors Insurance Corp., a member of the GMAC Insurance Group.
Through GM's redesigned protection plans, expanded time and mileage modifications are being offered for Major Guard, Value Guard and Basic Guard plans.
Following are the 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 all electronic, electrical and mechanical parts 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 vehicles up to 7 years old.
Value Guard 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 offers the same rental coverage as Major Guard, and provides a $50 authorization or reimbursement for towing.
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. It can be packaged with any mechanical plan or purchased separately.