How do you determine a warranty return?
The TCRA news staff had an opportunity to speak to members at the annual TCRA meeting held last June. A topic of concern that was discussed was converter failures. How do you determine a torque converter failure that is under warranty and a failure that is not covered?
Many shops will return a torque converter and simply say, “This is defective. I want a new one.” Being an accommodating business owner, the converter is replaced with no charge because it is believed the converter is in fact defective. After this incident occurs numerous times with the same customer and an apparent trend has developed, investigation must begin.
An important question must be answered, and the customer’s complaint must be checked in to. What is wrong with the converter according to the customer? Many times you can determine that it is or it is not a converter problem by simply having this question answered.
If the converter is simply replaced, you will lose a lot more than just the cost of the converter. Your customer has now lost faith in your product. The converter needs to be carefully examined and determine if failure has occurred. If not, the customer should be informed of this finding.
Come backs on average occur between one and four percent. Of this four percent returned, only one converter of the four percent is probably a defective converter due to manufacturer defect. Some of the other returns could simply have contaminated fluid or installation error.
All converter manufacturers can benefit by educating and explaining to the transmission shop owners/managers/mechanics on how to identify converter related problems. You can do this by having quarterly open house/seminars at your facility to teach the steps of identifying a defective converter. During these meetings, you will have the chance to meet and demonstrate hands on techniques of converter operations and rebuilding. Camaraderie between your company and your customers will be enhanced resulting in a better understanding of how converters work. This will result in a reduced number of returns.
If a converter is determined not to be a failure, try offering a cut and clean service for your customer instead of total denial of warranty. The customer will feel better and understand your concern. This will reduce your cost of come backs.
Found in issue 07, 2003