Auto Warranty Processing Costs Jump 28%

By Jeffery Bellant March 13, 2024
A large number of auto dealerships have embraced outsourcing their warranty claims process - up 34% since 2020. A large number of auto dealerships have embraced outsourcing their warranty claims process - up 34% since 2020.

WarrCloud, an automated warranty processing platform for the automotive industry, released the results of their Service Warranty Claims Process Study on March 5. The study revealed that the current cost of processing auto warranty claims is 28% higher (as a percent of revenue) than it was in 2020, when a similar study was conducted. Additionally, processing a single warranty claim takes 47% more time compared to the 2020 study. Current realities and anticipated trends outlined in the study indicate that warranty claims processing will continue to erode auto dealership bottom lines.

Key findings in the study include:

  • A sharp increase in warranty claims volume. Nearly 60% of dealerships surveyed indicate that the volume of warranty claims has increased in recent years (+17% vs. 2020).
  • Volume is expected to continue to increase. Fifty-five percent of dealerships predict their warranty claims processing volume will increase (+47% vs. 2020). This prediction is based on an anticipated increase in vehicle sales; a perceived decrease in vehicle quality, and a corresponding increase in recalls; and the impact of advanced/complex vehicle technology, including that found in hybrid and electric vehicles. Notably, the introduction of more sophisticated technology in vehicles is expected to increase the likelihood of claims, and warranty periods are expected to be longer to support burgeoning technologies such as battery-electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
  • Longer processing time. The time it takes to navigate the warranty claims process from start to finish is up (+30% vs. 2020)
  • More auto dealership employees are spending more time on warranty claims processing. The increased volume of claims (and the expectation that this trend will continue), combined with the increased time it takes to complete each claim, means dealerships have more employees involved in the process (+67% vs. 2020). Further, dealerships have more full-time employees whose primary function claims submission (+36% vs. 2020).


Jim Roche, WarrCloud CEO. 

“Warranty claims comprise 31% of the service department’s consumer business, and we project that warranty claims will continue to increase through 2025 and beyond,” said Jim Roche, founder and CEO of WarrCloud. “Given that warranties are an intrinsic part of the business, it’s essential that dealerships do everything to relieve the rising costs associated with processing claims. Increased employee headcounts, longer processing times, and higher volumes all make claims processing a substantially higher expense as a percentage of overall revenue. For many, automating the process can provide a meaningful level of financial relief that can have an immediate net-positive impact on dealers’ bottom lines.”

A prominent number of auto dealerships have embraced outsourcing their warranty claims process (+34% vs. 2020), while others are strongly considering doing so (+29% vs. 2020). Introducing a third-party to handle warranty claims streamlines the process, saves time, increases productivity, and ensures consistent and expert management of warranty claims due to specialized outsourcing teams that reduce the risk of errors and enhance claim recovery. Dealerships that have adopted this approach to claims processing have realized as much as $175,000 in additional revenue and savings.

More than 75% of automotive dealers indicated that the increased level of technology in modern vehicles has had a meaningful impact on warranty claims volumes. This consensus bolsters the contention that vehicle technology is a substantial driver of warranty claims.

U.S Auto Manufacturers Warranty Claims Rates (as a % of sales, 2003-2019)

Currently, 39% of dealers believe hybrid vehicles will lead to an increase in warranty claims. This finding indicates a growing concern within the industry about the complexities associated with hybrid technology and its potential to drive up the number of warranty claims.

In 2023, 48% of the dealers surveyed stated that they believe electric vehicles (EVs) will lead to a higher volume of warranty claims; only 30% had this perspective in 2020. This considerable shift reflects heightened industry concern about the new challenges associated with electric vehicle technology and its potential implications for warranty services.

Warranty Work vs. Safety Recalls

Fifty-nine percent of claims processed by automotive dealerships are for general warranty issues, while 41% pertain solely to recalls. Compared to 2020 figures, there is a marked increase in recall-related claims (+14%), highlighting a shift in the mix toward safety recalls. Despite this change, most claims continue to be for non-recall warranty work.

The WarrCloud Service Warranty Claims Process Study was designed to comprehensively analyze the service warranty claims process within franchise automotive dealerships across the country. The study examined current practices surrounding warranty claims, human resource allocations, and the mechanisms of tracking and streamlining service department costs.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 13 March 2024 13:36