FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Opel/Vauxhalll defended its promise to provide lifetime guarantees on new vehicles after German competition authorities threatened to sue for misleading advertising.
"We are not even considering abandoning our campaign," said Alain Visser, head of sales and marketing at the General Motors Co. unit, adding he did not agree with the authorities' claims that the campaign was "misleading."
Earlier this month, Opel was criticized by Germany's federal committee against unfair commercial practices when it launched the campaign promising a lifelong warranty on new cars.
Visser said: "Like every guarantee offer, ours also has conditions and these conditions are presented very clearly."
He declined to comment on the cost of the campaign, but said that it had been devised over a long period of time and unveiled with the same care and dedication as a new product or model of car.
A spokesman for the competition authority said that the campaign was deceiving because, although there is no time restriction on the warranty, it only guarantees repair cost-coverage for vehicles with less than 160,000 kilometers (about 100,000 miles) on the odometer.
"I challenge you to go out and find me a car with even 100,000 kilometers on the clock," Visser told a news conference on Wednesday.
The warranty deal covers the engine, transmission, electronics and the steering system, but excludes parts subject to regular wear and tear such as seat belts and oil filters.
"Despite threats and some bad PR we do believe that a lifetime guarantee with no time-limit is the strongest statement we could possibly make -- even if it does have some footnotes," Visser said.
Opel is trying to revamp its image among consumers after months of uncertainty over the company's future rattled confidence.
Opel CEO Nick Reilly in June blamed a sliding market share in Germany on image problems.