Having your warranty claims denied has to be one of the biggest headaches in our industry. And it’s a very, very costly headache. In fact, according to one large fleet owner I spoke to recently, he estimates it costs him around $20 million each and every year in warranty claims he has to eat. Why? Because the replacement parts he used to repair his tractor trailers had part numbers that didn’t match the warranty company’s “required” part number. Even though the part was identical.
So you ask, “How on Earth can they not recognize the part? It’s the exact same one!” Well, here’s what happens all too often: The manufacturer may have one number assigned to a given part, but the problem arises because the truck dealer assigns that same part a different part number. Then the national part supply store adds on their own suffix code to that number to comply with their in-house numbering conventions. And it trickles all the way down to the small mom and pop store, who give that part their own unique number, because their computer system can only handle a certain number of characters.
So you end up with the exact same truck part having a half dozen numbers assigned to it. And your warranty company only recognizes one of them.
There is a way around the problem. A pair of solutions that can get you an increase in your warranty claims by up to 50%. And help get rid of those headaches and stop the flood of your company’s expenses.
Warranty Claim Solution #1: Cross reference your part number with the correct OEM number.
Every tractor trailer part starts with an OEM number. And most warranty companies require that part to be used in repairs. But like I said earlier, that part can end up with several numbers assigned to it. Well, if you were to cross-reference the part number you used to repair your truck with the correct OEM number, showing how they are the exact same part, there a lot less likelihood of a disagreement on your warranty claim.
Regularly updated databases, like Parts Search, allow you to do that. Enter the number of the part you used, and it will give you the OEM number you can submit to your warranty company with your claim eliminating confusion.
Warranty Claim Solution #2: Submit your claim using the VMRS code.
The VMRS codes (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards), are finally being accepted by some warranty companies in place of part numbers when claims are filed. The advantage is tremendous. Say for instance, you have to replace your rear brake pads. You give your warranty claim company the part number, and in their system that pad is coded for front brakes, even though the pad works on either. They can, and might, deny the claim because you used the “wrong” part. However, if you supply the claim company with the correct VMRS code, showing the pads are the same for either front or back, the chances of your claim being approved can increase greatly.
Finding the VMRS codes used to be a huge undertaking. But now there are two companies, PartsRiver being one, that are authorized by the American Trucking Association to apply the VMRS. Now it’s as easy as accessing a website and entering your part number.
So just by using these two simple, fast, solutions—cross referencing your truck part numbers and submitting the VMRS along with your claim—you can increase the chances of your warranty claim being accepted by up to 50%. How’s that headache feeling, and bottom line looking, now?
You might be interested in 5 Tips to Successfully Implementing VMRS.