Cougar Warranty 1969
A few months ago we ran a Cat Tale feature on the 1967 Cougar warranty and found that it was quite comprehensive. In fact, from Ford's point of view, it may have been too comprehensive. By the 1969 model year, parts of the warranty had been changed significantly. This month we'll examine the 1969 Cougar warranty and see how warranty coverage changed.
The first difference you'll notice is that, where the 1967 warranty manual was twelve pages in length, the 1969 warranty information was reduced to a three-fold, single page brochure. It is probably safe to assume that printing costs were the reason behind this reduction in size. In terms of content, the '69 warranty information seems less user friendly, focusing on the legal aspects of the coverage, with less text devoted to the importance of good car care.
The front cover of the 1969 Warranty Facts Booklet sets the much more businesslike theme of its contents. Gone are the decorative border and fancy type faces.
Looking at the actual coverage provided in the 1969 warranty (below), the most significant change from 1967 is that the "bumper to bumper" part of the warranty has been reduced from 24,000 mile or two years to 12,000 miles or twelve months. However, the 50,000 mile/five year drive train coverage remains with no major changes.
Another significant change is found in the "Availability of Unexpired Warranty to Second Retail Purchaser" section of the warranty (below, lower right). In 1967, any portion of the new vehicle warranty still in effect when a car was sold automatically transferred to the new owner. By 1969, a formal application, a dealer inspection and a $25 fee were required for transfer of the drive train warranty. In addition, the transfer application had to be made within 30 days or 1,000 miles of ownership transfer. Further, if the 12,000 mile/12 month portion of the warranty had expired, the second owner was required to pay a $25 dollar fee each time warranty repairs are made.
The details of Lincoln-Mercury's 1969 New Car Warranty were spelled out in this inside section of the brochure. The wording of the 1969 warranty is clearly more detailed than that of the 1967 warranty. Note that any damage incurred while "racing" your Cougar is not covered by the warranty.
Two areas receiving more detailed coverage in the 1969 warranty brochure are tires and batteries. Tires and tubes are specifically excluded in the official text of the warranty, and the next section of the brochure (below) explains that tires and tubes are covered under a separate warranty provided by the tire manufacturer. It is interesting to note in the final sentence of the New Tire and Tube Warranty, that any Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealer will assist in presenting tire warranty claims to the tire manufacturer.
While batteries are not expressly mentioned in the actual warranty text, we find that they are covered by a separate pro-rata warranty from Autolite. Of note is the fact that, while tire warranties only extend to new vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, the battery warranty also includes vehicles in Puerto Rico. One wonders if that difference was a statement on the condition of roads in Puerto Rico.
This section of the 1969 warranty brochure specifies the warranty coverages for tires and batteries. Note the rather complex details of Autolite's pro-rated battery warranty.
The inside of the 1969 warranty brochure also contains a more detailed explanation of the owner maintenance responsibilities (below). The most noticeable difference here between the 1967 and 1969 warranties is the removal of the requirement that owners must bring the vehicle into a Ford/L-M dealer service department for annual certification that required maintenance services have been performed.
While there is no specific mention of what proof of required service was necessary to keep the warranty in effect, it is probably safe to assume that dated receipts with the mileage at the time the service was performed would suffice. An unanswered question concerns proof of owner-performed maintenance. Specifically, how could an owner prove that an oil change had been made if the owner performed his/her own oil change?
An explanation of owner maintenance responsibilities is included in the 1969 warranty brochure. As under the 1967 warranty, "squeak and rattle" repairs become the owner's responsibility after the first 6,000 miles or six months.
Also of interest is the subtle difference between those maintenance services required to maintain the warranty and the additional "recommended" maintenance services shown in the owner's manual.
Finally, note that automatic transmission band adjustment is required every 12,000 miles for cars equipped with CJ 428 engines.
Turning the unfolded 1969 warranty brochure over, we find an explanation Ford's temporary Ownercard, which was "placed in your vehicle by the assembly plant." According to the text, a permanent Ownercard could be expected within 30 days.
Samples illustrate the information found on the permanent Ownercard, including the car's VIN and data plate codes. The other side of the Ownercard carried the owner's name, address and purchase date information.
This fold of the brochure also contains a detailed explanation of the components covered by the power train warranty. Clutch discs, pressure plates and throw-out bearings on cars with manual transmissions were specifically excluded from the 50,000 mile/five year power train warranty.
This section of the 1969 warranty brochure explains the purpose of the Ford Ownercard and offered further descriptions of what is covered in Ford's 50,000 mile/five year power train warranty. Note that unauthorized modifications, alterations or improper repairs to drive train components, even if made by a Ford dealer, may void the warranty if, in the reasonable judgment of Ford, they adversely affected the vehicle's reliability, stability or overall performance.
The next section of the 1969 warranty brochure provides more information about what is not included in the new vehicle warranty. These items include replacement of normal service parts (such as spark plugs, filters and clutch components beyond 6,000 miles) and replacement of parts worn due to use or exposure (such as soft trim and bright metal trim, along with hoses and belts).
Also in this section we find more about transferring the warranty to a second owner. In addition to the points we already mentioned, the information provided here notes that a new Ford Ownercard will be issued to the second owner, assuming Ford determines that the vehicle meets their requirements for warranty transfer.
Items not covered by the warranty and ownership transfer are the subjects covered in the second section of this side of the unfolded warranty brochure.
As was the case with the 1967 warranty booklet, the 1969 brochure included a section dedicated to reminding new car buyers of the importance of using original Autolite replacement parts and having service performed at an authorized Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealership. This fold of the brochure also carries Ford's document designation, which is Form No. AF2117-69B.
In its folded form, this section became the back cover of the 1969 Lincoln-Mercury New Car Warranty Facts Booklet. Note this early use of the red and black "car in motion" Autolite logo.