German authorities may seek legal action against Opel since the warranty offer comes with too many conditions.

The German authority in charge of competition has criticized Opel for its recent offer of a "lifetime warranty" on all new vehicles.

Opel in Germany, along with sister brand Vauxhall in the U.K., recently announced a lifetime warranty on all vehicles registered from August 1 onward and have begun a marketing campaign centered around it. But there are sufficient conditions to the new warranty that have raised questions for Germany's Wettbewerbszentrale (Center for Protection against Unfair Competition).

Opel and Vauxhall are limiting the warranty to 160,000 km as well as placing other conditions on the guarantee such as customers having to pay a part of the cost of replacement parts. The warranty covers all major components of the vehicle, including the drivetrain, steering system and electronics but not regular wear and tear of other parts like drive belts.

"We object to the misleading, eye-catching advertisement, because contrary to the grandiose statement made in it, Opel is not actually offering a 'lifetime' guarantee," said Reiner Muenker of the Wettbewerbszentrale's executive committee. According to Muenker, the warranty is definitely not life-long from the consumer's point-of-view.

The body has stated that it will pursue legal action against Opel in Germany if they don't stop marketing the "lifetime warranty" claim. Opel has run ads in both print and on the Internet promoting the warranty.

The German automaker has issued a statement on the charges and says it is looking at the matter and will respond within the time alotted. Opel also said that "the guarantee offer has achieved great resonance with our customers."

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