As millions of Americans continue to keep their distance from one another amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Volvo announced today that it is rolling out a new program that will allow owners of its vehicles to have their car serviced without having to leave their home or office (remember offices?). Called Volvo Valet, owners will be able to use a proprietary smartphone app or contact a dealership via phone to schedule a pickup time.
According to Volvo, the service began in pilot form several months ago, but the timing of the rollout given the current health crisis is convenient. The automaker did not specify whether the coronavirus situation accelerated the rollout, given social distancing and shelter-in-place/stay-at-home orders across the nation.
The service works much like the Genesis Service Valet we used when we owned Cars.com’s Best of 2019-winning Genesis G70 as part of our long-term test fleet: After scheduling pickup directly with the dealership or via Volvo’s proprietary smartphone app, a dealership employee drives a loaner vehicle to the location of the owner’s Volvo, leaves the loaner car and drives the owner’s Volvo back to the dealership for service. (At this point, the Volvo employee will also photograph both cars to produce a record of each vehicle’s condition.)
Once service is completed, the dealership and owner schedule a return time and location, and the owner’s car is returned and the loaner car picked up. Using the smartphone app, Volvo owners will be able to track the location of the driver and see an estimated arrival time. They will also receive a notification when their car arrives at the dealership and another notification as soon as service has been completed.
During the current pandemic, Volvo says participating dealers are “observing extra precautions in handling vehicles as it relates to COVID-19.”
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All Volvos are eligible for this new service, according to Volvo, but the decision is ultimately at the discretion of participating dealerships, so it’s a good idea for owners to confirm with their preferred dealership that their particular car is eligible before trying to get, for example, their P1800 or 240 wagon serviced. According to Volvo, all services are eligible for Service by Volvo benefits, which includes a lifetime parts and labor warranty for out-of-warranty repairs using genuine Volvo parts installed by a Volvo dealership.
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