General Motors announced a retooling of its certified pre-owned program, giving it a new name, a new strategy and new features. The revised program will now focus on the company's individual brands rather than GM as a whole, and will provide customers with new tools to take some of the guesswork out of buying a used car.

In updating the program, GM's first step was to re-brand it. Gone is the old name - GM Certified Used Vehicles - replaced instead by four seprate titles that reflect each GM brand: Chevrolet/Buick/GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. GM's luxury brand, Cadillac, has a separate program, which was also given a recent overhaul.

Beyond the new name, GM's updated certified pre-owned program is highlighted by two important new improvements. The first, dubbed "Owner Care," provisions all certified pre-owned vehicles with a two-year/30,000-mile free maintenance program. Similar to the free maintenance programs on many automakers' new cars, Owner Care covers oil changes, tire rotations and vehicle checkups at no cost to the owner. According to GM, the program is an industry first for pre-owned vehicles.

The second major change to GM's certified pre-owned program is a more rigorous inspection, which now includes 172 points, up from the old program's 117. General Motors hopes the improved inspection system will give customers increased peace-of-mind that the certified pre-owned car they're buying has been thoroughly examined, ensuring its durability.

"Customers demanded more value for their money, and we have responded," said Jennifer Costabile, general director of marketing and sales support for GM's fleet and commercial operations. "We believe our enhanced program offers customers an outstanding experience from the moment they drive their Chevrolet, Buick or GMC Pre-Owned Vehicle off the lot."

The program also includes several features carried over from the previous program, including a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a five-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and 24-hour roadside assistance with courtesy transportation. Free trials of GM's OnStar telematics system and XM satellite radio will also remain standard.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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