A question came up as to what was Garmin's out-of-warranty policy... Upon inquiring, Garmin Product Support gave the following answer:
For out-of-warranty repair, GARMIN used to charge parts and labor. This became a resource intensive task of estimating the repair, and trying to contact the customer with the estimate, and so on. Many customers wanted an estimate before they sent the unit in for repair to determine if the unit was worth fixing or not. Obviously you can't do this until you see the unit.
About two years ago, we switched from the parts and labor method of calculating repair charges to a flat rate overhaul system.
With this system, there is a single flat rate charge for complete factory overhaul of a specific product returned to the factory for service. The customer knows up front what the charge will be, so there are no surprises. Our flat rate charges are published on our web-site.
The factory overhaul process is a thorough process which brings the unit up to the same specifications as when it was new. Any cosmetic issue are addressed, like scratched lenses, cracked cases broken antennas, worn out NiCad battery packs, etc.. If possible, the software in the unit is updated to the latest version applicable to the product. Any modifications or updates are installed in the product as appropriate. Our goal is to send a product back to the customer in a new condition, regardless of the condition it was in when it was received.
This policy covers just about anything that can happen to a GPS. Units mauled by dogs, units mauled by bears, units mauled by sharks (really), units run over by cars, units left on the roofs of cars and retrieved later from the side of the highway, units completely filled with salt water after falling overboard and retrieved a week later in 100 ft of water, and many more. In all of these cases, the flat rate is honored and the customer ends up with unit that is either new, or in new condition.
Overall, most customers seem to be quite pleased with our flat rate program, and the value that it offers.
Garmin Product Support
Garmin's Support Website HERE