Watford Electronics, which bought the Carrera brand last week, will not be honouring existing warranties on Carrera computers.

The company will, however, be honouring all existing orders made to Carrera, including their technical cover. “There will be no change to either the quoted price or specification [of computers ordered but yet to be supplied] and the advertised three-year onsite warranty will be honoured.”

In a statement released yesterday, the company said it was not in a position to underwrite the warranties of customers who have received their Carrera computers, but would offer them “a one-year warranty at a nominal charge”.

Nick Mountfield, marketing manager for Watford, said that the warranty would priced at around £40, an offer he said he described as very reasonable. “When you consider that the average Carrera system costed around £800, [the warranty offer] is only 5 percent of the cost.”

Customers who have Carrera systems in for repair will have to purchase the offered warranty in order to have the repairs completed on their system. For those who would rather not take up Watford’s offer, Mountfield said, “Where we can we’ll return their systems to then and they can have them repaired elsewhere.”

In its statement, Watford said it would be contacting all Carrera customers in the next seven days to “explain the situation and outline the warranty options available”.

Mountfield also said that customers with systems in for repair will be identified and contacted as soon as possible. “When we got [to the Carrera premises] it was all in a bit of a mess,” he said. “We’re still in the process of identifying all the systems.”

Informal reports from Carrera customers suggest that the staff - several of whom have retained their positions at the company - were unaware of Watford's plans for them and the computers in their charge. Mountfield assured us that they would be brought up to speed by the end of the day.