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Will This Void My Warranty?

Will your installation void my car's warranty?

Nearly every day a customer asks us about their vehicle warranty. The car dealer told them that if they had a remote starter installed, their warranty would be voided. Nothing is further from the truth.The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 specifically forbids the use of”tie-ins” by any manufactures. One example of a “tie-in” is a vehicle manufacturer requiring that the consumer use a specific brand of motor oil or the warranty will be voided.

Since “tie-ins” are made illegal by federal law, a dealer cannot void a warranty just because you choose not to use their product. The only way that they can require you to use their product is if they are offering it to you at no charge. For an easy to understand translation of the act, read below.

Of course, a dealer or manufacturer cannot be responsible for faulty workmanship or poor quality after market products. If an after market product is found to have caused a defect in the vehicle, the dealer can refuse to warranty that specific problem. To this end, it is even more important that you choose a reputable shop to do your after market installations.

I don’t want to make it sound like all dealers are bad and out to refuse warranty claims. By far, most dealers try to stick to the law and do the right thing. In most cases, it is a poorly trained service manager who is unfamiliar with the law. Unfortunately, in some instances, your dealer may just be deceptive. These are the cases that deserve some attention. One option is to contact the Federal Trade Commission at (202) 326-3128 or www.ftc.gov

Know Your Warranty Rights

Many consumers are confused regarding the installation and service of third party accessories for their vehicles. This confusion often is the result of incorrect information intended to convince you that only the manufacturer or authorized dealer should service your vehicle.

What does the law provide?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is Federal Law enacted in 1975 establishing warranty requirements. The Act provides that: “Warranties, written or implied, cannot be conditioned on the consumer’s use of any article or service identified by brand, trade, or corporate name.” This prohibition against conditioning warranties on the use of authorized items or services can only be waived by the Federal Trade Commission if two specific factors are found:

1) The Federal Trade Commission is satisfied that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used and

2) The Federal Trade Commission finds it is in the public interest. The Federal Trade Commission in determining what is in the public interest, seeks and accepts comments from the public.

What does this mean to you?

Purchasing and having accessories installed in your vehicle does not void your warranty unless the manufacturer has been able to convince the Federal Trade Commission that the installation and/or service will cause a malfunction to the vehicle and the restriction is in the public interest. These are difficult tests to meet, especially since the public is economically and technologically ahead through third party accessory options. If your manufacturer or dealer tells you that your warranty is void or able to be voided due to third party accessories or service, ask him for the Federal Trade Commission determination supporting the claim. You may even want to call the FTC yourself.This overview was written by our corporate attorney after research into the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act. It is an explanation of the law in plain English so that our customers may understand their rights.