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FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

It’s illegal for a manufacturer to specify a specific brand of oil

It’s illegal for a manufacturer to suggest they will void a warranty due to some standard additive. This has been one of the most common recurring myths about synthetic oil; that it can somehow void your warranty. Harley Davidson did a particularly good job of perpetrating this misinformation. For example, a manufacturer can specify “20w-50” with a specific set of standards but they CANNOT specify a brand name product, or suggest that other brands will void a warranty. This act is the subject of a recent FTC alert. It’s good information

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a consumer alert clarifying that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits automobile manufacturers and dealers from denying warranty coverage based on use of an aftermarket product, unless they can show the product caused the damage or was installed incorrectly.

“The FTC’s statement should help those ILMA members, for example, who have decided not to license General Motors’ dexos™ engine oil,” said ILMA counsel Jeff Leiter. “Some ILMA members have complained to me that the automaker has made confusing statements about its new engine oil and warranty coverage for new vehicles. It makes sense to hand a customer a copy of the FTC consumer alert, showing that the use of equivalent products should not affect warranty coverage.”
The FTC consumer alert can be viewed at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm

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