Summary of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Consumer purchasers of such components such as automotive oil and filters are sometimes told by dealer's service writer or mechanics that a brand replacement part/product can not be used in the consumer's vehicle during the warranty period. The claim is made, that use of the brand will "void the warranty" with the statement of implication that only the original equipment brand may be used. This of course tends to cast doubt on the quality of the replacement part/product.
That claim is simply not true. If the consumer asks for the statement in writing, he will not receive it. Nevertheless, the consumer may feel uneasy about using replacement parts/products that are not original equipment. With the large number of do-it-yourselfers who may prefer to purchase a different brand of part/product, this misleading claim should be corrected.
Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. SS 2301-1312 (1982), and general principles of the Federal Trade Commission Act, a manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of product (or any other article) unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty.
So if the consumer is told that only the original brand of part/product will not void the warranty, he should request that the OE part/product be supplied free of charge. If he is charged for the part/product, the manufacturer will be violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or other applicable law.
By providing this information to the consumers, the aftermarket industry can help to combat the erroneous claim that a brand of replacement part/product other than the original equipment will "void the warranty".
It should be noted that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that applies to consumer products. The Federal Trade commission has authority to enforce the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, including obtaining injunctions and orders containing affirmative relief. In addition, a consumer can bring suit under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
"No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name...."(15 U.S.C. 2302(c).
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