SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 1, January 6, 2011

FTC Validates Right to Install Aftermarket Parts

In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.”

“The FTC’s reference to aftermarket parts is equally applicable to specialty parts,” said Russ Deane, SEMA’s General Counsel. “Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the warranty cannot be conditioned to a specific brand of parts, services or vehicle modifications unless those parts or services are provided free of charge.”

The alert notes that a consumer has the right to patronize independent retail stores and repair shops for parts and service without fear of voiding the new car warranty. The dealer/vehicle manufacturer has the right to deny a warranty repair but they must demonstrate that the aftermarket part caused the problem. The warranty remains in effect for all other covered parts.

The FTC alert may be downloaded using this link: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm.

The alert was issued in response to an FTC complaint filed last August by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

Questions? Contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.



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