What is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

“Passed by Congress in 1975, (Section 102(c), 15 U.S.C. 2302(c), the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) prevents manufacturers from using disclaimers on warranties in an unfair or misleading manner. It also prohibits arrangements that condition coverage under a written warranty on the customer’s use of an article or service identified by brand, trade, or corporate name unless that article or service is provided without charge to the consumer.”

Basically, a warranty stating that it would be void because someone other than an authorized “ABC” dealer performed services or stating that you have to use “ABC” replacement parts is not a forbidden warranty under the MMWA.

Note: “A manufacturer can only deny warranty coverage if it can demonstrate that a non-original equipment part or related service caused a defect to occur in the original product.”

Car manufacturers have recently ignored these conditions in the MMWA and have been misleading people to believe that they have to have dealer service shops install only original equipment replacement parts or else their car warranty would be voided.

What are some red flags?

  • The warranty is hard to read and you’re unsure what is covered by the warranty.
  • They insists that you have your vehicle serviced at the dealership in order to keep your warranty.
  • They tell you that you must use original equipment manufacturer parts when having your vehicle repaired or the dealer voids the warranty for using aftermarket parts.
  • They refuse your warranty coverage because you obtained services at another repair shop.

Tips to maintain your warranty:

  • Get clarification on your warranty to make sure you understand the terms and coverage.
  • Make sure the dealership or repair shop is licensed/certified with the state.
  • Follow the routine maintenance schedule to ensure all repairs are completed timely.
  • Keep track of all our receipts for maintenance and repairs. They should be clearly dated and have accurate descriptions of the parts used and what services were performed.

It’s important to remember that you can have routine repairs performed by your local independent repair shop or you can even do the work yourself without it affecting your warranty.

Source: Auto Care Association