So you just got back from a dealership and you picked up a brand new WRX, Mustang, 370Z, Focus RS, GTI, or some other vehicle that is nimble and fun. You drive it for a few weeks, then you start looking into mod support for your car. You find a sweet intake system, a beautifully-sounding full exhaust, and even tuning support.
But wait; you also realize that you bought a full 7-year extended warranty to protect your baby. So now you’re torn between selling your warranty so you can build your car, or basically just throwing it out the window because modding your car will void your warranty, right?
Wrong! All this time, new people to the car modding community have been scared to do anything that will change up the factory dynamics of their newer car for fear of losing the factory warranty. Well believe it or not, there is something out there that is designed to protect your warranty and still let you build your car, it’s called the “Magnuson-Moss Act”.
“The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act is the federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Passed by Congress in 1975, the Act requires manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage.” – MLMLaw.com
Of course we aren’t going to add the entirety of the act and sub-sections here, but we will post a link to it for those of you who actually want to study the entire thing:
When you boil it down, there are two parts to this act:
Number one is ensuring that all dealers of products that provide a warranty must do so in writing and offer a complete breakdown of all things covered on the product or service. If it is in writing then it must comply with the Act.
Number two is designed more on the consumer side of things. When you break it down and examine it in regards to vehicle warranty’s, essentially it means that you can purchase aftermarket retail parts for your car and your warranty cannot be voided by the car dealer or manufacturer unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused the problem.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has actually made a statement about this in the past that validates this act in regards to your car. They stated that under the statute, it is illegal for companies to deny or void your warranty simply because you purchased an aftermarket part.
Their consumer alert also notes that a consumer has the right to patronize retail or aftermarket shops without the fear of losing their warranty. You can view the FTC’s entire Consumer Alert here:
When you read into the Act itself and break it down it’s actually pretty awesome. It allows us who modify our cars to do so without fear of losing that factory or extended warranty on a new car to a degree.
A perfect example of this would be if the dealer tries to deny your warranty claim on your radiator which sprung a leak because you put a Borla Cat-back exhaust on the car. I know it sounds ridiculous, and most of us know that it would not be the cause, but sometimes dealers would try to deny your warranty claim simply because they would not want to pay out of pocket for the parts or the labor hours for the repair. However, under the Act they cannot deny the claim unless they could prove, without a doubt, that your mean exhaust made the radiator spring a leak.
We encourage you to do some additional research on this if you would like, and please share this information with anyone you know who doesn’t already have information about this Act. Tell your friend who has that new WRX that is stock to go buy that Stage 3 upgrade kit, go buy that new downpipe, intercooler, or air intake. Go forth and mod, my brothers and sisters!
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