Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

One of the most common questions we get is "will adding aftermarket parts void my warranty?" Truth be told, it's a valid concern. Some uneducated dealerships seem to tell customers that using non-OEM parts will void the factory warranty.

However, that couldn't be further from the truth. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was passed way back in 1975 to combat this exact subject, and ensure that you have the freedom to choose aftermarket parts and upgrades without having your warranty stripped or voided.

The SEMA Bill Of Rights conclude:

  • You have the RIGHT to buy high-quality, reliable aftermarket accessory, performance and replacement parts – an affordable and convenient alternative to vehicle maker’s parts.
  • You have the RIGHT to use high-quality aftermarket parts and know that your new car warranty claims will be honored. In fact, your dealer may not reject warranty claims simply because an aftermarket part is present. A warranty denial in such circumstances may be proper only if an aftermarket part caused the failure being claimed.
  • You have the RIGHT to patronize independent retail stores for vehicle parts and installation. The U.S. aftermarket offers the world’s finest selection of performance and replacement parts, accessories and styling options. These aftermarket products satisfy the most discriminating customers seeking personalized vehicles for today’s lifestyle.

Dealerships and car companies are REQUIRED to prove that any modification of the vehicle with aftermarket parts is the cause of the failure. Even if the part in question caused the failure, it does not mean the warranty is void. For example, if you install a turbo kit on your Jeep Wrangler and you suffered from engine damage, any other portion of the warranty (i.e. climate controls, radio, etc.) would still cover those items.

A few years back, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) issued a Consumer Alert confirming that it is in fact illegal to void warranties or deny coverage for use of aftermarket parts. Read the full Consumer Alert here.

If the failure to honor a warranty claim involves the new vehicle warranty, and it appears that the dealer improperly denied the claim, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www.ftc.gov, or call 202-326-3128.

One of the most common questions and fears we get from customers or potential customers is a valid one: “Will adding aftermarket parts void my warranty?”

It’s a scary premise, and unfortunately one some uneducated dealerships seem to drill into their customers, that using non-OEM parts or upgrades will void the factory warranty, and leave you the new car owner to fend for yourself, without support from the vehicle maker.

Thankfully this isn’t the case, and there is legislation in place to protect you, the consumer, from these types of situations.  The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was passed way back in 1975 to combat this exact subject, and ensure that you have the freedom to choose aftermarket parts and upgrades without having your warranty stripped or voided.

Dealerships and car companies are required to prove that any modification of the vehicle with aftermarket parts is the cause of the failure.   In addition, even if the part in question caused the failure, does not mean a complete and ultimate void of the warranty, just in that particular case.  For example if a turbo kit was installed that was proven to have caused engine damage, any other portion of the warranty, for example the radio or climate control malfunctioned, the warranty would still cover those items, exactly as they would if no modifications had been made.

This month the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) issued a Consumer Alert confirming that it is in fact illegal to void warranties or deny coverage for the use of an aftermarket part. See the FTC Website here. Excerpt of the Consumer Alert:

Will using ‘aftermarket’ parts void my warranty?

No. An ‘aftermarket’ part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer. Simply using an aftermarket part does not void your warranty. 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. Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket part was itself defective or wasn’t installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.

The Consumer Alert was issued in response to a complaint filed by several of SEMA’s associations, dedicated to the automotive industry, enthusiasts, manufacturers and retailers who empower all of our passion for the automotive world.

We at STILLEN are proud to work with hundreds of new car dealerships across the country, and throughout our 25 year history have developed great reputations with dealers, giving them the confidence to install STILLEN branded and other aftermarket products, even delivering new vehicles to customers with modifications already on the car.