Motorists trying to save money on their vehicle’s maintenance will invariably choose independent shops as an alternative to having their vehicles serviced at a dealership. The rules surrounding your vehicle’s warranty, and more specifically the voiding of the warranty, can be very confusing. I’m hoping to shed some light for you here.
All new cars come with a factory warranty. The purpose of a warranty is to assure consumers that the vehicle they invest in (and let’s face it, it is a huge financial investment) will perform as promised within a specified period of time.
The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act gives consumers the right to have their vehicle serviced at a business of their choice with the option of using aftermarket parts, while still retaining the warranty on their vehicle. The manufacturer is not allowed to void a warranty just because a non-factory part is used on the vehicle, unless that non factory part is defective and/or has caused a problem with the vehicle. As an example, if your aftermarket shocks are leaking, you will not be able to claim warranty on that repair (at the dealership), but your warranty is still valid for the rest of the vehicle. The onus is on the dealership to prove that the aftermarket part caused your issue and that the issue is not with faulty parts or workmanship on the part of the manufacturer.
To avoid warranty issues, the Federal Trade Commission has these tips:
• Read your warranty, be familiar with the terms and specifics
• Know the warranty period (make the dealership aware of problems as they occur even if you cannot bring in your vehicle for a while).
• Keep all service records no matter who performs the service or repair. It will prove that the work has been done
• Use the chain of command for complaints, file the complaint and let it escalate through the proper channels to get best results
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