Senator urges FTC to take action against carmakers' misleading warranty tactics

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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against carmakers’ misleading warranty tactics, a position that echoes a long-standing contention of the Auto Care Association (ACA).

In a letter to the FTC, Sen. Blumenthal said, “Many motorists may have been led to believe… that going to a local repair shop or using a different manufacturer’s parts could void a car’s warranty.

"Manufacturers should be expressly advised that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits any conduct that would lead a reasonable consumer to believe that his or her warranty coverage depends on the use of a particular brand of product or service.”

Despite the law, the ACA and other auto care industry groups have filed numerous complaints with the FTC protesting that many car companies have issued releases and technical bulletins misleading consumers into thinking their warranty could be voided by use of non-dealer parts or service.

“It is critical that the FTC take action to ensure that car companies stop misleading consumers as to their warranty rights,” says Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the ACA.

“We hope the actions by Sen. Blumenthal and other legislators will move the FTC to immediately respond to the complaints filed by our association to ensure that consumers are properly informed of their rights under the law such that they can maintain their vehicle using non-original equipment parts and service without the threat of voiding their new car warranties."

To download a pdfof the senator’s letter, click here.

For more information on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Auto Care Association complaints to the FTC, click here.

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