True or false: Until your vehicle is out-of-warranty, it must be serviced by the new car dealer or the factory warranty will be void.
Although you may have answered “true,” the correct answer is “false.”
It’s the law that independent repair shops can provide the services to maintain your new car warranty. Consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which prohibits a manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because service was done by a non-dealer.
According to the FTC, “It’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads and inspections.” It is also important to note that 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 or recycled part.”
When using a non-dealer, independent aftermarket shop to maintain your vehicle under warranty, the council strongly recommends keeping records and receipts for all maintenance that is done to the vehicle and adhering to scheduled maintenance requirements. If a warranty claim arises, these records will provide proof that maintenance has been performed in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations and requirements.
“It’s a common misconception that only car dealers can perform the routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle that is under warranty,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The truth is that consumers can have routine repairs performed by their local independent repair shop or do the work themselves without affecting the warranty.
For more information from the FTC about auto warranties and routine maintenance, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
This was printed in the February 21, 2016 to March 5, 2016 edition.