Many drivers innocently assume that a new vehicle under warranty can only be serviced by its dealership, and that taking their new vehicle to an independent auto shop will cause their factory warranty to be void. But this is a common misconception and simply untrue. In fact, there are laws in place that protect vehicle owners from this type of penalty. Continue reading to learn the truth about servicing vehicles under warranty, and be better informed of your options for routine maintenance and repair.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
There is a federal statute called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a law that governs warranties on consumer products. This law came into effect in 1975 after a widespread misuse of warranties and disclaimers by merchants, and is still enforced to this day by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The statute gets its name from the two Democrats it was sponsored by, Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and U.S. Representative John E. Moss of California, as well as co-sponsor Sen. Frank Moss of Utah.
In the case of new cars, this statute prohibits manufacturers from voiding a vehicle warranty and car dealers from denying warranty coverage, if the vehicle was service or repaired by a non-dealer. So if a consumer has an independent automotive repair shop service their vehicle while under warranty, their warranty cannot be voided as long as the mechanics adhered to the vehicle’s factory recommendations and requirements. This also applies to vehicle owners who opt for a recycled or aftermarket car part.
Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
Car repairs can include anything from collision damages to part replacements and more. As for factory scheduled maintenance, these services generally include inspections, oil changes, fluid checks and refills, tire rotation and balances, brake inspection and service, alignments, flushes, tune-ups, and much more. If you have questions about your vehicle’s warranty, contact your dealer to discuss the conditions of your warranty, including its limitations and privileges. You may also contact your local automotive repair specialist for information about factory scheduled maintenance and repair for vehicles under warranty. You may also refer to your owners’ manual to review the factory recommendations and requirements for your vehicle make and model.
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