|You have the right to use non-original equipment parts on your motor vehicles.
As you may have heard, last August (2010) Honda issued a statement that was intended to denigrate the use of non-original equipment parts on Honda motor vehicles and to place the impression in car owners’ minds that use of non-Honda parts would violate their new car warranty. AAIA, along with other trade groups, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), contending that the statements in Honda’s release were a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibition on car companies conditioning their warranties on the use of car company brand parts.
In response to AAIA’s complaint, the FTC has issued a Consumer Alert which spells out the fact that consumers can have their vehicle maintained wherever they want or can do the work themselves without fear of voiding their warranty. While the release states that warranty coverage might be voided if the non-original equipment part causes a problem with the vehicle, the Alert warns that the manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the aftermarket part and/or service, and not another defect that caused the problem. This is important information for consumers and you can also link to the Alert on the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm.
Although the FTC has issued this very important Alert to consumers, AAIA believes more needs to be done. Specifically, they are concerned that the Commission failed to take direct action against Honda for the misinformation in their August release. However, AAIA believes the only way to obtain a more aggressive stand by the FTC is through additional information on specific practices by the car companies and their franchised dealers to mislead consumers as to their rights under the warranty and the quality of non-original equipment parts. For this, they will need your help.
Specifically, they need you to provide any specific instances where car companies or their dealers have denied warranty coverage simply due to the use of an aftermarket part or because maintenance such as an oil change was performed outside of the dealership. Click here for a short survey, which you can use to provide this information. Feel free to distribute this form to other aftermarket consumers who you think might be able to provide this type of information.