Home » Auto Repair » Ladies Auto Know…Magnuson, Moss and What They Mean to You.

Ladies Auto Know…Magnuson, Moss and What They Mean to You.

One subject that pops up frequently around here is the issue of warranties. It’s a 208_stopsigncommon misconception that only car dealers can perform the routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle under warranty. Here’s a news flash: You DON’T have to take your vehicle to the dealer to maintain your warranty. As a consumer, you can actually patronize your neighborhood repair center or even do the work yourself without violating the manufacturer’s 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.”

When you bring your vehicle in for maintenance (be it major or not) I strongly recommend keeping all records and receipts. Always adhere to the scheduled maintenance requirements. If a warranty claim arises, these records cover you, providing proof that repairs have been done in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and conditions. I remember a customer who came in once with a major (unexpected AND expensive) repair that had to be done, under the impression her warranty would cover cost. She later found out that she was NOT covered because she missed something as simple as an oil change. I cannot stress it enough: FOLLOW THE FACTORY RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE!

Understand your rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If a dealer claims that only they can provide warranty work, or that the warranty will be rendered invalid if anyone else does the work, they probably aren’t in compliance with the Act. Direct specific questions to the dealer, and remember to get your answers in writing.

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