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LipschitzWrath 01-21-2010 01:35 PM

Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Alright guys, I have been working on cars for most of my life and one of the most commonly asked questions I get is "Will it void my warranty?" I am writing this thread to clear up some myths and provide some solid foundation so you guys don't get screwed by the dealerships.

The short answer is NO! The most important piece of litigation surrounding this issue is called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. This was created to protect consumers from invalid denial of warranty claims. The piece specific to this discussion deals with aftermarket parts. The Act clearly expresses (and this is NOT word-for-word) that "a dealer can NOT deny a warranty claim based upon installation of aftermarket parts UNLESS that dealer can prove that the failure in question was a DIRECT result of the installed aftermarket part".

There are a couple of things that need to be elaborated upon. Dealers love to flaunt that "if you install this, your warranty will be void". WRONG! First off, before they should even open their mouths, the failure must be at least roughly related. For example, how in the hell can installing headers on your Jeep cause your alternator to go bad? Don't laugh, I've seen dealers try to make that claim. In that case, your warranty is most certainly NOT void. See what I am getting at? The problem has to be at least remotely related to the aftermarket part. Now, if you are having engine problems, they might be able to blame the headers. Which brings me to my next point...

The so-called "burden of proof" is on THEM!!! So say you are having engine problems on your Jeep (which happens to have a sweet set of SW headers installed on it), and you take it into the dealer to get checked out cuz ur still in ur warranty period. The tech pops the hood, gets one good look at the headers (good luck if your jeep's anything like mine, lol), and tells you "those headers voided your warranty, sorry". WRONG! Maybe they did cause the problem, maybe they didn't. Unfortunately for the dealer, it's their responsibility to figure that out. Don't let them bully you! Similar to our justice system, you do NOT have to prove that the headers did NOT cause the problem, they have to prove that the headers DID cause the problem.

The conflicts you might get engaged in over this issue are a direct result of dealerships getting away with saying your warranty is void for so long. No one stands up to them! Be strong! Also, bear in mind that these techs aren't working for free if the repair is covered under warranty. Chrysler foots the bill for all warranty repairs, so it's not like the dealership is having to swallow the cost. Which raises the question: why do they (the dealerships) care then? Maybe their lazy, but the main reason is because it takes them longer to get paid. To be reimbursed by Chrysler takes several weeks. It's worse than a mail-in rebate offer!

So, how do you handle yourself if they try to deny a warranty claim you feel you are entitled to? First off, remain calm. Kicking and screaming isn't going to get you anywhere. When the tech tells you that your warranty is voided, politely ask him to explain exactly how they've come to that conclusion. If they don't give you an explanation that satisfies you, politely disagree, saying you don't understand how your engine having headers made the alternator go out. At this point, the tech is likely to say something along the lines of "it doesn't matter, when you put those headers on, it voided your warranty".

This is where being educated is to your advantage. The reply I would use in this case would be something like, "Well, actually, according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, you can NOT void my warranty on this fine machine here unless you can prove that those bad@$$ headers there caused my alternator to fail. Can you do that?" He'll likely disagree and maintain that your warranty is void. Now it's time to get the manager involved. Continue climbing the chain of command, reiterating what you know about the M-M Act until you've reached the top of that dealership. If necessary, take a copy of the Act in with you.

If after all this, you've still gotten no reprieve, contact SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association - and give them the details. They will fight for you. After all, aftermarket parts is what SEMA is all about. Don't give up.

Hope this has helped you guys better understand what you are getting in to. So go ahead, install that CAI or cat-back system without fear of voiding your warranty. If you need more information on the M-M Warranty Act, start here:

White WK Swagga 01-21-2010 01:44 PM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Great info to know. +reps for you my friend!!!

B.P.O.D 01-21-2010 02:43 PM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
awesome info!

DJ BoNiOmArIo 01-22-2010 10:02 AM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
very good information thank you

jdcollins86 01-27-2010 10:45 PM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
great post!!

tman4024 01-27-2010 10:47 PM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Great post Jason! +rep for you

jeepnjeep 01-28-2010 10:11 AM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Great to know! Thank you!

nek121328 01-30-2010 07:46 PM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Magnuson-Moss also states that if an OE product is required to maintain the warranty then that product has to be given "FREE" to the consumer.

Black Betty 02-08-2010 03:59 AM

Re: Voided Warranty??? Maybe Not - Know Your Rights (Please Sticky)
Dude it's so cool that there is actually someone on the interwebs, more so on this site, that actually knows something about laws that are helpful instead of heresay bullshit. I commend you for being knowledgeable as I have had to shut people down on other sights for spreading non truths. Great info!

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