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AMSOIL continues to fight the false narrative advanced by some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that you must use the OEM brand of parts and lubricants in your vehicles and equipment to maintain your new-vehicle warranties.
Fortunately, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is on our side.
In April, the FTC issued a warning to Hyundai Motor America for statements on its website that suggest that consumers must use only Hyundai brand parts to maintain their vehicle warranty:
“The use of Hyundai Genuine Parts is required to keep your Hyundai manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.”
In its warning letter to Hyundai, the FTC expressed concerns about Hyundai’s practices, saying…
“…warranty language that implies to a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances that warranty coverage requires the consumer to purchase an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name is similarly deceptive and prohibited.”
In other words, consumers have the freedom to choose the brand of parts and lubricants they deem best for their vehicles and equipment. The OEM can’t threaten warranty denial should you choose not to use its brand of parts and lubricants.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects you in cases like this. About the Warranty Act, the FTC said in its letter…
“The Warranty Act prohibits warrantors of consumer products costing more than five dollars from conditioning their written warranties on a consumer’s use of any article or service which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name, unless provided to the consumer for free or the warrantor has been granted a waiver by the Commission.”
The FTC placed Hyundai Motor America on notice and said it would review the company’s written warranty and promotional materials after 30 days.
As reported by Automotive News, Hyundai’s statement that drew the FTC’s scrutiny was an answer to a question on its FAQ page. Since the FTC’s letter was made public, Hyundai has changed the statement in question to say, in part, “… the use of aftermarket parts does not automatically void any applicable Hyundai manufacturer warranties…”
The FTC’s action against Hyundai is a victory for consumer freedom.
- It is illegal to tie warranty coverage to whichever brand of parts or lubricants you use. Manufacturers that do so must provide the parts or lubricants free of charge
- You have the freedom to choose how you protect your vehicles and equipment, including use of products formulated for extended drain intervals
- Manufacturers can’t deny warranty coverage without showing the aftermarket part or lubricant caused a failure
Don’t let the OEM coerce you or your customers into buying its brand of parts or lubricants. As clearly stated by the FTC, it is illegal.
We stand behind our products and the people who use them. If a dealer or OEM employee says you must use the OEM brand of lubricants to maintain your new-vehicle warranty, or that use of lubricants designed to extend drain intervals may void your warranty, contact the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
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