What the dealers don’t want you to know…

Question: Can a dealer refuse to honor the warranty that came with my new car if my local repair shop does the routine maintenance or repairs?

Well you may be surprised but the answer is no according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), AKA the nation’s consumer protection agency. Even more, it’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. So what is considered routine maintenance?

  • Oil changes
  • Tire rotations
  • Belt replacement
  • Fluid checks and flushes
  • New brake pads
  • Inspections
  • And more

Keep in mind that this is just an partial list and maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year; the best source of information about routine scheduled maintenance is your owner’s manual.

So what about parts and supplies (like motor oil)? They can’t even require you to use their genuine factory parts unless they can prove to the FTC that they have the only part that will satisfy the manufacturer’s requirement.

What do you need to do to keep your new car warranty in effect? Simply follow the manufacturer’s requirements listed in the warranty booklet provided with your vehicle and keep good documentation. The name of the law is MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT (1975) USC TITLE 15 CHAPTER 50 Chapter 2301-2312 and here’s the official link if you would like to learn more.


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