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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen quite a few posts on this in my short time here on the forum, so I thought this might be helpful to anyone considering the purchase/use of any aftermarket parts, whether it be maintenance/wear items or mild performance upgrades like a cold air intake.

I have dealt with this a lot over the years as part of my job, especially regarding the use of ECU "chips", "programmers" etc. You've heard horror stories of some dealership knuckle head telling a vehicle owner that his Superchips decal on his window voids his power train warranty. It's BS.

In a nutshell, because of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, dealerships CAN NOT legally deny a warranty claim based solely on the fact that the owner has installed an "aftermarket" part. The burden of proof is on THEM to PROVE that your aftermarket part specifically caused damage to your vehicle (caused other factory parts to fail), and therefore is not covered under the factory warranty. I encourage anyone concerned about this to read the entire text of the law, and KNOW YOUR RIGHTS before you take the dealership's word for it. This is not urban legend...it's the LAW...and I have personally invoked it before.

Further....even if they DO prove that your aftermarket part caused another stock part to fail, and legally deny that particular warranty claim....they CAN NOT VOID your entire warranty on the rest of your vehicle and power train....which I've heard so many times it makes my ears bleed. It's illegal.

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alert is posted on the SEMA website: FTC Validates Right to Install Aftermarket Parts | Specialty Equipment Market Association

In part....it reads:

In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.”

So....at the end of the day gear-heads.....don't let the fact that you have a CAI under the hood or a Hypertech sticker in your door jamb intimidate you or make you feel like you have to hide it from the dealer....yeah...many of them don't know the law....or maybe they do and the service manager and technicians will try to BS you into backing down....but FOMOCO DOES KNOW THE LAW....Can it be a hassle? Yes of course. Does it have to end in a denied warranty? Of course NOT.

Sorry for the long winded post.....Just trying to shed some legal light on this controversial and confusing subject.....:D



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Very Good Info.

What i plan on doing is if the truck needs to go in under warranty im returning it to stock and driving it for 4 to 500 miles.. Hopefully then all the parameters that the techs can read will be within spec and they wont know about the tuner and other add ons.. Hopefully i never have to use the warranty. so far in 20k miles since i bought it in april 2013 its only been in for a door speaker so i think my odds are looking good
 

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Easier said than done. A dealer can simple refuse to work on your vehicle. Ford or any of them really can really make this difficult, time consuming, and expensive for the vehicle owner. They know that and many times will stand firm so that you have go file BB claims, hire a lawyer. Dealerships and the manufacturers know that most people won't go down this route for a potential $500 warranty claim, that will cost them considerable time and money over and above the $500 warranty claim or whatever the amount.
 

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I have seen quite a few posts on this in my short time here on the forum, so I thought this might be helpful to anyone considering the purchase/use of any aftermarket parts, whether it be maintenance/wear items or mild performance upgrades like a cold air intake.

I have dealt with this a lot over the years as part of my job, especially regarding the use of ECU "chips", "programmers" etc. You've heard horror stories of some dealership knuckle head telling a vehicle owner that his Superchips decal on his window voids his power train warranty. It's BS.

In a nutshell, because of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, dealerships CAN NOT legally deny a warranty claim based solely on the fact that the owner has installed an "aftermarket" part. The burden of proof is on THEM to PROVE that your aftermarket part specifically caused damage to your vehicle (caused other factory parts to fail), and therefore is not covered under the factory warranty. I encourage anyone concerned about this to read the entire text of the law, and KNOW YOUR RIGHTS before you take the dealership's word for it. This is not urban legend...it's the LAW...and I have personally invoked it before.

Further....even if they DO prove that your aftermarket part caused another stock part to fail, and legally deny that particular warranty claim....they CAN NOT VOID your entire warranty on the rest of your vehicle and power train....which I've heard so many times it makes my ears bleed. It's illegal.

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alert is posted on the SEMA website: FTC Validates Right to Install Aftermarket Parts | Specialty Equipment Market Association

In part....it reads:

In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.”

So....at the end of the day gear-heads.....don't let the fact that you have a CAI under the hood or a Hypertech sticker in your door jamb intimidate you or make you feel like you have to hide it from the dealer....yeah...many of them don't know the law....or maybe they do and the service manager and technicians will try to BS you into backing down....but FOMOCO DOES KNOW THE LAW....Can it be a hassle? Yes of course. Does it have to end in a denied warranty? Of course NOT.

Sorry for the long winded post.....Just trying to shed some legal light on this controversial and confusing subject.....:D
OK, once again. We went through this before but I'll say this again. Yes you are protected, but, you have to prove the dealer wrong not the other way around.
The automobile company does not have to prove that the aftermarket part caused a problem, YOU have to prove that it did not.
So dealer refuses warranty, you have to lawyer up, pay the money out of your pocket to have someone with the experience determine what caused the problem, if you cannot prove the dealer wrong, you loose.
The burden of proof is on you, not the dealer.
Hope you have money to burn!
 

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Very true. We actually have seen S&B filters and K&N use thier own lawyers to help the customer out. I think K&N even has a policy stating this. Ill try to find the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Guys I'm going to both agree and disagree with your points....

YES...the process is a pain in the butt....YES you may have to get help from the aftermarket part manufacturer (and their legal department)....and YES you may have to threaten legal action of your own.....HOWEVER.....

For those of you that think you have to prove your part's innocence, I urge you to actually read the Magnuson-Moss Act....that is NOT what it says. The burden of proof is on the dealership or vehicle manufacturer denying the warranty. Don't trust me or anyone else, read it for yourself.

Now in the real world, what sort of happens by default when you don't have a dealer that's willing to work with you - you end up on a mission to prove them wrong, and that your part didn't cause a failure of another part - but that's not the law. And in that case, you have taken it upon yourself to prove the innocence of your aftermarket part - Yes - of course this happens a lot.

If you happen to run across this situation, contact the maker of the part in question, especially if they are a SEMA member. SEMA has lobbyists on capitol hill, just like the auto makers do. If you've never been to the SEMA show, Ford and GM have the largest displays (show booths) at this industry event. Why? Because the aftermarket parts makers and buyers of those products are at that show and in the business of modifying stock vehicles - and Ford and GM want to sell their cars and trucks to those guys!

For those of you that have the mindset that Ford and other auto makers are pathologically against aftermarket parts and the appearance and upgrade market in general, you obviously don't have all of the information. Ford, GM, Toyota and others send CAD drawings and other information directly to some of the specialty companies that make these parts for the aftermarket.

Ford is not the problem, it's just the majority of the dealerships.

SEMA Manufacturers?Save the Date for Mega Measuring Session | Specialty Equipment Market Association



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.....and I will still wait until after my warranty is up to buy a tune.......
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Not that it'll be that long before an exhaust and an intercooler though. My dealership is pretty cool and hopefully I won't have issue with them. Most likely if I do it's a 20 minute drive to 4 other dealerships in the area.
 

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And what really burns my GAS...:mad:....is when I hear about some regular Joe who's ECU or Trans controller is fried and the dealer told him that his power train warranty no longer exists because he has a freakin' K&N filter in place of the stock paper one or some such nonsense as that.

So I was really more referring to EXPENSIVE denied warranties like ECU, Engine, Transmission, etc., etc., ($2k+) more so than something that might be say $500 or less....not that $500 is chump change....it still burns my gas when a dealer does this to people and the poor guy is left with few options.



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I have worked at MANY dealers as a tech. There are VERY few times I would not warranty a repair. There was only one time that I had to stop and get the service manager. The customer had a newer CL550 benz with about 30k miles on it. It had a vibration and pulled when driving strait. I verified the complaint, got it on my lift and inspected the front end components. I then went to look at the back only to find the car was actually in a HUGE accident at one point and was cut in half and welded back together. The body and interior was in good shape but the floor had a HUUUUUUUUGE weld seam behind the front seats. Needless to say, we didnt do any warranty work for the majority of that cars life..... some cut rate customer who had BS or no insurance and got a buddy in the hood to hook him by making it "good as new" It shouldve been totaled but the accident wasnt reported and everything was paid cash id assume. you see that a lot in detroit.

Thats still probably one of my favorite finds on a customer car.
 

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My dealer could care less if it's tuned or not. I've tuned the last 4 vehicles I bought from them and they know it's tuned and have already told me they don't care, because Ford always pays them. Their business is 90% trucks many of those diesels. Probably at least half of those trucks have some aftermarket tuning, the "trick" is working with the right dealer.

The dealer who is actually closest to me is a horse's ass and the only thing I would actually let them do would be a recall, never anything that was actually wrong. Fortunately, the dealer I use is only about 6 miles further away. They are easy to work with and always rank very high in customer satisfaction.
 
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My 2 previous vehicles (2005 4.0 Mustang and 07 GT/SC Mustang) had SCT dyno tunes, and of the two Ford dealerships I frequent in my area only one started to give me some crap about my after market parts and tune. I whipped out my copy of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (which I've always keep in my glove compartment) on the one dealer/service writer who complained and he just smiled and told me yep, we'd (they) would honor my warranty. IMHO he was just trying to bullie me into thinking they could do what ever they wanted too... fact is, as many have already mentioned, Ford isn't the problem, it's the dealerships/service departments that are and they can pretty much do what they want.
 
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