The Auto Care Association testified at the New Jersey State House to urge lawmakers to pass legislation (A. 2612) that would enable car owners to receive information regarding their warranty rights when purchasing a new vehicle.
Aaron Lowe, the Auto Care Association’s senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs, testified to the New Jersey Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee on behalf of the association.
In his testimony, Lowe discussed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which states that car owners must use franchised dealerships for warranty repairs on their vehicles but that all maintenance work including oil changes and brake jobs can be down wherever the car owner choses.
“Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware of their rights under federal law when a warranty is voided due to use of a non-original part or service. The result is that either the car owner or an independent repair shop is saddled with the cost of warranty repairs, when those costs should have been borne by the franchised dealer or new car manufacturer. This is a daily occurrence across the country, but the interactions are difficult to document since consumers rarely know their rights,” said Lowe.
In the past, Lowe said there have been instances where the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act has been violated and companies have been reprimanded.
As a solution to this issue, Lowe offered a potential fix in his testimony that draws inspiration from a Connecticut law.
“Connecticut signed into law a provision which mandates that at the time of the sale of a new motor vehicle, a new car dealer must deliver to the purchaser of the vehicle a printed explanation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,” said Lowe. “The Connecticut law (S.B. 99) specifically refers to the anti-tying provision of the MMWA, informing the purchaser that, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act… makes it illegal for motor vehicle manufacturers or dealers to void a motor vehicle warranty or deny coverage under the motor vehicle warranty simply because aftermarket or recycled parts were installed or used on the vehicle or simply because someone other than the dealer performed service on the vehicle.