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Senator Asks FTC to Clarify Magnuson-Moss Warranty Interpretation

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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has asked the Federal Trade Commission to clarify its interpretation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in an Oct. 21 letter.

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“Many motorists may have been led to believe…that going to a local repair shop or using a different manufacturer’s parts could void a car’s warranty,” he wrote.

He said manufacturers should be advised that the act prohibits “any conduct that would lead a reasonable consumer to believe that his or her warranty coverage depends on the use of a particular brand of product or service.”

Blumenthal’s request echoes the longstanding contention by the Auto Care Association that automakers mislead customers into believing servicing their vehicles outside the carmaker’s dealerships might void warranties, the association said.

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“It is critical that the FTC take action to ensure that car companies stop misleading consumers as to their warranty rights,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We hope the actions by Sen. Blumenthal and other legislators will move the FTC to immediately respond to the complaints filed by our association to ensure that consumers are properly informed of their rights under the law such that they can maintain their vehicle using non-original equipment parts and service without the threat of voiding their new car warranties.”

Download a copy of the Senator’s letter here.

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