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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can a Dealer Void My Warranty?

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Explained

Whether you’re shopping for a replacement exhaust system or in the market for an aftermarket cold air intake—and you’re worried about your vehicle’s warranty—have no fear. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which protects consumers from being wrongfully denied warranty coverage when they customize their rides.

If you’re an auto enthusiast, chances are, you’ve heard the myth that modding your ride with aftermarket accessories automatically cancels your warranty. While this may be true in certain circumstances, you shouldn’t take this as an absolute. According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a vehicle manufacturer cannot void the warranty of your vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part was the cause of or contributed to the failure of the vehicle (15 U.S.C. 2302 (C)). This means that a vehicle's warranty cannot be "voided;" the dealer can only deny a claim if the stock part failed due to damage or unreasonable use.

Summary
When accessorizing your vehicle with aftermarket parts, your warranty claim cannot be automatically denied, nor can your warranty be voided, if you install non-OEM parts in your vehicle. The burden is on the dealer to prove the aftermarket parts caused the failure. For example, if your windshield wiper motors fail, your vehicle’s warranty claim can’t be denied because you installed aftermarket windshield wipers that are different from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Similarly, if a wheel bearing fails or a fan belt snaps and you have an aftermarket exhaust installed, the dealership would have to prove the exhaust system caused the bearing failure or the belt to snap in order to deny a warranty claim. In these types of scenarios, the dealership should have no reason to deny your claims.

In addition to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you also have SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) working to protect your rights. Because SEMA represents U.S. aftermarket wholesalers, retailers, distributors and manufacturers, they often keep car manufacturers in check by supporting legislation that prevents dealership service providers from denying warranty coverage. This means dealerships have become less stringent when it comes to aftermarket parts that modify performance or suspension.

Tips & Tricks
Only purchase reputable brands that thoroughly test their products to ensure your vehicle stays in “the safe zone." Most of the performance parts are bolt-ons, which give you nice performance gains without requiring major modifications or internal engine work. In all reality, you shouldn’t have any problems due to installation of the parts we sell. But, here are a few pointers to avoid some potential pitfalls.

Make sure you install the part properly. Carefully follow the installation guides and make sure you check any tolerances. Educate yourself on the parts you’re installing; that’s half the fun of working on your vehicle. If the part is outside your comfort zone, have a professional install it for you.

If you need to go to the dealership for any type of warranty issue, choose them wisely, as they will vary in how they handle warranty claims. Check the Internet for reviews to see how they handle problems. If you’ve modified your vehicle with performance parts, it’s always best to work with a dealer that is performance-oriented. In smaller towns, you may not have a choice of dealerships, but rest assured that you’re still protected by the law. Also, if you have a performance tuner installed, it's not a bad idea to program your vehicle back to stock to ensure the dealer doesn’t accidentally reprogram your ride. Simply arm yourself with the knowledge contained on this page, and go in with a smile. No service department wants to deal with (or help) an irate customer. If they don’t want to cover your claim, simply ask them to prove what caused the failure and get it in writing. Remember, legally, you’re protected under the Magnuson-Moss Act.

History of the the Magnuson-Moss Act
Passed in 1975, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that governs warranties on consumer products. Under this Act, sellers and manufacturers of consumer products must provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage. Sponsored by Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and U.S. Representative John E. Moss of California, this Act affects both the obligations of warrantors and the rights of consumers under written warranties.

Purpose of the Magnuson-Moss Act
The Act’s purpose is to help consumers understand their products’ warranties and to make these warranties enforceable. In essence, this statute was created to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices and provide clarity regarding warranties on consumer products. To comply with the Magnuson-Moss Act, consumers should obtain complete information about warranty items and conditions and compare warranty coverage before any purchase. The Act also provides the Federal Trade Commission with a better means to protect consumers, while strengthening the incentive for companies to perform their warranty obligations in a thorough and timely manner. While all consumer products are not required to have warranties, if one is given, it must comply with the Magnuson-Moss Act.

http://k40.com/wp_14058/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/MAGNUSON_MOSS.pdf
 

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I tread lightly if it involves the motor or transmission - the automakers have more and higher paid attorneys than I do. I didn't do any mods on my Cummins until the warranty expired. In my experience, auto industry lawyers are adept at linking almost anything the owner does as the cause of the problem - after all, it's their job to minimize warranty payouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bolt on parts should be fine such as intake and exhaust, but internal work to the motor and transmission would cause problems with the warranty for sure. I am wanting a supercharger for my Ram Rebel and the company that manufactures the supercharger offers a warranty, but I am still not sure about that.....
 

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Bolt on parts should be fine such as intake and exhaust, but internal work to the motor and transmission would cause problems with the warranty for sure. I am wanting a supercharger for my Ram Rebel and the company that manufactures the supercharger offers a warranty, but I am still not sure about that.....
Yeah, it comes down to how much risk you want to take. But I would certainly enjoy the sound and performance of a supercharger on this hemi...
 

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I ended up buying the lifetime warranty and my fear is them pulling the "mod card" out on me.

I really want the Mopar CAI and hood opening add.

Had some issues with my ford after my custom exhaust one deal told me to go back stock than talk to me and another said no problem come on in. So, it would seem it all depends on the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ended up buying the lifetime warranty and my fear is them pulling the "mod card" out on me.

I really want the Mopar CAI and hood opening add.

Had some issues with my ford after my custom exhaust one deal told me to go back stock than talk to me and another said no problem come on in. So, it would seem it all depends on the dealership.
I started a conversation on that topic in here, but basically it depends.
 

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A CAI and exhaust will not void the warranty. Things like custom tunes, headers, major engine changes will. This is my understanding. I've never had an issue with exhaust and CAI mods. I put a supercharger on a 2004 Marauder that I drove for 10 years...the second I put it on...voided the warranty. Thats part of doing heavier things to vehicles.

Edited to add: The dealership would have to show that your modification is what caused the issue when you bring something in for work too. If they can...it wouldn't be covered. CAI and exhaust aren't really things that cause issues overall.
 

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A CAI and exhaust will not void the warranty. Things like custom tunes, headers, major engine changes will. This is my understanding. I've never had an issue with exhaust and CAI mods. I put a supercharger on a 2004 Marauder that I drove for 10 years...the second I put it on...voided the warranty. Thats part of doing heavier things to vehicles.

Edited to add: The dealership would have to show that your modification is what caused the issue when you bring something in for work too. If they can...it wouldn't be covered. CAI and exhaust aren't really things that cause issues overall.

Now here is the hard question... did the CAI do anything for performance?
 

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Thats always a loaded question. Manufacturers of the CA Intakes will say yes. Others will say No. Its personal preference. I personally don't think they hurt and I've had them on all of my vehicles in the last 20+ years. I love the looks of them overall and they do, for the most part, give a throatier sound when paired with a nice sounding V8.

AFE makes nice intakes...but many of them are $450....I won't spend that much. $300 for a S&B...I can justify that...and it looks great. Should be here tomorrow...going on next week sometime.
 
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