The following information applies to products sold within the United States. For products sold in other countries, please check for their applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
We have highlighted the sections that are most applicable to our products in this section.
In brief, this act provides that a manufacturer cannot threaten to void a written warranty based on the use of non-OEM (aftermarket) parts, components, and, or supplies (such as fuel or oil additives) unless it is specifically prohibited in the warranty and the manufacturer must be able to show a valid reason for such a prohibition.
In layman’s terms, this means the manufacturer must be able to prove that the non-OEM part, component, or supply (additive) caused the failure. If this cannot be shown, the warranty must be honored as written.<”h4″ class="title">”Understanding”h4″>
Third, Congress intended to promote competition on the basis of warranty coverage. By assuring that consumers can get warranty information, the Act encourages sales promotion on the basis of warranty coverage and competition among companies to meet consumer preferences through various levels of warranty coverage.
What the Magnuson-Moss Act Does Not Require
In order to understand how the Act affects you as a businessperson, it is important first to understand what the Act does not require.
Second, the Act does not apply to oral warranties. Only written warranties are covered.
Third, the Act does not apply to warranties on services. Only warranties on goods are covered. However, if your warranty covers both the parts provided for a repair and the workmanship in making that repair, the Act does apply to you.
Finally, the Act does not apply to warranties on products sold for resale or for commercial purposes. The Act covers only warranties on consumer products. This means that only warranties on tangible property normally used for personal, family, or household purposes are covered. (This includes property attached to or installed on real property.) Note that applicability of the Act to a particular product does not, however, depend upon how an individual buyer will use it.
What the Magnuson-Moss Act Requires
In passing the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Congress specified a number of requirements that warrantors must meet. Congress also directed the FTC to adopt rules to cover other requirements. The FTC adopted three Rules under the Act, the Rule on Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions (the Disclosure Rule), the Rule on Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms (the Pre-Sale Availability Rule), and the Rule on Informal Dispute Settlement Procedures (the Dispute Resolution Rule). In addition, the FTC has issued an interpretive rule that clarifies certain terms and explains some of the provisions of the Act. This section summarizes all the requirements under the Act and the Rules.
- As a warrantor, you must designate, or title, your written warranty as either “full” or “limited.” As a warrantor, you must state certain specified information about the coverage of your warranty in a single, clear, and easy-to-read document. As a warrantor or a seller, you must ensure that warranties are available where your warranted consumer products are sold so that consumers can read them before buying.
There are three prohibitions under the Magnuson-Moss Act. They involve implied warranties, so-called “tie-in sales” provisions, and deceptive or misleading warranty terms.
Disclaimer or Modification of Implied Warranties
The Act prohibits anyone who offers a written warranty from disclaiming or modifying implied warranties. This means that no matter how broad or narrow your written warranty is, your customers always will receive the basic protection of the implied warranty of merchantability. This is explained in Understanding Warranties.
If you give a written warranty on a consumer product, Section 108 of the Act prevents you from eliminating or restricting implied warranties.
If you sell a consumer product with a written warranty from the product manufacturer, but you do not warrant the product in writing, you can disclaim your implied warranties. (These are the implied warranties under which the seller, not the manufacturer, would otherwise be responsible.) But, regardless of whether you warrant the products you sell, as a seller, you must give your customers copies of any written warranties from product manufacturers.
“Tie-In Sales” Provisions
Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.
In order to keep your new Plenum Brand Vacuum Cleaner warranty in effect, you must use genuine Plenum Brand Filter Bags. Failure to have scheduled maintenance performed, at your expense, by the Great American Maintenance Company, Inc., voids this warranty.
While necessary maintenance or repairs on your AudioMundo Stereo System can be performed by any company, we recommend that you use only authorized AudioMundo dealers. Improper or incorrectly performed maintenance or repair voids this warranty.
Deceptive Warranty Terms
Obviously, warranties must not contain deceptive or misleading terms. You cannot offer a warranty that appears to provide coverage but, in fact, provides none. For example, a warranty covering only “moving parts” on an electronic product that has no moving parts would be deceptive and unlawful. Similarly, a warranty that promised service that the warrantor had no intention of providing or could not provide would be deceptive and unlawful.