April 13, 2018
Authored by: Bryan Cave and Merrit Jones
The FTC has sent warning letters to six major companies that market and sell automobiles, cellular devices, and video gaming systems warning against warranty tie-in provisions that state consumers must use specified parts or service providers to keep their warranties intact.
Unless warrantors provide the parts or services for free or receive a waiver from the FTC, such statements generally are prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the federal law that governs consumer product warranties.
Each company that received a warning letter used different language, but here are examples of questionable provisions:
- The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.
- This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].
- This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had