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Old 12-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
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Talking Will This Modification Void My Warranty?

This is a question that is asked often and is a major concern for many people as they start down the road of modifying their vehicle. Search the web and you will find plenty of answers from internet “experts”, but as usual most of them totally incorrect. So, what is the correct answer?

Despite all the bad information out there, it is pretty cut and dry because there is federal law on the matter. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)) regulates warranties and protects the consumer. This legislation was enacted in 1975 in response to widespread deceptive warranty practices in many industries. Here is how SEMA summarizes things:
The essence of the law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle maker's brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided. The law states in relevant part: No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name... (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).
So in short, this means a service department or automotive manufacturer can not void your warranty simply because you have installed aftermarket parts or have modified your vehicle. They can, however, deny a warranty claim if they can prove the issue in question was a direct result of the installed part or modification. Unfortunately, plenty of people have stories of going to a dealership service department with a warranty issue and being denied because they have modified their vehicle. There are definitely shady service departments out there who will try to get over on their customers if they can, but this is illegal and it is up to the customer to know the law and stand up.


Here is an example of what can not be denied:

You install a supercharger in your vehicle and a month later your drivers side window stops working. The supercharger has no impact on your electric window motor, therefore, the repair should be covered.


Here is and example of what could be denied:

You install a supercharger in your vehicle and a month later your clutch is toast. The additional power created by a supercharger can easily overpower a stock clutch and lead to the repair not being covered under warranty.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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Here is a link to an article from Edmunds.com that also covers this topic. Below is the relevant text from that article.

Quote:
Aftermarket parts or modifications: This aspect of warranty coverage has a great deal of gray area. Although many dealers would have you think otherwise, simply having an aftermarket part or modifying your vehicle cannot void your warranty.

"Some dealerships may say 'just because you have a [cold air] intake or something' that the whole vehicle warranty is voided," explains Loren Wong, Edmunds associate business analyst and a former warranty administrator for BMW and Acura. "That's not true."
The saving grace for consumers is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. The act states that a dealer must prove that aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before it can deny warranty coverage.

However, if the reason for a parts failure is unclear, a dealer will usually charge you to diagnose the vehicle. If the aftermarket part was not properly installed or a modification led to a component failure, it is within the dealer's right to void the warranty for that part, and you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If the aftermarket parts had nothing to do with the repairs in question, you will be refunded the fee for the diagnosis.

Any aftermarket performance parts on your vehicle can cause a dealer to suspect that you either drive the car hard or possibly race it. "Although they may not void warranties," Wong added, "modifications may raise a red flag when vehicles are in for service. If consumers who mod their cars do a little research, they may find certain dealerships that are a little more 'mod-friendly.'"
Here is a link to a consumer information article posted by the US Federal Trade Commission on their website. Below is the relevant text from that article.

Quote:
Will using 'aftermarket' or recycled parts void my warranty?

No. An 'aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer. A 'recycled' part is a part that was made for and installed in a new vehicle by the manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer, and later removed from the vehicle and made available for resale or reuse. Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket or recycled part was itself defective or wasn't installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.

Tips To Avoid Warranty Issues

Here's how to get the most out of your vehicle's warranty:

Read your warranty - Often bundled with your owner's manual, the warranty gives a general description and specific details about your coverage. If you have misplaced your owner's manual, look for it online.

Check the "Owners" section of your manufacturer's website. -
Be aware of your warranty period. If problems arise that are covered under the warranty, get them checked out before the warranty expires.

Service your car at regular intervals - This is a good idea in any case. But for the sake of keeping your warranty intact, follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedule. Details are in your owner's manual.

Keep all service records and receipts, regardless of who performs the service - This includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, new brake pads, and inspections. Create a file to keep track of repairs; it will come in handy if you have to use your warranty. If you ever have a warranty claim and it appears that you did not maintain your vehicle, your claim could be denied.

Complain - If you think a dealer's service advisor denied your warranty claim unfairly, ask to speak with a supervisor. If you still aren't satisfied, contact the manufacturer or go to another dealer. You also may wish to file a complaint with your state Attorney General, local consumer protection office, or the FTC.
Here is a quote posted here on Camaro5 by one of the Chevrolet Customer Service Reps in response to a warranty question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet Customer Svc View Post


Modifications or tunes do not automatically void the powertrain warranty, but in many cases they will. If there is an issue or damage, and it is found to be the result of a modification or tune, then your powertrain warranty will be found void. These products may have detrimental effects on the performance and life of the engine, exhaust, emission system, transmission, and drivetrain. I hope this helps.


Reggie B.
Chevrolet Customer Care
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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My dealer denied me warranty for a check engine light because I had a CAI
installed on my vehicle. They said they would have to charge me for any repairs as
GM would not cover.
After I told them that I didn't want them to do any futher repairs, that I would take the car as is with the check engine light and install the stock air intake and then take it to a different dealer. Within minutes they had my check engine light repaired
(vacum hose) under warranty.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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Very well explained!!!! Too bad the internet lawyers, insurance reps, and warranty people will still show up, but hopefully everyone will refer to this for warranty issues.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Excellent thread Chase.

The issue I see most often though is a dealer intimidating the car owner into believing the entire warranty is voided...and the ones that go even further and let the owner take the action to prove otherwise. Those are the dealers that need to be exposed to all to avoid at all costs, and the good dealer service centers promoted to drive sales to them (the car sales as well).

Far to many treat the car buyer like dumb sheep and feed them so much BS.

Thats why we appreaciate the GM customer service reps that are members of these forums and at least try and assist when they can. It also lets them see what scammers so many dealerships are in every aspect from the sale to any service or warranty work.

Good explanation Chase!

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex Chase View Post
This is a question that is asked often and is a major concern for many people as they start down the road of modifying their vehicle. Search the web and you will find plenty of answers from internet “experts”, but as usual most of them totally incorrect. So, what is the correct answer?

Despite all the bad information out there, it is pretty cut and dry because there is federal law on the matter. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)) regulates warranties and protects the consumer. This legislation was enacted in 1975 in response to widespread deceptive warranty practices in many industries. Here is how SEMA summarizes things:
The essence of the law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle maker's brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided. The law states in relevant part: No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name... (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).
So in short, this means a service department or automotive manufacturer can not void your warranty simply because you have installed aftermarket parts or have modified your vehicle. They can, however, deny a warranty claim if they can prove the issue in question was a direct result of the installed part or modification. Unfortunately, plenty of people have stories of going to a dealership service department with a warranty issue and being denied because they have modified their vehicle. There are definitely shady service departments out there who will try to get over on their customers if they can, but this is illegal and it is up to the customer to know the law and stand up.


Here is an example of what can not be denied:

You install a supercharger in your vehicle and a month later your drivers side window stops working. The supercharger has no impact on your electric window motor, therefore, the repair should be covered.


Here is and example of what could be denied:

You install a supercharger in your vehicle and a month later your clutch is toast. The additional power created by a supercharger can easily overpower a stock clutch and lead to the repair not being covered under warranty.
Good post.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thanks chase!
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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Just wanted to add a quote made here on Camaro5 by one of the Chevrolet Customer Service Reps in response to a post about warranty concerns when modifying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet Customer Svc View Post


Modifications or tunes do not automatically void the powertrain warranty, but in many cases they will. If there is an issue or damage, and it is found to be the result of a modification or tune, then your powertrain warranty will be found void. These products may have detrimental effects on the performance and life of the engine, exhaust, emission system, transmission, and drivetrain. I hope this helps.


Reggie B.
Chevrolet Customer Care
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Apex Chase View Post
Just wanted to add a quote made here on Camaro5 by one of the Chevrolet Customer Service Reps in response to a post about warranty concerns when modifying.
I am available for any other questions or concerns.

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Old 05-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chevrolet Customer Svc View Post
I am available for any other questions or concerns.

Reggie B.
Chevrolet Customer Care
Thanks, you guys do a great job here on the forum. Especially lately. Glad to see you guys actively engaging in the enthusiast community.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thanks, you guys do a great job here on the forum. Especially lately. Glad to see you guys actively engaging in the enthusiast community.
We definitely appreciate your support Apex Chase. We will continue to do our best.

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Old 08-18-2013, 06:34 AM   #12
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doing warranty work pays there bills !!!!!!!!DONT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU .....
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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Good information. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #14
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Good information. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #15
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Great thread to bad some of the dealers don't see it that way bottom line ya gotta pay to play
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #16
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Great thread to bad some of the dealers don't see it that way bottom line ya gotta pay to play
Very true on both counts. Some service departments will try to push their customers around because they make more money charging you for the work than GM with reimburse them to do it under warranty. The law is the law though. You just have to decide if it is worth fighting over of just finding another dealership that treats their customers fairly.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:34 PM   #17
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I do agree I had to travel 55mins to find a good chevy dealer I have one right here near my house like 5 mins but those guys were VERY RUDE worst dealer I EVER BEEN to was so bad my sales person called to say he was very sorry whats that telling you. I just don't get how these dealers treat people like POS and get away with it
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #18
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I do agree I had to travel 55mins to find a good chevy dealer I have one right here near my house like 5 mins but those guys were VERY RUDE worst dealer I EVER BEEN to was so bad my sales person called to say he was very sorry whats that telling you. I just don't get how these dealers treat people like POS and get away with it
I'm in a similar situation. I drive almost two hours to my favorite dealership, past at least 4 dealerships in the metro area. It's a good excuse to get out into the country and visit the parents, anyway.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragtop11 View Post
My dealer denied me warranty for a check engine light because I had a CAI
installed on my vehicle. They said they would have to charge me for any repairs as
GM would not cover.
After I told them that I didn't want them to do any futher repairs, that I would take the car as is with the check engine light and install the stock air intake and then take it to a different dealer. Within minutes they had my check engine light repaired
(vacuum hose) under warranty.
Some dealers just don't get it
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #20
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Some dealers just don't get it
Unfortunately, many businesses don't get it these days. It is getting harder and harder to find people who understand what customer service is.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #21
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good post
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #22
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good post
Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:35 AM   #23
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Chase, you the man!
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:18 PM   #24
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Great post Chase, you've explained it very well.

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #25
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Yea know call the dealers and tell them see how ya make out then get back with us LMAO ! other then that great thread bottom line if I put a part in that screwed something up I will pay for it no problem but don't tell me my CAI caused my paint to fade.
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