Know Your Rights: Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Toolkit

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) (15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq.) is a federal law enacted by Congress in 1975, which governs warranties on consumer products and establishes disclosure standards for written warranties. The law was established to address the issue of manufacturers using disclaimers on warranties in manners that were unfair or misleading to Consumers. More than four decades later, consumers are stlll encountering the same issues with manufacturers because many of them are unaware of the MMWA and do not know their rights under the law. Under the MMWA, it is currently illegal for an auto manufacturer or its authorized service providers to deny warranty coverage simply because consumers either had routine maintenance or repairs performed by a third party or used non-original equipment replacement parts. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads and inspections. The Auto Care Association is undertaking an effort to educate state consumer protection officials, the auto care industry and consumers about their right to obtain nonwarranty repairs and maintenance at the location of their choice and with whatever parts they choose. The new Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act toolkit on autocare.org is designed to help raise awareness for industry leaders and consumers. The toolkit provides: • A comprehensive overview of the law; • A checklist of “Red Flags” to determine if you are being misled about your vehicle warranty; • A set of tips to maintain your warranty; and • A downloadable poster for informing your customers of their rights. Additional resources on the association’s MMWA web page include a glossary of useful terms, a list of frequently asked questions and a list of opportunities and ways you can get involved with informing consumers about their rights. While the Federal Trade Commission has taken action in some cases to sanction manufacturers for misleading statements regarding the use of independents to perform nonwarranty repair and maintenance work, the practice of misleading consumers still persists. The goal of providing this new MMWA resource is to create informed consumers who are aware of their rights and are not intimidated by fear tactics practiced by some vehicle manufacturers relative to their warranty rights. Source: Insider Auto Care

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