(Ford voided my warranty for using aftermarket air in my tires, HONEST!)
This is officially the dumbest thing I've read all week! You get a gold star! WooHoo!
This is from the SEMA site (now available to SEMA members only).
PRINT THIS AND KEEP IT IN YOUR TRUCK:
SPECIALTY AUTO PARTS CONSUMERS BILL OF RIGHTS
Your Rights to Personalize Your Vehicle
* ARTICLE ONE:
You have the Right to buy high-quality, reliable aftermarket performance and specialty parts, accessories and styling options.
* ARTICLE TWO:
You have the Right to use high-quality aftermarket parts and know that your new car warranty claims will be honored. In fact, your vehicle dealer may not reject a warranty claim simply because an aftermarket product is present. A warranty denial under such circumstances may be proper only if an aftermarket part caused the failure being claimed.
* ARTICLE THREE:
You have the Right to install and use emissions-legal aftermarket performance parts without incurring hassles and onerous procedures during state vehicle emissions inspections.
* ARTICLE FOUR:
You have the Right to actively oppose any proposed (or existing) laws or regulations that will reduce your freedom to use aftermarket automotive parts and service or will curtail your ability to take part in the automotive hobbies of your choice.
* ARTICLE FIVE:
You have the Right to patronize independent retail stores and shops for vehicle parts and service. The U.S. aftermarket offers the world's finest selection of performance and specialty parts, accessories and styling options. These aftermarket products satisfy the most discriminating customers seeking personalized vehicles for today's lifestyle.
The foregoing message is brought to you by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). If you would like our guidelines on what to do if your new car warranty is denied, call SEMA's Fax-on- Demand service, 909/396-0182, ext. 750 and request document #904 or check the "Improper Warranty Denial" section of our web site. Also available in this section of the web site is up-to-date information on legislative and regulatory proposals that will have an impact on vehicle enthusiasts.
IMPROPER AND PROPER VOIDING OF NEW-VEHICLE WARRANTIES
There are probably still some people out there who believe that new-vehicle warranties are voided when aftermarket parts are installed. It is not difficult to understand how people might feel that way when the vehicle dealers do everything they can to make people believe that is true. In fact, as we know, it is not true! Further, statements to the contrary by vehicle manufacturers, their dealers and other agents are in violation of the law. Just in case you run into someone who does not know the facts, here they are.
TYPES OF WARRANTIES
The first thing to understand is that there are two types of warranties. The first is called an express warranty. The new-car warranty is an example. Another example is the emissions warranty, which is required by the Clean Air Act. These are warranties which are written, or more rarely, spoken warranties where the terms are spelled out.* The second type of warranty is called an implied warranty. This warranty is not written but imposed by law on those who, by certain conduct, imply that there is some warranty with regard to their products. For example, when a manufacturer sells a product, it is reasonable to assume that the product will perform in a particular fashion, that is, it will be fit for the ordinary purpose for such a product. If the product fails to perform, there is a breach of an implied warranty. Further, if the seller knows the purposes for which the product will be used, there is an implied warranty that the product will be fit for that purpose. Sellers can avoid the responsibility of express warranties by simply not offering one. (That's pretty tough with the emissions warranties, since they are required by law.) Implied warranties can also be avoided in some states if the seller disclaims any implied warranties.
Both federal and state laws have been enacted to regulate the way in which warranties are enforced, to attempt to reduce consumer fraud. One such law is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, administered by the Federal Trade Commission. One of the most important provisions of that Act is that "no warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's 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...."That says it all. No manufacturer, including the vehicle manufacturers, can void its warranties, any warranties, merely because aftermarket parts are used on its vehicles. If that were not enough, Congress when further to include similar language in the Clean Air Act. Under the Clean Air Act, vehicle manufacturers are required to provide two types of warranties with their vehicles. The first is the production, or defect, warranty which says that the vehicle, at the time of sale, will be free from defects which would cause it to fail to meet required emission levels for its useful life. This warranty is generally triggered when a large number of vehicles fail to meet requirements, and there is a recall. The second warranty is the performance warranty which says that if the vehicle fails to maintain its emissions levels for the required period, inspection and maintenance test required by the states. (For more information, see related document in series, "Inspection/Maintenance Programs.") So what happens to these warranties when you install aftermarket equipment? Nothing! In addition to requiring that vehicle manufacturers provide warranties, the Clean Air Act requires that manufacturers not condition the warranties on the use of their components or service, unless it is provided free of charge. What could be more clear?
WHEN MAY WARRANTIES BE VOIDED?
From what is said above, it is clear that a warranty cannot be voided merely because an aftermarket part is installed on a vehicle. Example 1: The use of computer chips, or similar recalibration devices, does not automatically void new- vehicle warranties: it must be proven that the use of such aftermarket devices were directly responsible for the claim. Example 2: Strange as it many seem, dealerships have tried to deny warranty for things such as leaking rear main seals or wheel bearings when unrelated items such as an aftermarket exhaust system have been installed. Example 3: Even substantial modifications with aftermarket products such as superchargers or suspension kits can be completely irrelevant to the cause of vehicle failure. However, there are circumstances where a warranty can be voided. If a consumer installs an aftermarket part and either the improper installation of the product or the product itself is responsible for a problem which results in a warranty claim, the vehicle manufacturer is not responsible for the claim. No one, including the vehicle manufacturer, should be responsible for problems which are created by others, and the law honors this principle in the area of warranties. A thorough examination of a vehicle which is under warranty must be conducted by the dealership to determine the cause of the problem.
IMPROPER WARRANTY DENIAL
If a vehicle dealer denies an emissions warranty claim merely on the basis of the installation of aftermarket parts which have not been the cause of the warranty claim, get the refusal and the reasons for the refusal in writing. Then, follow the procedures in the owner's manual for warranty coverage. If all fails, contact the Environmental Protection Agency to report the improper warranty denial. The number is 202/233-9040 or 202/233-9100.
If the warranty denial relates to the new-vehicle warranty and is based merely upon the installation of aftermarket parts which have not been demonstrated to be the cause of the warranty claim, contact the Federal Trade Commissions to report the improper warranty denial. The FTC number is 202/326-3128.
(Moderators/Admin: Feel free to post this where you deem necessary for all to read. Thanks.)