WASHINGTON (Jan. 5, 2011) — Three major automotive aftermarket associations have praised a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer alert saying auto makers don't have the right to tie routine auto maintenance to warranties.
In response to protests from the Automobile Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), the FTC issued the alert, titled “Auto Warranties, Routine Maintenance and Repairs.”
According to the three associations, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. issued a release in August 2010 stating that the company might not honor warranties with vehicle owners who used replacement parts from anyone other than Honda and its franchised dealers.
“Can a dealer refuse to honor the warranty that came with your new car if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs?” the alert states. “The Federal Trade Commission…says no. In fact, it's illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else.”
Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, said the trade group will continue to fight any efforts by auto makers to infringe on the aftermarket's rightful business.
“It is a deliberate attempt to garner an unfair advantage, and we are grateful that the FTC has reacted to this apparent trend,” he said.