Your Jeep, Your Lift and Your Warranty

Don’t Take the Bait

Every week, people come into Axleboy and ask if adding aftermarket suspension to their brand new Jeep will void the manufacturer’s warranty.  When questioned where they heard such a silly story, 19 out of 20 people point the finger at a salesman at the Jeep dealership and go on to tell us that  Chrysler will only cover their lifted vehicle if they purchase the MOPAR lift through the dealership.  “Any other lift, installed by an outside supplier will automatically void my warranty,” they claim.

At the risk of sounding ostentacious, this is where we chuckle and liken salesmen to professional pathological liars (as a stereotype, not true of all salesmen).  After we’ve doled out a good bash, we take the opportunity to explain portions of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which, “places the burden of proof on the manufacturer,” says Scott, owner of Axleboy.

A Grand Adventure

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has this to say:

“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. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select parts if those parts are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.

The exception is when an aftermarket part is either flawed or incorrectly installed and causes damage to a part that is normally covered under the warranty.  In this case, only after proving that the aftermarket part was the direct cause of failure, can a manufacturer or dealer deny warranty coverage.  Again, the FTC has made it clear that, “the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.

In summary, proper installation of a suspension lift, among other modifications will not void your factory warranty.  If you are ever challenged or confronted by a dealership regarding warranty services, mentioning the Magnuson-Moss Act is one of the best things you can do.  Customization is a known factor in the Jeep lifestyle, and most dealerships are completely cool with honoring warranty services.