The Dealer Told Me Aftermarket Upgrades Would Void My Warranty
We hear it all the time during Jeep-build consultations. Picture this: Clients considering the purchase of a new Jeep come in to Axleboy Off-Road with questions about suspension upgrades, new bumpers, fenders, new tires, etc. We enjoy taking about Jeep upgrades, local Jeep clubs and trails so a discussion may take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Somewhere during the conversations we’ll get a comment that goes something along the lines of, “I was talking to the salesman at the dealership and he told me that anything other than MOPAR components would void the warranty on my Jeep. Is this true?”
True or False?
That is a fantastic and very relevant question! The answer is a resounding “sort of”. Perhaps an example is the best way to illustrate this issue. If you were to purchase a brand new Jeep Wrangler today, with a 5 year warranty that covers the engine, transmission, cooling systems, electronic components, suspension and a bunch of other stuff, and then tomorrow you had Axleboy install a 4-inch Teraflex long-arm lift kit, the suspension portion of your factory warranty would be void. So, “Yes” there is, in fact, some truth behind that statement. The greatest deceptions always contain an element of truth.
Be aware that there are some sales people that will claim any aftermarket upgrades completely strip and void the factory warranty. Most of the sales people in this category are simply repeating what they’ve heard other sales people say or they lack sufficient experience to know better, so they make up whatever sounds most profitable for them.
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
The fact is, over 40 years ago, back in 1975, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed legislation as part of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to ensure you have the freedom to choose aftermarket upgrades and parts without having your warranty stripped or terminated.
What does this mean?
Simply put, when you upgrade to aftermarket suspension, the dealership cannot void the warranty on your engine, electronics, cooling system and other covered components. All of those other systems and components remain covered for the duration of the warranty term. If a dealership believes upgrading one component caused failure in a different area they may deny a warranty claim, but first they are required to prove correlation between the aftermarket upgrade and the other covered item (ie. Engine, Transmission, Differential, etc.)
It is illegal to deny coverage or void a factory warranty based on the use of aftermarket parts. If a dealer has denied your claim under a new-vehicle warranty and you believe it is in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a complaint can and should be filed online with the Federal Trade Commission.