Auto Care Insider Volume 88 - (Page 8)

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS EDUCATING CONSUMERS ON THEIR NEW CAR WARRANTY RIGHTS THE Auto Care Association, along with the Automotive Oil Change Association, Tire Industry Association and Service Station Dealers of America, sent a letter in May to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging them to force Kia to withdraw a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) and issue a statement that use of aftermarket filters will not void a new car warranty. Here's why. Consumer Reports (CR) recently published a blog that appeared on several prominent websites, including Yahoo, warning motorists against using non-original equipment oil filters on Kia-produced vehicles. In the posting, CR cites a TSB issued by Kia that states: "Customer concerns as a result of incorrect oil viscosity or use of aftermarket oil filter should not be treated as a warranty repair and any related damage is not warrantable, nor is changing engine oil and filter to isolate this condition." CR recommends to its readers that: 1. When dropping your car off for service, make sure you don't authorize the dealer to perform repairs without speaking with you first. 2. If your Kia is still under the powertrain warranty, considering taking it to the dealer for oil changes. Yes, it probably costs more than the quick-lube store, 8 AUTO CARE INSIDER | VOL. 88 but you'll avoid any potential problems with oil- and filterrelated warranty claims. 3. Consider buying Kia-approved oil filters and either using them when you do your own oil changes, or have your mechanic or quick-lube store use the Kia filter and not their own. Lost in the Consumer Reports article or the Kia TSB is the fact that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits the conditioning of a new car warranty on the use of an original equipment part or service. Further, the act places the onus on the vehicle manufacturer not the consumer, to demonstrate why the use of the non-OE part caused the problem which resulted in the need for a warranty repair. Kia's directives circumvent this process entirely: the mere presence of an aftermarket oil filter automatically voids warranty coverage for the oil change parts and services, as well as any damage Kia says "relates" to oil filter function. Making matters worse, Consumer Reports jumped on the bandwagon, urging consumers to adhere to the anti-consumer and anti-competitive TSB from Kia. The auto care industry must take action to understand the current law and to educate their customers that car companies and their authorized dealers on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and car owner's warranty rights under the law. A great resource for both industry and consumers can be found on the FTC website: http:// The industry also should let us know if you or your customers are subject to misinformation or warranty threats by the dealer or vehicle manufacturer. Please email information on any warranty related issues to Aaron Lowe at UPDATE Consumer Reports responded swiftly to the letter from the Auto Care Association, Automotive Oil Change Association, Service Station Dealers of America and the Tire Industry Association rebutting an erroneous article about aftermarket parts voiding vehicle warranties. In response to the letter sent May 29, Consumer Reports published an article on June 9 on clarifying that "...the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act gives consumers the right to have their vehicle serviced at a business of their choice and the option to use aftermarket parts..." To read the article, visit http://

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Auto Care Insider Volume 88

President's Message
Government Affairs
International Focus
Member Profile: Mark Seng
Toolbox: Technology Tips
Impact Awards: Todd Campau
Inside Technology
Head of the Class: Tascosalesreps

Auto Care Insider Volume 88