The FTC today sent letters to six different companies warning them that their warranty practices may run afoul of the law. The six business, which were not named, are major companies that make cars, cell phones, and gaming systems. In particular, the FTC is taking issue with language from said companies suggesting consumers’ warranties would be void if consumers don’t use specific parts or service providers. It pointed out questionable language such as: “This warranty does not apply if this product … has had the warranty seal on the altered, defaced, or removed,” and “… is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].” The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties, prohibits companies from voiding warranties under such conditions. “Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services,” said Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. The FTC is giving the companies involved 30 days to review their warranty practices to ensure they are in compliance with the law.
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