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Can Installing Car Audio Equipment Void My Vehicle Warranty?

For Once the Law is on Your Side!

“We told him that his vehicle warranty was void and he bought it!”

Have you ever wondered if there are any disadvantages to installing audio equipment, remote starts, or overhead monitors in your vehicle? You may have heard someone say that doing these types of installs will void your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. The law can be a tricky beast to tame and can often lead to much confusion on matters such as these. To put it frankly, your vehicle warranty will not be voided due to these types of installs, so long as they are done properly.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law created in 1975 which establishes warranty requirements, states the following:

“Warranties, written or implied, cannot be conditioned on the consumer’s use of any article or service identified by brand, trade, or corporate name. This prohibition against conditioning warranties on the use of authorized items or services can only be waived by the Federal Trade Commission if two specific factors are found: 1) The Federal Trade Commission is satisfied that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used and 2) The Federal Trade Commission finds it is in the public interest. The Federal Trade Commission in determining what is in the public interest, seeks and accepts comments from the public.”

After reading this you may be ripping your hair out in confusion. However, when you break it down, it turns out to be quite simple. To void the warranty, the manufacturer must convince the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the installation or service will cause a malfunction to the vehicle and that it is in the public’s best interest to do so. This is very hard for manufacturers to accomplish considering the technological and economic availability of third party accessory options. Vehicles of this day and age feature a lot more electronic integration. For this reason, it is hard to say that the source of a malfunction in your vehicle is the result of aftermarket accessories. If your Manufacturer or dealer tries to tell you that your vehicles warranty is void due to a third party installation or service, then ask them for the determination from the FTC which supports the claim. You can even go as far as to contact the FTC yourself to preserve your warranty. Don’t let the man bring you down! Fight for your warranty rights today!

Jason has had a passion for electronics for as long as he can remember. Ever since his dad bought him a do-it-yourself electronic starter kit when he was a kid, it's been love ever since. From his adolescent years as a musician to his employment selling home theater equipment, Jason has always been surrounded and submerged in audio. Working at Sonic Electronix, Jason quickly became a car audio connoisseur and true audiophile. In his spare time you'll find Jason snowboarding and playing guitar.
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