As a result of the 5-0 vote, the Federal Trade Commission approved an unpublished agreement agreement with Harley-Davidson and issued administrative complaints regarding warranty issues on new motorcycles and how the warranty affects when the owner installs a third party. parts on a motorcycle. The FTC affirms the right of Harley-Davidson owners to repair and add spare parts without voiding the warranty. According to an FTC statement, “Harley-Davidson has not been able to fully disclose all of its warranty terms in a single document, requiring consumers to contact an authorized dealer for complete information. [Harely-Davidson was] the introduction of illegal warranty terms that void customers ’warranties if they used anyone other than companies and their authorized dealers to obtain parts or repairs for their products”.According to FTChere are ways to harm consumers:
- Restricting consumer choice. Consumers who buy a product covered by the warranty do so to protect their interests, not the manufacturer. Company warranties incorrectly provided that as a condition of maintaining warranty coverage, consumers were required to use parts or services of the company for any repairs.
- It costs consumers more money. By informing consumers that their warranties will be voided if they choose third-party parts or repair services, companies are forcing consumers to use potentially more expensive options provided by manufacturers. It violates [Magnuson Moss] A warranty law that prohibits these items unless the manufacturer provides the required parts or services free of charge under the warranty or receives an exemption from the FTC.
- Undermining independent dealers. The ban on binding in the Warranty Act protects not only consumers but also independent repairmen and spare parts manufacturers. By stipulating their guarantees on the use of authorized service providers and branded parts, the companies violated the right of independent repairmen and manufacturers to compete on equal terms.
- Decreased resilience. Consumers rely on the products of companies for emergency electricity and transportation. Fierce competition from spare parts manufacturers is crucial to ensure that consumers receive the necessary spare parts when they need them and are not at the mercy of branded parts supply chains. More sustainable and repairable products also lead to less waste in the form of products that could otherwise be fixed.
“Consumers deserve a choice when it comes to repairing their products, and independent dealers deserve the opportunity to compete,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. “These orders require Harley … to fix its warranties, clean up consumers and ensure fair competition with independent suppliers. Other companies that violate consumers’ right to repair should pay attention. “Using the powers derived from the FTC Act and the Guarantee Act, the FTC has issued the following orders:
- Prohibit further violations / Companies will be prohibited from further breach of the Guarantee Act and, in the case of Harley-Davidson, from the Disclosure Rule. They will also be prohibited from notifying consumers that their warranties will be void if they use the services or parts of third parties, or that they must use only branded parts or authorized service providers. If companies violate these terms, the FTC will be able to claim civil fines of up to $ 46,517 for the violation in federal court.
- Recognize the right of consumers to repair. [Harley-Davidson] you will need to add a specific language [its] warranty with the inscription: “Transfer your product for service to a repair shop that is not affiliated with or authorized dealer [Company] does not void this warranty. In addition, the use of parts from other manufacturers does not void this warranty.
- Clean up with consumers. Both companies should send and post messages informing customers that their warranties will remain in effect even if they purchase spare parts or take care of independent repairmen.
- Warn dealers about fair competition: Both companies are required to direct authorized dealers to remove fraudulent materials to display, train and monitor employees, and not to promote branded parts and dealers through third parties.
Usually buyers of new Harley-Davidson are told that their warranty will be voided if they install spare parts such as exhaust.“This action taken by the FTC is a huge win for motorcycles,” said Mike Kennedy, President and CEO of Vance & Hines. “While we have yet to see how this will happen, we anticipate that riders will have more choice in how they repair and upgrade their motorcycles during the warranty period, which is obviously a big deal for companies involved. selling motorcycles. I hope the threat of “It voids your warranty” for those who just want Harley to sound better and make a smoother move is a thing of the past. ”