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Automakers to Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

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Automakers to Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

Post by SMOKNZ on April 23rd 2015, 10:33 am

Car Companies Say Home Repairs Are 'Legally Problematic,' Seek Copyright Restrictions

Do you enjoy working on your car or having it repaired by an Independent Mechanic? Car Companies are using copyright law to try and prohibit those activities.

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles. In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Full read on this topic
http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/20/automakers-gearheads-car-repairs/



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Re: Automakers to Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

Post by Pitts64 on April 23rd 2015, 1:23 pm

I wish they would concentrate on things like building cars that you can actually see the turn signals...
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Re: Automakers to Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

Post by SMOKNZ on April 23rd 2015, 1:26 pm

While reading the above article on Auto Blog last night, it reminded me of one of my friends a few years back. He and his family were traveling to Florida to visit his parents and his Nissan Armada's engine suddenly shut down on the Interstate in Tennessee. After getting towed to Nissan of Murfreesboro the Service Department determined that leaves had gotten into the MAF sensor and the sensor had shut down the engine. They wanted about $500 to take the air intake system apart, clean it and put in a new sensor. That wasn't the problem though...the problem was they wouldn't cover the MAF Sensor under the Warranty because he had a K&N Air Filter instead of the standard paper filter that was in his new Armada when he bought it 6 months prior. He had installed the K&N filter the day after he bought his new vehicle. The Nissan Technician even stated that the K&N filter didn't cause the issue, but according to the Service Manager, Nissan was refusing to cover the repair, simply because the K&N filter was installed.

Whether it was just this Dealership/Service Management, which is possible, or truly the policy of Nissan - What they told him was a white lie. Dealerships and car companies are required to prove that any modification of the vehicle with aftermarket parts is the cause of the failure. In addition, even if the part in question caused the failure, does not mean a complete and ultimate void of his warranty,

For example if a Supercharger was installed that was proven to have caused engine damage, any other portion of the warranty is still covered. For example: the radio or climate control malfunctioned, the warranty would still cover those items, exactly as they would if no modifications had been made.

The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act was passed way back in 1975 to combat this exact subject, and ensure that you have the freedom to choose aftermarket parts and upgrades without having your warranty stripped or voided.  

The FTC had issued this alert:

"An ‘aftermarket’ part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Simply using an aftermarket part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for Companies to void your Warranty or deny coverage under the Warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part. Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket part was itself defective or wasn’t installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the Manufacturer or the Dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the Manufacturer or the Dealer must show that the aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage."

I've been aware of this law for some time (mostly because I'm an old fart and I remember when Consumers didn't have this protection) but it occurred to me that not everyone knows about the protection we have when we install aftermarket parts so I thought it to be important to post this because I know that many of you use aftermarket parts.

I'm not saying that Nissan or a Nissan Dealership is the only brand that may try to get out of a Warranty Repair. I'm sure this happens, maybe even a lot...just be informed and don't be bullied into paying for a repair that the Manufacturer is responsible for!

Now...a word about K&N:

He called K&N, explained the situation and was immediately transferred to their Legal Department. They confirmed that the Dealer was dead wrong and he put the Service Manager on the call with K&N and they assured Nissan of Murfreesboro that if Nissan wouldn't cover the repair, K&N would. Thumbs up for K&N, at least they know how to stand behind their product.

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