The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal legislation of the United States that was passed in 1975 and regulates warranties for consumer goods. Although the legislation does not mandate that any products come with warranties, if they do, any warranties must adhere to its requirements.
The law was intended to address issues brought about by unfair or deceptive warranty disclaimers used by manufacturers. This legislation aims to improve consumer protection by making consumer product warranties in the USA more easily understood and enforced and by giving the Federal Trade Commission of the USA the tools it needs to do so.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to all consumer products, including vehicles. Simply put, as a car owner, you want to make sure that your dealer or factory warranty is still valid. You make sure regular upkeep is carried out on schedule, including belt replacements, tire rotations, and oil changes. However, the guarantee will still be in effect provided this standard upkeep and repairs are carried out at a recognized, independent repair facility.
In accordance with the Magnuson Moss Guarantee Act, buyers are not needed to conduct repairs at a dealership or use name-brand car components in order to keep the warranty. The car can also be serviced by independent repair facilities. In order to do this, the owner of the automobile must keep track of all maintenance and repairs made to the vehicle and maintain the receipts for the work, making sure the invoices are legibly dated and providing an exact description of the materials used and the work done.
It is crucial to note that in this situation, the manufacturer or dealer—not the customer—is responsible for proving that a defect resulted from the use of an aftermarket component or service. Because the owner-fitted aftermarket windshield wipers are distinct from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, the warranty claim for the vehicle cannot be rejected, for instance, if the windshield wiper motor in a new car breaks. Similar to this, if a wheel bearing or fan belt breaks and the owner added an aftermarket exhaust system, the dealership would need to show that the exhaust system was to blame in order to reject a warranty claim. In situations like this, the dealerships often have little justification to refute the accusations.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is not the only law that works to defend consumers' interests; SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is another. SEMA, which stands for US aftermarket wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, frequently holds automakers accountable by pushing legislation that forbids dealership service departments from refusing warranty coverage. This indicates that aftermarket items that alter performance, suspension, etc. are no longer subject to as strict scrutiny by dealerships.
Contrary to this, new automobile warranties in Pakistan are regarded as null and invalid the moment even the tiniest alteration or use of non-OEM parts is made to a vehicle that is still covered by the guarantee. Additionally, aftermarket components (of comparable spec) sold in the market are significantly less than replacement parts sold at dealerships. Customers are compelled to buy pricey, inferior-quality components from the dealerships in this place and are unable to install a high-quality aftermarket part for fear of having the warranty voided.
Customers are sometimes even required to use lubricants (engine oil, braking fluids, etc.) that are only available through approved dealerships; using lubricants of the same specification from the market is not permitted because doing so would allow dealerships to void the warranty.
The Pakistani auto consumers have no protection whatsoever from the time they book a new car through the interminable waiting period, multiple unfair price increases, paying on-money or a premium to the dealerships, receiving a subpar product under the guise of new, or struggling to have the warranty honored. Even though there is just a minor fine for assembly line delays, acquiring that amount is still a major problem, and there is no government agency or regulation that helps end users through the procedure. The client is ultimately at the mercy of the business, which has the right to postpone or even refuse to pay the penalty amount.
The Pakistani car industry requires a complete makeover in all areas; perhaps a book like Magnuson Moss Warranty Act would be a suitable choice for our policymakers to study. Let's hope that in the future we will be able to see a thriving car industry that helps both the customers and the nation's economy and prosperity.