FTC settlements affirm fixing your own stuff will not void warranties

Jul 14, 2022, 6:45 PM | Updated: 7:57 pm

LEHI, Utah – When your car or smartphone, or fridge breaks, it is generally cheaper to repair it rather than replace it. But what if a manufacturer told you that if you try to fix it on your own, they will take away your warranty?

Turns out, the Feds are not putting up with those sorts of statements from manufacturers.

Shattered screens, worn-out batteries, broken lenses.

Dustin Knight of MD Tech fixes all those smartphone terrors and more. On the day we met him, he was popping open Andrew Lamberts iPhone to replace a broken screen and a speaker.

Sure, Lambert could have gone to Apple for this fix but he prefers third-party options like Knights MD Tech.

“It ends up being quite a bit less expensive,” he said.

Many people will not take their broken devices to an independent fix-it shop over concerns it will automatically void the device’s warranty.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission said “Nuh-uh, it doesn’t” when it announced settlements with three companies: Harley Davidson, MWE Investments – a company that makes outdoor generators under the Westinghouse brand, and Weber-Stephen, makers of the popular Weber grills.

Dustin Knight, owner of the independent repair service MD Tech, replaces a shattered screen and speaker on an Apple iPhone. (KSL TV) The Federal Trade Commission announced settlements with three companies it accused of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act. (file photo) The FTC said Harley-Davidson told motorcycle owners that repair their bikes on take them to an independent shop not authorized by Harley-Davidson violates their warranty. (KSL TV)

The FTC accused all three of telling customers their warranties are voided if they bought parts or repairs from anyone else except from them or their authorized dealers.

The FTC said that violates the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act. It says a company cannot refuse to fix something you bought from them, just because you brought it to a third-party party shop previously.

If you’re ever turned away by a company for a warranty repair because you’ve got third-party parts in your phone or in your hog, or any other product, you should know that is forbidden by law.

However, companies can legally refuse warranty coverage if a fix-it shop, or an aftermarket part damaged the product.

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FTC settlements affirm fixing your own stuff will not void warranties