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June 21, 2017

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Warranty Disclosure Bill Advances in N.J.

The New Jersey Assembly’s consumer protection committee approved a bill last week that would require new car purchases to come with a summary of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act’s anti-tying provisions.

Bill A2612 mandates that automakers – through authorized dealers – provide a statement about warranty act rights in both English and Spanish to consumers within 90 days of a new car purchase. To become law, the bill will need approval from a majority of members in both the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate, and the signature of Gov. Chris Christie (R).

The bill would require consumers to be advised that neither manufacturers nor dealers may invalidate a warranty “simply because an aftermarket or recycled part was installed or used on the vehicle or simply because someone other than the dealer performed service on the vehicle,” as explained by the warranty act.

Most New Jersey consumers are unaware of their rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, according to an Automotive Oil Change Association survey of 58 customers who had been told they were required to use original equipment manufacturer parts and/or services to obtain warranty coverage. New Jersey Lubrication LLC Vice President Jay Rosenthal presented the survey’s findings at a hearing before the committee, which passed the act on June 12.

Of the 58 respondents, 91 percent were unaware of their rights, and 65 percent had been told by a dealership employee that they were obligated to use an original equipment manufacturer part or service to keep their warranty coverage.

In a statement about the bill released Monday, the Chicago, Illinois-based association claimed that the “Customer Warranty Rights Survey demonstrates the only way to stop automakers and dealerships from tying warranty coverage to branded products and service is to empower consumers with the knowledge of their [warranty act] rights through a mandatory measure.”