FTC issues consumer alert about aftermarket parts

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Jan. 6, 2011 — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a consumer alert this week in response to a complaint about a Honda statement slamming aftermarket parts.

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the Automotive Oil Change Association and the Tire Industry Association filed the complaint, which charged Honda with releasing information that implied that warranties could be jeopardized if car owners used aftermarket parts. The Honda release_notes said that owners could only be assured of a part’s “authenticity, reliability and compatibility” if it was a genuine part purchased through an authorized Honda dealer.

That statement conflicts with a statute prohibiting the condition of warranty on the use of OEM parts, according to the organizations that filed the complaint, which was sent in August.

The FTC alert reminded car owners that using aftermarket parts and independent shops could not void a warranty.

“We are pleased that the FTC has put out valuable guidance to U.S. car owners regarding their rights under their new car warranties,” said AAIA President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz.

The full alert is available on the FTC website.

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