AOCA voices concerns to FTC about Honda's position discouraging use of aftermarket parts

Jan. 1, 2020
Potomac Falls Express Lube & Car Wash is leading an effort by the American Oil Change Association (AOCA) and allied groups to inform the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about American Honda's recent announcement discouraging use of Aftermarket par
Potomac Falls Express Lube & Car Wash is leading an effort by the American Oil Change Association (AOCA) and allied groups to inform the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about American Honda's recent announcement discouraging use of Aftermarket parts and the potentially misleading phrasing for consumers of 2011 Honda vehicles.

Accompanied by top executives of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Potomac Falls Express Lube & Car Wash CEO and AOCA President Pat Wirth met recently with a group of four FTC officials from the Division of Marketing Practices to voice concerns about language in the "position statement" issued by American Honda on August 20, 2010.

Wirth, who runs the only woman-owned fast lube/car wash business in Virginia, has taken issue with the portion of the Honda statement that states, "American Honda's new vehicle warranty and replacement parts warranty do not apply to any part which is not purchased from an authorized U.S. Honda dealer. American Honda will not be responsible for any subsequent repair costs associated with vehicle or part failures caused by the use of parts other than Honda Genuine parts purchased from an authorized U.S. Honda dealer."

"Our side expressed a very real concern that if the FTC does not address the wording in Honda's position statement with them, which we believe to be misleading, then we fully expect every other car manufacturer to follow suit," said Wirth. "We are hoping they will enter into formal discussions with Honda." In her current post as President of the Automotive Oil Change Association, Wirth has a leadership role in policymaking within the fast lube industry.

 

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While the FTC has taken the position that the Honda Position Statement does not violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Wirth remarked, "These statements certainly imply that the consumer will void their new car warranty if they don't go to the dealer, which is patently untrue." The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law, states that a manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of filter or other part or product unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty.

"AOCA is gathering additional evidence of the negative market impact of Honda's actions while the FTC is reviewing Honda's statements as to their potentially misleading effects as well as the sufficiency of FTC's public education materials with respect to consumer rights in regard to this issue," said Wirth. "We want the FTC to make it clear that consumers do have a choice where they take their vehicles for preventive maintenance."

For more information visit www.potomacfallsexpresslube.com.

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