Magnuson- Moss Act Warranty

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Often discussed yet a search didn't reveal anything specific for the Magnuson Moss Act. So I thought I'd post. FYI. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Title 1, __101-112, 15 U.S.C. __2301 et seq. This act, effective July 4, 1975, is designed to "improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products . . .." Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. SS 2301-1312 (1982), and general principles of the Federal Trade Commission Act, a manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of product (or any other article) unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty. "No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name...."(15 U.S.C. 2302(c). So if the consumer is told that only the original brand of part/product will not void the warranty, he should request that the OE part/product be supplied free of charge. If he is charged for the part/product, the manufacturer will be violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or other applicable law. It should be noted that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that applies to consumer products. The Federal Trade commission has authority to enforce the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, including obtaining injunctions and orders containing affirmative relief. In addition, a consumer can bring suit under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. To review the entire Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: http://www.ltclg.com/magnusonmosswarrantyact.html
 
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Thanks for posting this. I was thinking about finding this info in case my engine blows up and the dealer tries to deny my warranty and blame the non-OEM oil filter I use.
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: HondaRD
Thanks for posting this. I was thinking about finding this info in case my engine blows up and the dealer tries to deny my warranty and blame the non-OEM oil filter I use.
They can still deny warranty...but you can hire a lawyer and pay him a $5,000 retainer to spend 2 years suing the company. Which is why I always use OE filters until my warranty has expired and keep strict documentation including receipts for everything. I did have a piston slap issue with GM. When they asked for maintenance records I was able to flip out my notebook of documentation and that ended that issue on the spot.
 
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 Originally Posted By: HondaRD
Thanks for posting this. I was thinking about finding this info in case my engine blows up and the dealer tries to deny my warranty and blame the non-OEM oil filter I use.
Be forewarned. Unless that aftermarket filter is specifically meant for that vehicle and meets the manufacturer's specs, warranty can be denied. Just because a filter physically spins on, doesn't mean it is meant to work on X vehicle. Just something to keep in mind. Either the OEM has to list an aftermarket filter as certified, or the aftermarket manufacturer has to represent the filter as meant for that particular vehicle. Of course, the filter has to be determined as a root cause of the problem before any of this is a consideration.
 
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All very good points indeed to make ones life easier if an issue does arise. I guess it just comes down to the amount of risk a customer is willing to take and how much they are willing to pay for the retainer fee
 
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6,917
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NH
 Originally Posted By: Anduril
Sounds to me like Nissan is in violation of this act with the GT-R. Pretty much says word for word in the manual "you must use Nissan special GT-R tranny fluid." http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1420466&fpart=1
Actually that is not a violation unless they specify ONLY the Nissan brand may be used. My guess is they don't do that. Might be worded in such a manner it appears that way but I would say a lawyer made sure they were covered if pushed on it. They can say you have to use a fluid that meets that spec's of that GT-R fluid though. Same as when Chrysler required ATF+4 but refused to give out the formula. They couldn't make you use MOPAR fluid but they can make you use ATF+4. The fact they were the only company to offer ATF+4, and they refused to release the spec's/formula, was irrelevant. I suspect that is the case here. If Nissan says ONLY to use NISSAN BRAND GT-R fluid or it voids your warranty then under the MMA they must provide it free of charge. Actually, I looked it up on the link given and it says...
 Quote:
Genuine NISSAN Transmission Oil R35 Special (100% synthetic oil)” is unique to the Nissan GT-R and was specially developed to maximize the friction characteristics of the clutch and the lubrication of the gears and bearings. This fluid is required and the use of additives is prohibited.
That does not actually say ONLY Nissan fluid must be used just that you need to use the special fluid that is unique to the GT-R tranny. If an aftermarket company offered it you could use it. This is very similar to the MOPAR ATF+4 fiasco when it came out. Same situation as GM's Autotrak II transfer case fluid and their Versatrak AWD fluid. Only the mfg offers it and they specify needing that particular fluid. They don;t come right out and say it has to be their's though.
 
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Kestas

Staff member
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You can legislate all the "feel good" laws you want. But practically auto companies still get away with breaking the Magnuson-Moss Act. Does anyone know of a case where the companies got dinged for violating the Magnuson-Moss Act?
 
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I can't provide links or anything but car mfg's have been taken to court and the customer has won. It all comes down to how much money you have to fight them if they dig their heels in.
 
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 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
Actually that is not a violation unless they specify ONLY the Nissan brand may be used. My guess is they don't do that. Might be worded in such a manner it appears that way but I would say a lawyer made sure they were covered if pushed on it.
From that thread,
 Quote:
• “Genuine NISSAN Transmission Oil R35 Special (100% synthetic oil)” is unique to the Nissan GT-R and was specially developed to maximize the friction characteristics of the clutch and the lubrication of the gears and bearings. This fluid is required and the use of additives is prohibited.
The words "genuine NISSAN transmission oil...is required" doesn't leave much room to interpret it any other way. Sounds to me like they are without a doubt requiring you to use a specific brand of fluid. If I was a lawyer I would certainly argue it that way, anyways. Though I'm sure anyone who owns a GT-R can afford the ridiculously-priced tranny fluid without issue anyways.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Anduril
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
Actually that is not a violation unless they specify ONLY the Nissan brand may be used. My guess is they don't do that. Might be worded in such a manner it appears that way but I would say a lawyer made sure they were covered if pushed on it.
From that thread,
 Quote:
• “Genuine NISSAN Transmission Oil R35 Special (100% synthetic oil)” is unique to the Nissan GT-R and was specially developed to maximize the friction characteristics of the clutch and the lubrication of the gears and bearings. This fluid is required and the use of additives is prohibited.
The words "genuine NISSAN transmission oil...is required" doesn't leave much room to interpret it any other way. Sounds to me like they are without a doubt requiring you to use a specific brand of fluid. If I was a lawyer I would certainly argue it that way, anyways. Though I'm sure anyone who owns a GT-R can afford the ridiculously-priced tranny fluid without issue anyways.
But that is just my point. It does NOT say NISSAN brand fluid is required nor that only NISSAN brand fluid may be used. They never actually sy that. It is worded ticky to imply that but it is not what it actually says. They name the fluid, say the fluid was designed to meet the unique needs of the GT-R tranny, and then say this fluid is required. However, "this fluid" does not mean it has to be the Nissan brand. Just has to be a Nissan Transmission Oil R35 equivelant. "This fluid" can mean this kind of fluid just like MOPAR ATF+4 or Gm Dexron VI. The fact only Nissan offers it is totally irrelevant. My take on this quoted statement from Nissan is it is a very cleverly worded statement to make people think they have to use the Nissan brand BUT if they are ever challenged on it they can say what I have above.
 
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<b>NHHEMI</b>, I see what you're getting at. But I think if they meant it as you say, they would have said "this type of fluid" or something. What they say is "this fluid". That seems pretty straightforward.
 
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 Originally Posted By: d00df00d
NHHEMI, I see what you're getting at. But I think if they meant it as you say, they would have said "this type of fluid" or something. What they say is "this fluid". That seems pretty straightforward.
If you look closely at that statement that is in question here you will see that "this fluid" is in a sentance completely by itself. It is after the description of the fluid. You can infer must use Nissan brand AND you can also infer TYPE. Is it a deliberate attempt to fool owners into thinking they have to use that specific Nissan brand fluid? Yes, absolutely. Does it actually say you have to use the Nissan brand fluid though? No, it does not...
 Quote:
• “Genuine NISSAN Transmission Oil R35 Special (100% synthetic oil)” is unique to the Nissan GT-R and was specially developed to maximize the friction characteristics of the clutch and the lubrication of the gears and bearings. This fluid is required and the use of additives is prohibited
IMO this is simply saying we used/designed a special fluid that is very unique and your tranny requires this KIND of fluid. No different than GM tranny's needing Dex VI, Chrysler needing ATF+4, or Toyota needing WS. You need to use this fluid as in this KIND of fluid. I see nothing really different here, other than a more cleverly worded statement, than I do from other mfg's with specialty/new fluids. No different than GM saying to only use AutotrakII fluid in the electric t-case on their trucks and suv's or Versatrak fluid in their AWD t-case/RDM units. Chrysler saying only use ATF+4 in their tranny's which they designed and kept the formula of a secret so you could get it no where else. All Nissan has to say, as they have, it use this specific KIND of fluid(( they have the right to put a name to it ). Even though they made it, and apparantly are keeping the formula secret so the aftermarket can't make it, that is 100% irrelevant to the MMA discussion. They can do that. All car mfg's do it or at least try to. No where does it specifically say you most use the NISSAN brand fluid which is what would imply, to me, that it must be the Nissan brand. I see them saying Nissan offers it and designed it, and that it is unique to the specific tranny, but not that you must use their specific brand. When they say "this fluid" IMO it simply means that type. One of the most cleverly worded statements from a mfg I have seen in a long time. Also, I have to ask this. Was that statement released to US owner's/dealers or was it released in a different country? THAT makes a HUGE difference. The MMA only applies here in our country.
 
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But, if no one else makes a fluid that meets this spec, they do not have to provide it for free. If there is another fluid that meets this spec then they have to approve it or provide theirs for free. Big difference.
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
I can't provide links or anything but car mfg's have been taken to court and the customer has won. It all comes down to how much money you have to fight them if they dig their heels in.
Yeah true...but a case of OEM oil filters is much cheaper and easier. If you have an oil related problem the first thing they will look for is the non-OE filter because any grease monkey can identify that and blame that for the failure. So, why give them the out to save $2 ?? When you show up with dealership receipts for filters, drain plug gaskets and ATF it shuts them right down...believe me I have been there and they are totally at a loss.
 
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Kestas

Staff member
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
... If there is another fluid that meets this spec then they have to approve it or provide theirs for free. Big difference.
To have a fluid approved depends on what tests the automaker requires, plus the vendor has to pay for all this testing. This still puts them at the mercy of the automaker who may make unreasonable requests, or make it so expensive to meet the approval process that it just isn't worth it to the lube manufacturer to jump through these hoops for that tiny segment of business. I'm not sure, but the automaker could also flat out refuse to approve the fluid. At that point, all the vendor can do is perform their own testing and issue a statement that their lube "is recommended", not "approved" for use in an application.
 
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