The Right to Repair
We have recently witnessed some confusion on the part of our customers regarding warranty issues and their repair rights. Questions arise about who can perform repairs or maintenance, primarily if the vehicle is under a factory warranty. Some people are under the misperception that the dealer must perform maintenance and routine repairs on their vehicle. The implication is unethical and possibly illegal.
As a reminder, the warranty is a promise by a new car manufacturer to perform certain repairs on their products. Warranties cover the vehicle against manufacturers defects for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Factory warranties should not be confused with extended warranties. Extended warranties are insurance contracts that provide coverage for all types of car repairs. They supplement the new car warranty, and vary by provider and vehicle make and model. Most any shop will honor an extended warranty policy. Nevertheless, a dealer must honor the manufacturers warranty, no matter who does repairs and maintenance.
Aftermarket parts will not impact the warranty contract either. For example, if the factory belt breaks, it doesn’t have to be replaced with a factory part. A Gates Belt is designed and manufactured to the factory specifications. They are excellent products and used by many shops, including ours.
In conclusion, you have the right to have anyone repair your vehicle.
- Whether your car is new or old, aftermarket parts are excellent replacement for factory parts.
- Independent shops can provide expertise on par with dealerships, and in some cases can provide better service.
So don’t let anyone convince you that you have to go to a dealership for repairs. YOU HAVE RIGHTS AND YOU HAVE A CHOICE.
For further information, the Auto Care Association has some excellent information about Right to Repair and the impact it will have on evolving technology like telematics. Also, for information about routine maintenance, aftermarket parts and warranties, the following link provides some thoughts from the Federal Trade Commission.