Voiding warranties for 'unauthorized' repair is illegal. Appliance companies are doing it anyway.

It's illegal to void a product's warranty simply because it receives an "unauthorized" repair.

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Henry Hintermeister
Creative Associate

Author: Henry Hintermeister

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2019
B.A., magna cum laude, Tufts University

Henry grew up in southern Maine, where he developed his love for hiking, kayaking and track & field. He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his girlfriend and enjoys getting together with family, reading fiction, listening to NPR and playing soccer.

It's illegal to void a product's warranty simply because it receives an "unauthorized" repair — but appliance companies have persisted with the practice, finds an April report.

Conditioning warranty service on use of a particular repair service or a specific brand's parts is considered a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. So, U.S. PIRG Education Fund researchers contacted appliance manufacturers and combed through policies on their websites to see which ones were complying with the law. Every one of the 43 companies surveyed said it would inform consumers that "unauthorized" repairs on their products would automatically result in a voided warranty.

“It’s totally unacceptable," said Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG's Right to Repair campaign director. "Consumers should be able to repair the things they own, and manufacturers should follow federal warranty laws.”

The report reccomends the Federal Trade Commission do more to enforce warranty rules and that states pass Right to Repair laws.

Read more.

Read the report.

Read more about our Right to Repair campaign. 

Photo: In a survey of 43 appliance manufacturers' warranty policies, every company surveyed said it would inform consumers that "unauthorized" repairs on their products would automatically result in a voided warranty. Credit: Antonio Cansino via Pixabay

Henry Hintermeister
Creative Associate

Author: Henry Hintermeister

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2019
B.A., magna cum laude, Tufts University

Henry grew up in southern Maine, where he developed his love for hiking, kayaking and track & field. He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his girlfriend and enjoys getting together with family, reading fiction, listening to NPR and playing soccer.