FTC Settles with Mini Cooper for Violations of Federal Warranty Law

Allison Harrison

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. On March 19, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with BMW of North America LLC and its MINI Division for alleged violations of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The FTC alleged that MINI required all non-warranty repair and maintenance work to be completed at MINI dealerships, using MINI parts in order for consumers to maintain their new car warranty. “It’s against the law for a dealer to refuse to honor a warranty just because someone else did maintenance or repairs on the car,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As a result of this order, BMW will change its practices and give MINI owners information about their rights.” The full press release is available here. Car dealerships, like any other business, are held to a certain standard. Although most likely not to this scale, an auto dealer lawyer sees cases similar to this every day.

Federal warranty law prohibits tying provisions in warranty law. This prohibition prevents warranties from requiring a specific facility or a specific brand name part be used for non-warranty repairs, except in extremely limited circumstances. Federal warranty law not only applies to car manufacturers, but to any business offering its own warranty. If your business offers a product warranty separate from the manufacture, your business is subject to Magnuson-Moss.

Don’t wait until it is too late, contact an auto dealer lawyer today. If you have questions about warranty law or want your warranty reviewed for compliance, please contact Attorney Harrison at (614)440-1395 or via e-mail at aharrison@alharrisonlaw.com.

Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.