The Federal Trade Commission recently completed its review of the Interpretations, Rules, and Guides under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, opting to keep them as currently written, subject to a few modifications. 

The Federal Trade Commission recently completed its review of the Interpretations, Rules, and Guides under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, opting to keep them as currently written, subject to a few modifications. These modifications conclude the review process that began in 2011 with a request for public comments as part of the FTC’s routine review of its rules and guides. Most notably, the revisions include a clarification that implied tying, specifically language that implies to a consumer that a warranty is conditioned upon the use of certain parts or services from the manufacturer, is deceptive.

A recent, related example of FTC enforcement in this area is the settlement agreement that the FTC entered into with BMW earlier this year following charges that BMW’s MINI Division illegally tied warranty coverage to use of MINI parts and service. The changes will be published to the Federal Register shortly.

TIP: Warranties for consumer products are subject to the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, and the advertising of warranties is actively monitored by the FTC. The FTC’s guidance related to the advertising of warranties includes its Interpretations of the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act; Rules Governing Disclosure of Written Consumer Product Warranty Terms and Conditions; Rules Governing Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms; and Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees.