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This is just an FYI for those of you who may choose to use "NON-GENUINE" parts on your bikes/cars/lawnmowers/etc/etc.

There was a law enacted in the USA in 1975, called the "Magnuson-Moss Act". (easily searched on the internet)

Basically, it states that an OEM manufacturer must prove that "NON-GENUINE" parts used to repair or modify your (insert vehicle here) caused a failure that will not be covered under the OEM manufacturer's warranty.

i.e.--I used BillyBob's oil and filter on my brand-spankin-new diesel powered 1800cc WeedWizard weed wacker. The connecting rod broke smack-dab in half after the first 30 seconds of use. Since I hadn't used WeedWizard's oil and filter, and I had installed the latest 2400cc WeedChomper upgrade kit, it's not going to be covered under warranty.

According to Mr. Magnuson's and Mr. Moss' law, WeedWizard must prove that BillyBob's oil and filter, or the 2400cc upgrade kit caused the failure. If they can't do that, then they must warrant my weed wacker.

I'm not saying to use GENUINE OEM parts, or don't use them. But, if you choose to use non-OEM parts, and you experience a failure, you do have a legal leg to stand on should warranty be denied.
 

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Very good point bull. It IS up to the OEM to prove that the part/product is responsible. But, having said that, snowmobile makers that insist on using their branded oil or the implied warranty is void use colour dyes to show whether their oil was indeed used. This is usually enough of a threat to prevent non OEM oil being used, or causes the customer to 'buckle under' and pay for repairs. Now that is a bit different than a m/c issue, but it is an example of the mind games manufacturers will play at times.
 

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Very good point bull. It IS up to the OEM to prove that the part/product is responsible. But, having said that, snowmobile makers that insist on using their branded oil or the implied warranty is void use colour dyes to show whether their oil was indeed used. This is usually enough of a threat to prevent non OEM oil being used, or causes the customer to 'buckle under' and pay for repairs. Now that is a bit different than a m/c issue, but it is an example of the mind games manufacturers will play at times.
I'd have to challenge their reasoning and make them prove that their oil was superior to ANY OTHER oil that I could possibly use. If you're in the States, Magnuson-Moss should have even the snowmobile manufacturers covered. If you've got another brand you'd like to use, THAT manufacturer should be happy to help you make your case.


I've worked for truck dealers (Mack, Volvo, International, Kenworth, etc.) all my life. Caterpillar Engine Co. has threatened to deny warranties for years if the owner didn't use their "GENUINE" filters. They've never succeded unless it was proven that the filter was at fault, or didn't meet their specifications. Do filters fail? Yes. But, if you use products from reputable manufacturers and distributors, and their product does fail, you've also got them to fall back on for warranty. If a warranty problem were to go that far, the manufacturers would be the ones fighting the battle.
That being said, catastrophic failures are not a common problem. But, something like a leaking oil seal would be more common, and a dealer might tell you that it was the "off brand" oil that you used that caused it to start leaking. Or, a thermostat stuck open or closed, and you had followed the manufacturers specs when you replaced your antifreeze, but didn't use their "brand". He'd have to prove that the oil caused the seal to leak, or that the antifreeze caused the thermostat to fail. Neither oil nor antifreeze are likely to have caused these problems, he knows that, and when Magnuson-Moss is mentioned, he'll most likely back down. Unless he's an A__hole (capital A), then you might have to fight for what's right.

And......you're right. The manufacturers will, and do use bully tactics to keep the consumer buying their products. That's what this law was all about in the first place.
 

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Although the law say the manufacturer must prove the aftermarket part caused the malfunction, try getting any manufacturer to spend the time and money to take on such an endeavor. They won't, they'll simply tell you what the repair costs, are and if you want your whatever repaired and back in service you'll have to pay the bill. The law was well intentioned, but in reality does nothing to help the consumer. By the time you hire an attorney and take the manufacturer to court, which is what it will take to get resolution in your favor, maybe, you likely will have spent much more money that if you had just paid for the repairs.
 

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Exactly, which was the point of my answer to the o/p. Warranty claims are no different than insurance claims, they'll try every reason in the book to get out of paying if they see a chance. I know car dealershis that keep service managers for a long time because they are so good at denying warranty claims for customers...saves the dealership thousands of dollars a year in lost revenue for the shop. Warrant only pays a certain percentage of the actual cost of a repair, the dealership eats the rest or goes back on the customer.:eek:
 

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No intention of starting any discord here-just commenting on my humble opinion only!
The MM law you refer to is often misquoted and misinterpreted(what fed law isn't).
If you take time to read every word contained within that law you will find that likely and IMHO:
1. No you do not have to use OEM parts per-se but, those items must be equivalent to.
2. The burden of proof will fall on you-not those refusing to honor warranty. While you're trying to do this-whatever article is in question is sitting somewhere, usually not in your possession, awaiting final resolution and depending on the item, may be racking up storage fees.
3. If a manufacture would demand you use their parts-they do not have to supply those parts free-but the parts must be readily available, in a reasonable length of time(what ever that time length is).
So, after all that-is there anywhere that you can show BillyBobs oil and filter is advertised as equivalent?
 
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