It is increasingly common for vehicle owners to shop around to find the best parts to use on vehicle repairs. In some cases, vehicle owners have opted to use recycled parts, such as a used undercarriage crossmember, in an effort to save money on costs. These parts may have been installed by an authorized or well-trained automotive technician, but the vehicle owner may have purchased the parts online from a parts recycler or in a local shop that sells refurbished or used parts. In some cases, however, warrantors have stated that an automotive warranty is not valid because these used or recycled parts have already been used. The fact is, however, that the Federal Trade Commission has taken a firm stand on this issue, and it has recently clarified its position in black and white terms.
The Federal Trade Commission recently sent a letter to the ARA Chief Executive Officer that stated that automotive manufacturer warranties may not be invalidated based on the consumer’s choice to use a recycled part versus an authorized or new part. The FTC further states that it is illegal to condone only the use of new and authorized parts for warranties, citing the Magnuson-Moss Act.
This letter was written to the ARA CEO in response to the CEO’s request for the FTC review related claims by automotive manufacturers. The claims that automotive manufacturers had made indicated that recycled parts were inherently of lesser quality than new parts, and the manufacturers claimed that this was sufficient reason to nullify a vehicle warranty. The automotive manufacturers in question only wanted new parts to be used with warranty work.
The FTC went a step further to release an alert to consumers that automotive manufacturers could not legally cite the use of a recycled or used part as a means to invalidate an automotive warranty. This new consumer alert was intended to clarify a previous position the FTC took on the issue that apparently was misleading to some automotive manufacturers. The new consumer alert clearly states this practice is illegal and is not permitted under the law.
The ARA, or the Automotive Recyclers Association, has been focused on promoting the use of green or recycled automotive parts since 1943, and it also focuses its efforts on educating consumers about different ways to properly recycle or dispose of a vehicle that is no longer operable. It lobbies with the FTC and other entities to represent the interests of more than 4,500 auto recycling centers. Among its many initiatives and efforts is the Certified Automotive Recycler (CAR) program, which strives to provide consumers with greater accessibility to recycled parts, such as a used electric cooling motor , used rear drive shafts, and a used exhaust manifold that can be used in their vehicle repairs and maintenance tasks. The organization can be reached through the website at www.a-r-a.org or by calling 571-208-0428571-208-0428. Consumers who are interested in learning more about the initiative or who want to save money by using recycled parts for their vehicle repair services can learn more about this ruling and can find an auto recycling center by contacting ARA today. E & R Auto Wrecking also strives to get recycled parts into the hands of consumers, a practice they have been doing for many years.