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Remote Starts and Your Factory Warranty

I have been installing remote starts in all makes and models for over 15 years now, and when I started it wasn’t as advanced as it is today. There are quit a few questions I get every day about remote starts, but recently I was reading a local forum on Facebook that really got me concerned. Someone was asking about a remote start and a lot of people were warning that it voided their factory warranty. I am going to focus on this big question behind remote starts as well as what is really needed to handle the dealer in this case.

The first thing I wanted to address with this article is the big elephant in the room. Does a remote start void your warranty on your vehicle? The long and short of it is no, it can not and will not void your factory warranty. What makes this possible is a law that was passed in 1975 called “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act(P.L. 93-637)”. Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act, a vehicle manufacturer may not make its vehicle warranty conditional on the use of any brand of security system unless the manufacturer provides the system free of charge or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has specifically published that only the vehicle manufacturer’s product may be used. To challenge a false claim, ask the person to put it in writing, or request the vehicle manufacturer’s security system free of charge. If you are charged for the security system, or they refuse to give you a written statement, there may be a violation of Federal law.

This is the actual language of the act:

No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this sub-section may be waived by the Commission if:

the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of any action brought by the Attorney General (in his capacity as such), or by the Commission by any of its attorneys designated by it for such purpose, to restrain (A) any warrantor from making a deceptive warranty with respect to a consumer product, or (B) any person from failing to comply with any requirement imposed on such person or pursuant to this chapter or from violating any prohibition contained in this chapter.

The long and short of it is that the dealers tend to blame things that are not either built by the manufacturer or what they don’t understand. It’s easier to point the finger at the remote start then finding the root problem. If a remote start is properly installed it can not and will not affect your vehicle. As the vehicles, remote starts, and technology advance the remote starts become less and less invasive. Most new vehicles can even use a t-harness that allows you to just plug in the remote start and program it.

The real point of this article is for my customers or anyone looking to get a remote start to be informed. The one thing I do for my customers is always stand behind my products and installs. If you have any questions about this subject, please let me know on any of my social media platforms.