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BMW Puts End to FTC Dispute Over Misleading Mini Warranty

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/20/2015 Karla Sanchez

BMW was recently called out by the Federal Trade Commissio n for violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act, but instead of trying to dispute the charges, the German automaker has agreed to settle.

The FTC slapped BMW with the charges after discovering Mini owner's manuals had misleading information in them. According to regulators, language in the manual could lead one to believe that the vehicle warranty would only be good as long as customers used genuine Mini parts and Mini dealers for maintenance work.

“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 in a statement.

BMW Puts End to FTC Dispute Over Misleading Mini Warranty

Although BMW disagrees with the charges, the company has come to terms with the FTC so as to avoid a potentially lengthy dispute. The automaker pointed out that it never received any customer complaints about the issue, but that it decided to settle because it was also within the best interest of its customers. Automotive News reports it’s unclear if the FTC received any customer complaints, or whether BMW ever voided any warranties over the issue. The FTC was reportedly denied access to complaints filed against BMW because a Freedom of Information Act request was needed to access that information.

In accordance with the settlement, BMW must now send notices clarifying to customers that their warranties will not be voided if aftermarket parts or independent repair shops are used. In addition, the automaker is barred from violating the law again.

Source: FTC, Automotive News (subscription required)

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