If you ever see a product label stating that you will void the product's warranty if you break a seal or use unauthorized parts or service providers, know that you typically can ignore it.
It's common for manufacturers of cars, video game consoles, and other products to insist that consumers will void their warranty if they use unauthorized fix services or unauthorized third-party parts.
The FTC has warned six companies marketing automobiles, mobile devices and video game consoles in the USA over statements they have made to consumers about using specified parts or service providers to keep their warranties intact.
The use of company parts as a requirement for warranties to remain intact.
The FTC gave examples of "questionable provisions", one of which matches the wording used by Hyundai, requiring customers to use company parts, while another used by Sony for its Playstation 4 gaming console voided warranties if a warranty seal was "altered, defaced, or removed". To their credit, Apple has loosened that grip around third-party iPhone screen repairs, honoring in-warranty pricing even with the fix.
The illegal act here is companies appearing to "tie warranty coverage to consumers' use of authorized parts or service".
"After misleading consumers about its privacy and security practices, Uber compounded its misconduct by failing to inform the Commission that it suffered another data breach in 2016 while the Commission was investigating the company's strikingly similar 2014 breach", said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen. This has been a contentious issue for consumer electronics, where it's often hard to get repairs done through a third party.
However, the actual legal enforcement of those warranty stickers has always been debated, and in a new letter, the FTC is taking the time to remind some companies that it doesn't view the stickers as enforceable.
The FTC will review the companies' websites in 30 days to check they are complying with the law.