There Was A Threat By Harley-Davidson To Cancel Warranties Over Aftermarket Parts

There Was A Threat By Harley-Davidson To Cancel Warranties Over Aftermarket Parts

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company by owners who were told that their warranties would not be valid unless they used factory parts and dealer service only.

There are two separate lawsuits being filed against Harley-Davidson by owners in California and Wisconsin who claim the motorcyclist company threatened to void their motorcycle warranties if they did not pay for service at H-D dealerships using factory parts, according to the lawsuits.

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed by motorcycle owners against Harley-Davidson, according to a report published by Reuters.

In late June, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Harley to stop informing owners that aftermarket parts will void their warranties if they use aftermarket parts.

These latest legal challenges have come as a result of that order.

Under the right to repair law, it is illegal for a company to threaten to void a vehicle warranty if aftermarket parts are installed on the vehicle.

There Was A Threat By Harley-Davidson To Cancel Warranties Over Aftermarket Parts

According to the latest class-action lawsuits, Harley-Davidson has not only broken state anticompetitiveness laws in California and antitrust laws in Wisconsin but also violated federal antitrust laws.

The lawsuits claim that the company did this by locking owners into its ecosystem of parts, as well as limiting where owners were able to receive service.

In order to keep owners from not using Harley-Davidson parts or paying for service at Harley-Davidson dealerships, Harley-Davidson dangled the threat of void warranties over their heads – helmeted, I hope.

However, Harley allegedly worded these threats in such a way so as to circumvent any violation of the right of the owner to repair the vehicle.

Reuters reported that the FTC took issue with Harley’s terms of service. It states that “the use of parts and service procedures other than Harley-Davidson approved parts and service procedures may result in the voiding of the limited warranty.”

Upon receiving questions from the FTC, Harley-Davidson issued a statement that stated, “By law, we cannot void a customer’s warranty simply for installing parts manufactured by another company.”

The company later allowed owners to keep their warranty coverages even if they used third-party parts and services.

It is important to note however that Harley retained the right to deny warranty claims for defects or damage caused by unauthorized parts, service, or use of the vehicle, including defects or damage caused by the installation of unapproved or aftermarket parts, buried in the legalese of their agreement with the FTC.

Even though there is a difference in the language there, it is much harder to weave through – like riding a heavy bagger through a bunch of cones on a hill.

It was not possible for Harley to void the owner’s warranty if they installed aftermarket parts or went to an independent shop to have their bike serviced.

Those Harley owners would be out of luck if it was found that the unauthorized parts or indie shops were the reason why their bikes broke, and so they would not be able to get a refund.

What is the arbiter of those claims, and who is responsible for deciding them? It is Harley itself that makes the motorcycles. Can you see the problem here?

In the class-action lawsuit filed in California, members of the class-action suit believed that aftermarket parts or services were out of the question due to the threat alone.

similarly, the case in Wisconsin argues that bike owners were compelled to buy overpriced parts and services simply because they were threatened with losing their warranty coverage if they did not pay for them.

It is illegal under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to condition a vehicle’s warranty coverage upon a dealer’s service or factory-approved parts being used in order to maintain the warranty coverage.

Due to the fact that such actions limit competition, they also run afoul of antitrust laws. It is expected that Harley-Davidson will have to pay an unspecified amount in damages if these bike owners win their class-action lawsuits.