The Federal Trade Commission warned six companies today that their guarantee policies could violate the law. Although we do not know the identity of these companies, the FTC says they are "big companies" that sell cars, cell phones and video game systems. Companies currently claim that their warranties are void if owners use them with unauthorized parts or services or if consumers open them when removing a seal.
Companies can not place warranty decals on their products and claim that the warranty will be voided if the decal is removed, says the FTC. Nor can they void the warranty if you repair the devices yourself or through a third-party service. This has been a controversial issue for consumer electronics, where it is often difficult to obtain repairs made by a third party. Apple, for example, recently said that third-party screen repairs would void an iPhone's warranty. He changed his policy in February to make those phones eligible for partial warranty coverage.
The FTC warning states that a language such as "this warranty will not apply if this product … is used with unsold products" and if warranty labels are required to maintain the warranty, they are all illegal. The commission requests that each of the six companies review their collateral materials and correct their policies within 30 days. If they do not comply, "possible infractions may give rise to an enforcement action".