CARE Requests FTC to Strengthen "Magnuson-Moss Act" to Protect Motoring Consumers & to Disregard Car Companies' Misinformation Campaign Against Aftermarket Parts

Oct 25, 2011, 15:11 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following decades of successful protection for motoring consumers who wish to purchase aftermarket parts rather than the identical, but more expensive, car company-labeled parts, the pro-consumer Magnuson-Moss Act, passed in the mid-1970s, is currently being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The Magnuson-Moss Act prohibits auto repairs from being tied to auto warranties.  "Although there have been several instances when car companies have tried to pass state legislation that would stipulate that a car owners' vehicle warranty would become void if aftermarket parts were used as replacements, that legislation usually dies when it becomes known that that legislative language would be in violation of the federal law, stated Sandy Bass-Cors, Executive Director, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

"The car companies have tried to circumvent Magnuson-Moss by disseminating a well-orchestrated misinformation campaign against aftermarket parts stating that the 'aftermarket parts are imitation, not Like-Kind-Quality, and are inferior in quality'.  Nothing could be further from the truth," continued Bass-Cors.

CARE's comments were forwarded to the FTC on October 21, 2011.  "The year 2010 witnessed 20.3 Million voluntary recalls by the car companies, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  These were NOT aftermarket recalls," stated Bass-Cors.

"Aftermarket parts are as good, if not better, than the car company application simply because these vehicles come to the aftermarket's industry and service about five years into their life-cycle, when they are out-of-warranty. During those five years, aftermarket vendors have the opportunity to make significant improvements to the car company-labeled parts.  Aftermarket parts come with a life-time or long-term guarantee, which the car company parts do not.

"A recent American Automobile Association (AAA) Financial Auto Repair Survey of 1,900 adults, illustrates that 'one-in-four car owners can't afford to pay for their car repairs and therefore often forgo having them done.'  During a time of belt-tightening for America's consumers, the Magnuson-Moss Act must be maintained and strengthened to protect motoring consumers and the $290 billion-a-year aftermarket industry that employs nearly five million people nationwide.

"By making false accusations against aftermarket parts, millions of hardworking folks in the aftermarket could eventually see their jobs diminished in numbers due to a loss of sales," concluded Bass-Cors.

ABOUT CARE:  The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) represents companies in the automotive aftermarket, among them:  NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly's Auto Parts and Bridgestone-Firestone.  The automotive aftermarket is a $290 billion-a-year industry that employs nearly five million people in over 495,000 businesses.

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality