Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

FTC warns Microsoft, Sony, other companies about limiting product warranties

FTC warns Microsoft, Sony, other companies about limiting product warranties

Last month, the FTC stepped up and said that those "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers were totally illegal and ran afoul of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. As it turns out, that's illegal, and the United States Federal Trade Commission is taking action against six companies who have been in violation of this law.

This - the body says - places the company in violation of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which restricts the amount companies can charge for fix to $5.

Of course, offering examples of "questionable provisions" that need to be removed as soon as possible to comply with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act made it easy to identify Nintendo, Sony and Hyundai as three of the accused six.

All of the letters explain that the companies could be violating the FTC Act and the Warranty Act, which in part details that warranties should not mention the use of specific parts and labor. More recently, the folks at Vice's Motherboard publication discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request that the six companies were Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Hyundai, HTC, and Asus.

The aforementioned companies were given 30 days from the original announcement (dated April 10) to make changes to their promotional and warranty materials. The FTC claims that this is an issue it's "particularly concerned" about. "By sending this letter, we do not waive the FTC's right to take law enforcement action and seek appropriate injunctive and monetary remedies against [company name] based on past or future violations". Microsoft's Xbox One warranty specifically states, "Microsoft is not responsible and this warranty does not apply if your Xbox One or Accessory is...repaired by anyone other than Microsoft". Well they're illegal, and the FTC in the U.S. has given Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony a 30 day deadline to stop using them and alter the wording of their warranties to allow for third party fix.

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