Niagara Gazette

Features

February 13, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: From the newsroom of America's Car Show

Niagara Gazette — EDITOR’S NOTE: The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom’s Corner will appear in Thursday’s editions.

The other day while I was gathering news items for my syndicated radio show it occurred to me that you, my readers, never get to hear about these select items I reserve for my radio show listeners. Alas! I was stricken with grief and guilt having never fed you the “meat and potatoes” of the automotive news world and how it relates to you, your vehicle and your driving experience. So let’s enter the theatre of the mind: A sound comes over the radio… beep, beep, beep ... imagine the sounds of the presses running like the newscasts of old! Next, a voice comes over the radio:

Automotive News Flash!

Cars under warranty can be serviced by non-dealer shop. It's a common misconception that only car dealers can perform routine maintenance and repairs on a newer vehicle that is under warranty. In fact, it is law that consumers can patronize their neighborhood repair shop or do the work themselves without violating the manufacturer's warranty. Consumers are protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which prohibits a manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because a non-dealer did service.

According to the FTC, "It's illegal for a dealer to deny you warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads and inspections." Just make sure you keep good records to prove maintenance was done in the event of a warranty claim arising.

•••

This next one is a little comical. It reminds me of the George Carlin bit entitled: “Let’s Get Small.”

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