The Auto Care Association applauds the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) approval of a final consent order against BMW’s MINI Division. The FTC claimed that MINI violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by telling consumers that BMW would void their warranty unless they used MINI parts and MINI dealers to perform maintenance and repair work.
The Auto Care Association and other organizations had previously filed official complaints against BMW-MINI, and in March of this year, BMW agreed to settle FTC charges it violated the Warranty Act.
The vote approving the final consent order by the commission was 4-0. The consent order will remain in effect for 20 years, and it will prohibit BMW from violating the Warranty Act regarding any MINI Division good or service.
The consent order also:
• Bars BMW, regarding the sale of any MINI Division good or service, from representing that, to ensure a vehicle’s safe operation or maintain its value, owners must have routine maintenance done only by MINI dealers or MINI centers, unless BMW can substantiate the representation with competent and reliable scientific evidence; or misrepresenting any material fact about warranty or maintenance requirements of any good or service; and
• Requires BMW to notify affected MINI owners of their right to use third-party parts and service without voiding warranty coverage, unless BMW provides such parts or service for free. BMW is also required to post the notice on its miniusa.com website.
“The Auto Care Association is grateful to see that, following a public comment period, the FTC has closed the chapter on this extreme Magnuson-Moss violation,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “It’s a great reminder while we are all here at AAPEX, of the diligence and efficacy of our association in protecting our members’ best interests.”