FTC Gives Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony 30 Days To Abandon Illegal 'Warranty Void If' Policies
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. The FTC is now back and is telling six companies that they are in violation, giving the firms 30 days to clean up their acts or face potential legal action.
The FTC sent letters out to ASUS, HTC, Hyundai, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, which have all been warned that language on their websites is in violation of U.S. laws. The letters were obtained by Motherboard via a Freedom of Information Act request. The letters state, "This letter places you on notice that violations of the Warranty and FTC Acts may result in legal action."
These firms and others aren't allowed under the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to place restrictions on their products that require them to be used with official accessories such as games, software, and hardware for the warranty to be honored. This means that if you fix your PS4 with a third-party power supply, Sony can’t void your warranty under the law.
The FTC letter sent to Microsoft called out specific language in the warranty that says the software giant "is not responsible" and the warranty "does not apply if your Xbox One or accessory is repaired by anyone other than Microsoft." The letter to Hyundai took issue with a claim that said owners of its vehicles had to use Hyundai Genuine Parts to maintain their manufacturer or extended warranties.
In Hyundai's case the letter also stated, "In addition, claims by a warrantor that create a false impression that a warranty would be void due to the use of unauthorized parts or service may, apart from the Warranty Act, constitute a deceptive practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act."
The FTC has been making moves for a while now making it clear to manufacturers that rooting, repairing, or jailbreaking electronic devices like phones, tablets, and TVs isn’t illegal and doesn’t void the entire warranty for a device.