ERJ staff report (TB)
Tire Business staff report
Washington, DC -- Mazda North American Operations is violating federal law by demanding only Genuine Mazda Parts for maintenance and collision repairs, according to four automotive aftermarket associations.
The groups, including the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) made that charge in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Mazda issued a press release 12 Aug, recommending all repairs be performed with Genuine Mazda Parts â€œin order to provide an optimum level of performance, safety and durability.
â€œOnly Genuine Mazda Parts purchased from an authorized Mazda dealer are specifically covered by the Mazda warranty,â€ the release said. It went on to state that aftermarket parts â€œare generally made to a lower standard in order to cut costs and lack the testing required to determine their effectiveness in vehicle performance and safety.â€
TIA, AAIA, the Automotive Oil Change Association and the Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades sent a joint letter to the FTC 21 Oct. The Mazda letter, they said, was a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Act, which prohibits the conditioning of warranties to the use of original equipment parts.
There is no evidence backing Mazda's statements, the associations said.
â€œEvery day care owners or their service professionals use non-Mazda parts in the repair of their vehicle without any problem,â€ the groups wrote. â€œIn fact, many of these parts may have been produced by the very same factory that supplied the original component to Mazda-only the label on the box is different.â€
Last year, the aftermarket industry filed an identical complaint about Honda North America Inc., and the FTC failed to act, the associations said.
â€œIt appears that the absence of actionâ€¦is leading more and more car companies to not only engage in similar misleading tactics regarding the use of non-original equipment parts by consumers, but also to ratchet up the unlawful rhetoric,â€ the trade groups said. â€œImmediate action is needed to both protect consumers from Mazda in the short term, and to stop other auto makers from jumping on this anti-consumer bandwagon.â€
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Article from Tire Business (a Crain publication)