We often hear something like “the manufacturer said if I install an after-market attachment it will void my warranty”.
Is this true? The answer is no!
Under Australian Consumer Law most purchases under $40,000 have a mandatory consumer guarantee. Manufacturer warranties are separate to the consumer guarantee which manufacturers cannot cancel.
The consumer guarantee provides a set of requirements including the product is:
- Of acceptable quality;
- Durable and lasting (unless a consumable item);
- Free of defects for a reasonable period of time (depending upon the item); and
- Does all the things normally expected of the product.
Defects will entitle the consumer to repair, replacement or refund.
Returning to the manufacturer’s warranty, even if you fit an after-market attachment the manufacturer would still have honour all parts of their warranty not affected by the after-market attachment.
Let’s consider a case where a farmer installs an after-market roll-over protection (ROP) device on a quadbike. The manufacturer cannot void the entire warranty but would still have to support all defects or faults not affected by the roll-over device.
Only Voids Warranty if Negative Consequences of Attachment
For example, the engine, lights, controls and steering are unlikely to be affected by a roll-over device. However, if the attachment causes the vehicle to be over-loaded or higher centre of gravity (unstable) the manufacturer could reasonably avoid liability for things it affects, such as excessive wear on tyres or suspension, or body damage if the higher vehicle tips over.