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Old 06-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Warranty work after modifications

I have a 2010 JK Sahara with 6k miles on it I just purchased. It came with a 4" lift, 35 tires, and a new Smitty Built bumper with winch. I took it to the shop today to fix a loose headlight as it would not pass Virginia inspection. The dealer told me they will not fix the head light under warranty as it has modifications such as the lift. This seems ridiculous and should have nothing to do with the lift or putting the bumper on. I already paid them and all they gave me was 15% off which only got it down to 400.00 for 2hrs worth of work.

Do I have a case? I do plan on calling the dealer back but wanted to collect some additional data from the forum first.

thanks

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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Assuming none of the mods had any effect in the headlight, your instinct is correct.

Google "jeep owners," go to the official website, and download a copy of your warranty booklet. It's short and surprisingly straight forward.

If you read it, you'll learn that your warranty applies to your jeep as it left the factory. If you change something--like a new bumper--that new bumper won't be covered. This makes sense of course, as why would Chrysler provide a warranty for a Smittybilt bumper? Smittybilt would cover it with their warranty, but Chrysler would not.

All the original equipment on your jeep will remain covered by Chrysler after you swap your bumper (or coils/shocks/whatever) EXCEPT things damaged by the change you made. For example, if you put in 4" coil spacers, I guarantee you that the boot seal on your driveshaft would shred and need to be replaced. Chrysler would not be obligated to cover that under warranty (even though it's a Chrysler drive shaft) because the modification you made in fact caused the damage.

Almost nothing except odometer tampering outright "voids" your entire warranty. It's a piece-by-piece issue, not a total voidness issue.

So, in short, all original equipment on your jeep is covered unless you make a change that damages it.

That said, you may want to just go to another dealer. They should want warranty work, not want to avoid it.

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:08 PM   #3
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Yep dealerships actually LOVE warranty work because they get money for it from the company who makes the car and supplies the warranty i.e. Chrysler.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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Study up on the Magnusson-Moss Act (Federal Law passed in 1975) and then approach your dealer again. If they still give you a hard time, find another dealer. There are still dealers who either ignore the law or just don't understand it.


Nearly everyone has heard about someone who has taken a vehicle that has been modified with aftermarket parts to a dealer for warranty service, only to have the dealer refuse to cover the defective items. The dealer usually states that because of the aftermarket parts the warranty is void, without even attempting to determine whether the aftermarket part caused the problem.
This is illegal.
Vehicle manufacturers are not allowed to void the vehicle warranty just because aftermarket parts are on the vehicle. To better understand this problem it is best to know the differences between the two types of new car warranties and the two types of emission warranties.
When a vehicle is purchased new and the owner is protected against the faults that may occur by an expressed warranty - an offer by the manufacturer to assume the responsibility for problems with predetermined parts during a stated period of time. Beyond the expressed warranty, the vehicle manufacturer is often held responsible for further implied warranties. These state that a manufactured product should meet certain standards. However, in both cases, the mere presence of aftermarket parts doesn't void the warranty.
There are also two emission warranties (defect and performance) required under the clean air act. The defect warranty requires the manufacturer to produce a vehicle which, at the time of sale, is free of defects that would cause it to not meet the required emission levels for it's useful life as defined in the law. The performance warranty implies a vehicle must maintain certain levels of emission performance over it's useful life. If the vehicle fails to meet the performance warranty requirements, the manufacturer must make repairs at no cost to the owner, even if an aftermarket part is directly responsible for a warranty claim, the vehicle manufacturer cannot void the performance warranty. This protection is the result of a parts self - certification program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
In cases where such a failed aftermarket part is responsible for a warranty claim, the vehicle manufacturer must arrange a settlement with the consumer, but by law the new - vehicle warranty is not voided.
Overall, the laws governing warranties are very clear. The only time a new vehicle warranty can be voided is if an aftermarket part has been installed and it can be proven that it is responsible for an emission warranty claim. However, a vehicle manufacturer or dealership cannot void a warranty simply because an an aftermarket equipment has been installed on a vehicle.
If a dealership denies a warranty claim and you think the claim falls under the rules explained above concerning the clean air act (such as an emission part failure), obtain a written explanation of the dealers refusal. Then follow the steps outlined in the owners manual. However, if this fails, then phone your complaint in to the EPA at (202) 233-9040 or (202) 326-9100.
If a dealer denies a warranty claim involving an implied or expressed new car warranty and you would like help, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, you can call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the online complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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You can aim the headlights with just a torx wrench and about 2 mins. very easy to do. Unless something was actually broken on the headlight, they pretty much corn-holed ya. Sorry.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #6
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I am playing the devil's advocate here, but wouldn't the 4" inch lift cause the lights to be aimed to high and no longer at the same height as when they left the factory thus violating the manufacture warranty.

I am not saying I agree with my statement I just think this is something the dealer might bring up and you should be prepared to argue this.

Good luck!!
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadampowell
I am playing the devil's advocate here, but wouldn't the 4" inch lift cause the lights to be aimed to high and no longer at the same height as when they left the factory thus violating the manufacture warranty.

I am not saying I agree with my statement I just think this is something the dealer might bring up and you should be prepared to argue this.

Good luck!!
Lifting a jeep does not affect the aim of the headlamp in any way.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses. I call the 800-541-4612 Jeep/Chrysler number and opened a case stating I felt the warranty work was erroneously denied. They stated someone would contact me in the next 48hrs to discuss.

As for the headlight issue, the bucket which holds the headlight in place was broken somehow. It was still intact and not falling out but you could push the top of the headlight in. The headlight was pointing higher due to the broken headlight. The dealer indicated "these things don't just break" stating someone probably bumped into it when putting on the bumper. That is a stretch.

I will repost once I find out what Chrysler tells me.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:42 AM   #9
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Lifting a jeep does not affect the aim of the headlamp in any way.
So if the headlights are now 4" higher you're saying they are going to self correct and aim 4" lower as opposed to directly in the eyes of oncoming traffic?
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:44 AM   #10
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Yep dealerships actually LOVE warranty work because they get money for it from the company who makes the car and supplies the warranty i.e. Chrysler.
Yes and no. They love cut and dried cases and the chance to get you to do other things like flush your brake lines, change your diff fluid and clean your throttle body.

They also run the risk of not getting paid if Chrys;er denies the claim. Instead of being proactive and checking some will be lazy and jusy deny it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:06 AM   #11
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Magnusson-Moss Act to play the other side of the coin the lift and bigger tires may cause more wobble/shake in the chassis while driving and shake nuts/bolts loose. BUT like someone else said find a mod-friendly dealer lots of them out there. If you were having a problem with a diff, or u-joint and have a lift they can make a good arguement that it was caused from the lift, but if you have a problem with your door handle they would have a tough time backing that one up. Because the law also states that they have to prove that the mods you have were some way caused the problem you are having.

You will find a dealer that will do the repairs, as mentioned above they get paid for doing repairs you should be able to find someone to do them. Hopefully there is not some form of notation in you cars "file" on the computer that will have marked your vehicle.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by quiver69 View Post
As for the headlight issue, the bucket which holds the headlight in place was broken somehow. It was still intact and not falling out but you could push the top of the headlight in. The headlight was pointing higher due to the broken headlight. The dealer indicated "these things don't just break" stating someone probably bumped into it when putting on the bumper.
See, to me, what the dealer is really saying here is not that your warranty is "void" or some such thing, but merely that this is simply not a warranty issue.

The dealer isn't really saying that your mods "caused" the damage, at least not in the sense that a lift could cause driveshaft problems. Or that your bumper is causing spring sag.

Rather, the dealer is saying that you BROKE something, and that is not a warranty issue. The fact that it may have broken while making a modification is really beside the point. If for example an open pocket knift in my back pocket punctures my seat fabric, that won't be fixed under warranty.

The dealer does have a point about things like this not typically "just breaking." Are you certain it didn't come like this from the dealer to begin with? Assuming it did not, were you there during the bumper install? The dealer could be right.

Regardless of whether it was the bumper install that broke it, so long as it wasn't broken when you got it from the dealer and so long as whatever did break it was substantial enough to be reasonably expected to break a headlight, then this may be on you or your auto insurance.

For all you know, somebody leaned into it in the Home Depot parking lot while trying to load concrete into their vehicle. That wouldn't be a warranty issue.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:28 AM   #13
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Lights are considered a wear item like belts, and brakes and stuff, aren't they? Not covered by warranty anyway.....
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:17 AM   #14
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Lights are considered a wear item like belts, and brakes and stuff, aren't they? Not covered by warranty anyway.....
I would think that would be more the bulbs themselves, not so much the housings. If I'm not mistaken, those should be covered under the electrical system warranty. If the housing was broken though, like MTH said, that would generally be considered abuse and not covered under any warranty.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #15
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I think you might have a hard time proving that a broke housing is a factory defect and not caused from an accident. Not saying it isn't a factory defect but proving it may be real hard. This may be more of an insurance claim then a warranty claim

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