FTC warns six companies of illegal warranty stickers and practices


How many products have you bought that come with stickers proclaiming "warranty void if removed?" Those stickers are remarkably common despite being illegal here in the good ol' US of A since 1975. Last month, the FTC announced that it had alerted six companies that their warranty terms and conditions could be in violation of the law. More recently, the folks at Vice's Motherboard publication discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request that the six companies were Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Hyundai, HTC, and Asus.

The FTC says that the above-named companies' warranty terms could be in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. That's because the companies imply or outright state that users will lose their warranty coverage under various circumstances, like using third-party parts. That's not legal unless the companies give away the products or services required for the repair for free. The commission goes on to call out Sony, HTC, and Asus specifically for their use of "warranty void if removed" stickers, which are also illegal under the act.

The aforementioned companies were given 30 days from the original announcement (dated April 10) to make changes to their promotional and warranty materials. The FTC notes that failure to comply with the Magnuson-Moss act as well as the original FTC Act of 1914 may result in "law enforcement action."

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