Harley Davidson Motorcycles

FTC Vs. Harley Davidson: What Voids the Harley Davidson Warranty?

FTC Vs. Harley Davidson: What Voids the Harley Davidson Warranty?

Harley Davidson has been the most loved and successful motorcycle brand in the U.S. since its introduction in 1903. Despite the tough competition in the American motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson motorcycles continue to impress and thrive in the market with their traditional looks and modern performances. Harley Davidson enjoys a massive fan base, both in local and international markets. Despite being high-priced due to high production costs, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the most common two-wheelers on American roads and highways. Being one of the best and largest motorcycle manufacturers in the U.S., the company offers several services to support its customers. One of the most significant selling points of Harley Davidson is its extended warranty that covers most breakdowns, repairs, and replacements of parts free of cost. However, most riders who love customizing their motorcycles unknowingly lose the official warranty due to installing aftermarket parts for performance and power gain. Continue reading this article if you want to learn what voids the Harley Davidson warranty.

1. What is a Warranty?

As per the legal definition, a warranty is an official promise or assurance provided by the manufacturer to ensure the right of the customer to repair, maintain, or replace the product/part if necessary within a specific time frame.

2. Harley Davidson’s Limited Warranty

Harley Davidson provides a limited 2-year warranty. If you purchase a new Harley Davidson motorcycle, the manufacturer will be liable for any repair and other mechanical issues that may arise within the first two years. The 2-year warranty stays valid even if you have covered 100,000 miles before the end of the 24th month. You can visit any authorized Harley-Davidson dealership to claim your warranty. The Harley Davidson limited warranty covers everything from fender-to-fender (a term used to describe a motorcycle warranty that covers every motorcycle part) if there is any defect related to craftsmanship and material.

3. Does Installing an Aftermarket Part Void the Harley Davidson Warranty?

3.1 The Legal Dispute between Harley Davidson and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Over the Warranty

Last year, Harley Davidson was sued over the issue of non-compliance with the right to repair (warranty). After carefully investigating the owner’s manual and Harley Davidson policies, it was found that the company had not clearly explained the warranty clauses and had hidden several important pieces of information. After the clear interpretation of the warranty clauses, it became clear that Harley Davidson would not be providing repairs for new under-warranty Harley motorcycles that featured aftermarket parts installed by third parties. The warranty will remain valid only if the owner installs the original equipment and parts made by the company.

The Legal Dispute between Harley Davidson and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Over the Warranty
Photo credit: @Reboot Hub

In light of the findings, the FTC directed Harley Davidson to continue the warranty even if the motorcycle owner customizes the motorcycle with third-party aftermarket parts.

Harley Davidson applied this business tactic to improve its sales by compelling owners to visit dealers or mechanic shops affiliated with the company to avoid getting the warranty nullified. As a result of this, Harley owners had to spend more money if they wanted to customize or tune their motorcycles for better performance.

As per the report by Reuters, Harley Davidson was accused of using shady practices to void the official warranty. The company also did not disclose its full warranty details to its customers and directed them to dealers in case they require full warranty details.

After the legal dispute and FTC directions, Harley Davidson has made several changes to the warranty clauses. The company is directed not to mention vague clauses in the Warranty document and section. Using aftermarket parts of third parties (unauthorized H-D dealers and service providers) will not void the official warranty.

3.2 Violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by Harley Davidson

As per the findings of the case between FTC and Harley Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer was found guilty of violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which states:

The manufacturer will not urge the consumers to buy only the original equipment and parts made by the manufacturer and make any repair or replacement of motorcycle parts from third-party companies or service centers by threatening them to void their warranty.

3.3 The Disclosure of FTC and H-D Agreement and Provision of Warranty Clauses to Owners

As per the FTC, the company is allowed to mention the following clauses on the warranty document and owner manual:

  • Harley Davidson is bound to convey all the warranty clauses and the agreement between the FTC and H-D at the time of purchase of a Harley motorcycle under warranty.
  • The company must also provide the official warranty document to the owner of the H-D motorcycle.

3.4 What Voids the Harley Davidson Warranty?

Along with several restrictions being imposed on Harley Davidson, the FTC also allowed the company to inform riders what voids the Harley Davidson warranty. These include:

  • Harley Davidson can deny the warranty claims of motorcycles that are modified with unlicensed aftermarket parts labeled as hazardous for the environment and are prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air and Resources Board (CARB).
  • Harley Davidson holds the right to void the warranty if the motorcycle is modified with unauthorized aftermarket parts for unaccredited use of the H-D motorcycle.
  • If the damage done to the Harley Davidson motorcycle under warranty is caused due to being used in sports racing or competitions, it will void the H-D warranty.
  • Harley Davidson has the authority to void the warranty if the installation of bad-quality unauthorized aftermarket parts causes damage or defects to the engine or motorcycle.

3.5 Outcomes of the Agreement between FTC and Harley Davidson

As a result of the findings and agreement between FTC and Harley Davidson, H-D owners can now customize their motorcycles with aftermarket parts and they can also make repairs by themselves if they are expert enough. Now, you can save a lot of money by learning how to do basic repair and maintenance tasks by yourself.

Using good-quality aftermarket parts is important to keep your Harley Davidson Limited Warranty intact. If you love to go on long-distance rides and cross-country tours on your motorcycle, Viking Bags can help you transform your motorcycle into an ideal touring machine. You can find a wide variety of high-quality motorcycle parts, including fairings, sissy bars, backrests, crash bars, cushioned seats, and touring-oriented handlebars. If you are looking for the best-quality motorcycle luggage bags that fit perfectly on your motorcycle, make sure to visit Viking Bags’ online store. The luggage options include saddlebags, motorcycle trunk bags, tank bags, sissy bar bags, and tool bags.

4. The Bottom Line

Harley Davidson is no longer permitted to void the official H-D limited warranty if the owner installs an aftermarket part or gets the motorcycle repaired by a third-party service center. The agreement between the FTC and Harley Davidson is a good step that allows riders to customize and repair their motorcycles by themselves if they have adequate knowledge and proper tools. However, there are still certain conditions imposed by the manufacturer as directed by the FTC that can void the official limited warranty. The warranty can be avoided if the rider customizes the motorcycle with unauthorized bad-quality aftermarket parts, modifies the motorcycle for sports racing and competition, and installs an unlicensed aftermarket part prohibited by the the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air and Resources Board (CARB). Make sure to ride safely and be a responsible rider!

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