FTC Sues Westinghouse, Harley-Davidson over Right-to-Repair

Cozen O'Connor
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  • The FTC filed complaints and proposed consent orders to resolve allegations that motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, LLC and Westinghouse outdoor generator maker MWE Investments, LLC (“Westinghouse”) illegally restricted the right of customers to repair purchased products.
  • The complaints against both Westinghouse and Harley-Davidson allege the companies’ warranties improperly specified that using independent dealers for repairs rendered the warranty void, in violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and the FTC Act. In addition, the FTC alleged that Harley-Davidson violated the Disclosure Rule when it required consumers to contact an authorized dealer for warranty details rather than providing all necessary details in a single document.
  • Under the proposed consent orders, both companies are prohibited from further violations of the Warranty Act and from telling consumers that their warranties will be voided if they use third-party services or parts to repair a product. In addition, Harley Davidson is prohibited from further violations of the Disclosure Rule.  The consent agreements further require that both companies add specific language to warranties informing consumers of their right to use third-party repair shops or parts, and send and post notices for consumers informing them of this right. Finally, both companies will be required to direct authorized dealers to remove display materials and train employees not to unfairly promote branded parts and dealers.
  • The public comment period for the consent agreement package will run through July 22, 2022, after which the FTC will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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