[Automotive News](http://www.autonews.com/article/20150319/OEM11/150319823/bmw-settles-dispute-with-ftc-over-mini-warranties) reports that Federal regulators examining MINI’s warranty coverage have agreed on an outcome.The Federal Trade Commission charged that BMW’s MINI Division violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by telling consumers that BMW would void their warranty unless they used MINI parts and MINI dealers to perform maintenance and repair work. This has resulted in a settlement in which BMW will send notices to MINI owners to clarify any ambiguity. BMW claims that no complaints were received at MINI about the issue, but figured a settlement would be in the best interest of customers.
Under the agreement with the FTC, BMW is required to send notices to MINI owners telling them that using aftermarket parts using non-MINI service centers will not void their warranties.
The article suggests that from the FTC’s point of view, it isn’t clear whether customers complaining brought this about or whether the discrepancies were found by regulators another way, but as Automotive News states it, “A one-year gap between the three-year Mini Maintenance Program and the brand’s four-year warranty was a focal point of the dispute.”
“It’s against the law for a dealer to refuse to honor a warranty just because someone else did maintenance or repairs on the car,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As a result of this order, BMW will change its practices and give MINI owners information about their rights.”
Neither the Automotive News article nor the FTC releases are specific about which model years were considered part of the settlement, or whether the charges applied only to specific models, or all models of MINI vehicles, but the docket initially filed states, “Since at least 2002, Respondent’s MINI Division has offered purchasers of its new MINI passenger cars the “MINI Maintenance Program” (“Maintenance Program”), included automatically in the purchase of a MINI passenger car from a MINI dealer.” So this appears to impact nearly all MINIs sold in the U.S.
You can read the entire Automotive News article here.
The FTC press release is here.
The docket can be found here.