FTC Approves Final Consent Order Against BMW of North America

Share This Page

For Your Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order against BMW of North America LLC, whose MINI Division allegedly 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.

In March 2015, BMW agreed to settle FTC charges that, through its MINI Division, it violated a Warranty Act provision that prohibits companies from requiring consumers – in order to maintain their warranties – to use specific brands of parts or specified service centers, unless the part or service is provided to the consumer without charge.

The consent order, which will remain in effect for 20 years, prohibits BMW from violating the Warranty Act regarding any MINI Division good or service. It also:

  • bars BMW, regarding the sale of any MINI Division good or service, from representing that, to ensure a vehicle’s safe operation or maintain its value, owners must have routine maintenance done only by MINI dealers or MINI centers, unless BMW can substantiate the representation with competent and reliable scientific evidence; or misrepresenting any material fact about warranty or maintenance requirements of any good or service; and
  • requires BMW to notify affected MINI owners of their right to use third-party parts and service without voiding warranty coverage, unless BMW provides such parts or service for free.  BMW is also required to post the notice on its miniusa.com website.

The Commission vote approving the final consent order and letters to commenters was 4-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2674

STAFF CONTACT:
Svetlana Gans
Division of Marketing Practices
202-326-3708