[Earlier this month, Jerry Gaddis owner of GreenHulk.net, the world’s most popular PWC performance forum addressed some key issues pertaining to modifying new PWC and its relation to maintaining and/or voiding factory warranties. His article has been reproduced here (with minor edits) with his permission. – Ed.]
This is a topic I see come up all the time both on Facebook and here on the GreenHulk.net forum, so I decided to make a post to provide accurate information and dispel some myths associated with installing modifications and voiding warranty.
There is a huge misconception that if you install a modification on your ski you void your warranty. This is simply not true. I hear guys saying they are scared to even install an intake grate because the dealer told them it will void their warranty. Not true! I hear others saying, “Once my warranty is expired I will install an air intake kit.” Well, guess what guys? An air intake kit is not going to void your entire warranty.
How many of you had dealers tell you that you must bring your ski to them for maintenance work, otherwise you risk voiding your ski’s warranty? This is absolutely not true, and more importantly, illegal. Thankfully, there is a law protecting consumers called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states that for your dealer to deny warranty coverage on a failed item it must be determined that the modification actually caused the failure. It also states that you can do your own maintenance work.
Let’s say you install an air intake kit on your ski, or an intercooler, or an intake manifold upgrade and your instrument cluster goes out, or you have a sensor go bad, or you have a trim piece break. There is no way possible that an air intake, intercooler, or an intake manifold upgrade would have caused any of those failures, so your dealer cannot deny warranty coverage on that failed item. In fact, it’s illegal for them to do so, as per the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that protects us.
Let’s say you heavily modify your ski, tune the ECU, install many supporting mods and run the engine at 9,000rpm day in and day out, and you get some bad fuel on the water one day and you end up detonating your motor. Well, you can bet your dealer is going to deny warranty coverage to fix your motor, but you do not lose your entire ski’s warranty. If your steering breaks, instrument cluster goes out, trim piece fails, sensor fails, etc., those items would still be covered.
Basically, for an item to not be covered under warranty it would have to be determined that the modification caused the failure. I consulted with Brian at RIVA Racing, who is their tech support representative and asked him about a modification voiding warranty and this is what he had to say about it:
“Whether or not any modification to your craft voids the warranty can only be determined by the manufacturer. In most cases that means that the servicing dealer determines what constitutes a warrantable repair. If any modification to a craft causes a failure it can be ground for denying a repair under warranty. For this reason at RIVA we thoroughly test all of our products before they are released to the public. Any systems unaffected by a modification are still covered by the OEM warranty.
“For example, a reflash in the ECU will not cause a failure of the steering system or the hull to crack. Note also that warranty repair should only be denied if the modification caused the failure. Any failures caused by a defect in the original parts or manufacture are still warrantable under the express terms of the OEM manufacture’s warranty.”
There’s lots of great info on the internet regarding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and I encourage you to do your own research.
This particular video stood out to me as Rich from K&N talks about warranty and the Magnuson-Moss act. As many of you already know, we use K&N filters in many of the air intake kits available for our PWC applications. See below:
This is another very informative, but long video explaining the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. See below:
I hope this information helps you and keeps you from being taken advantage of by a dealer. Knowledge is power, use it to your advantage!