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Comments sought on Magnuson-Moss Act

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is calling for public comment on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a move likely to stimulate debate about GM's DEXOS1.

The call comes as "part of its systematic review of all Federal Trade Commission rules and guides", according to the FTC.  However, the timing is unlikely to be coincidental given the pressure the FTC has come under to review the Act from lubes manufacturers and trade bodies.

17_100_dexos1_icon_for_exclusive_branding - Peter B - peterbThe Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal in the US for purchasers of warranted products to be forced to purchase specific after-sales branded products or services to maintain the validity of the warranty.

The launch of GM's DEXOS1 oil specification last year has been questioned by a number of auto lube producers, including Valvoline, as well as trade bodies such as ILMA in relation to its compliance with the Act.  GM charges a licence fee for lubricants to be approved to carry the DEXOS1 logo and questions have been raised, amongst others, about the wording of GM literature to consumers relating to warranty invalidation if DEXOS1 products are not used.

As reported by George Gill, ILMA's General Counsel Jeffrey Leiter stated the approach by GM to DEXOS was "using the intellectual preoprt rights to inhibit competition and also consumer choice."

Submissions to the FTC must be completed by 24 October 2011.

Tags: Dexos, Environment and Regulatory watch, Lubricants, N America

Published 14th September, 2011

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