By Dean Seal

 

The Federal Trade Commission filed administrative complaints against Harley-Davidson Inc. and the company that sells Westinghouse-brand power products for voiding warranties when customers use independent dealers for parts and repairs.

The consumer protection watchdog said Thursday that Harley-Davidson and MWE Investments LLC, the operator of Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment, have agreed to settle claims that they used warranties to illegally restrict customers' rights to repair their purchased products.

The FTC further alleged that Harley-Davidson failed to fully disclose the terms of its warranty in a single document, forcing consumers to contact an authorized dealership if they wanted to know the full extent of their coverage.

The agency said it is ordering the companies to remove those terms from their warranties and clearly state that using third-party parts or repair services won't void their warranties.

Samuel Levine, head of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the consent orders require the companies to "come clean with consumers and ensure fair competition with independent providers."

"Other companies that squelch consumers' right to repair should take notice," he said Thursday.

An attorney for MWE Investments said the company worked cooperatively with the FTC.

"MWE Investments thanks the FTC for agreeing to include specific language in the decision and order that recognizes the critical importance of portable generator safety systems," the company said.

Harley Davidson didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday.

 

Write to Dean Seal at dean.seal@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 23, 2022 12:51 ET (16:51 GMT)

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