In Safety

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (MMWA), 15 U.S.C. §2302(c), which prohibits automakers from conditioning warranty coverage on the use of brand products and services unless those products and services are given to you free of charge. It is the automaker’s burden to prove any non-automaker part or service caused any alleged damage. Mere presence of an aftermarket part or service sticker cannot serve as the basis for warranty denial.

You have warranty rights, but the FTC won’t investigate violations unless they hear from you.

Similarly, if your vehicle exhibits any engine defect symptoms such as stalling, knocking, shaking, shuddering, malfunction indicator lights, and/or excessive oil consumption, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) needs to know about it. That’s right—they need to know because their ability to recognize engine defects depends on receiving enough consumer complaints.

Over the past few years, Hyundai and Kia Motor Companies have acknowledged that (1) so-called “severe” driving conditions are actually common; (2) excessive engine oil consumption affects many of their engines, although up to 1 quart burned per 1,000 miles is acceptable to them; and (3) rod bearing-related problems that can cause catastrophic engine failure must be considered in hundreds of models. If a rod breaks and punctures the engine block, oil drains out of the engine as if the oil drain plug fell out.


See; Hyundai TSB 21-EM-003H (March 2021); Hyundai TSB 21-EM-004H (March 2021); Kia TSB 222 (Rev. 3, September 2021); Kia TSB 219 (July 2020); and NHTSA Recall 21V727 (September 17, 2021), NHTSA Recall 21V301 (April 28, 2021), NHTSA Recall 20V746 (December 1, 2020), NHTSA Recall 17V226 (March 31, 2017), NHTSA Recall 15V568 (September 10, 2015), KIA Safety Recall Campaign SC209 (Rev 2, 06/24/2021), NHTSA Recall 20V-750 (December 2, 2020), NHTSA Recall 19V120 (February 22, 2019), and NHTSA Recall 17V224 (March 31, 2017).


Additionally, many Hyundai and Kia vehicles come equipped with a potential oil drain pan assembly defect. Specifically, the original assembly may be factory-painted where the factory gasket and drain plug are painted together onto the pan.  This camouflages the factory gasket, which increases the risk that your oil drain pan may be double-gasketed at some point which then creates the potential for your oil drain plug to loosen especially when the engine defect symptoms listed above occur. Properly torqued oil drain plugs simply don’t fall out thousands of miles post-service absent other significant factors.

If any automaker or authorized dealer tries to void your warranty due to an aftermarket part or service, protect yourself by requiring them to provide their denial in writing. Remember, the MMWA prohibits them from making knee-jerk warranty denials over aftermarket parts and services. They must prove the cause of any alleged engine damage, which generally requires an engine tear-down. If they’ve done that necessary forensic work, then putting the details in writing is no problem. If they refuse, beware.


Report MMWA violations to the FTC at

Report defective engine symptoms to NHTSA at


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