Manufacturer/Distributor Warranty

Can a manufacturer/distributor deny a warranty claim if manufacturer/distributor brand name oil was not used in the scooter and the motor malfunctions?

Depending on the exact wording in the warranty…yes they can deny.

How can they tell what kind of oil I use? Isn’t oil pretty much from the ground and after refinig they stick a lable on it and it could be any label?

Need more information…what vehicle.

In general NO they can NOT deny warranty.

What was the oil used??? What oil did the manufacturer specify??? Do they offer FREE oil changes???

Depending on the exact wording in the warranty…yes they can deny.

There are basically only two ways they can deny warranty.

  1. The wrong weight oil was used…But the OP just said brand name oil.
  2. If the manufacturer offers FREE oil changes.

What oil was specified in the manual (weight, etc)? What oil did you use? What make/model/year of scooter?

If they’re nitpicky enough they’ll want a sample to be tested. ( Ford has actualy required a fuel sample to be shipped off for testing in two instances I remember. )

And what about this?

Wouldn’t it be a violation of Federal Law under Moss -Magnuson Act?

Here’s a Brief overview:

Here’s the relevant passage;
“Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.”

Section 2302 ©
© Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer?s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if?
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.
The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefor.

In Simple terms,
A Mfgr cannot Demand that you use any specific BRAND of Product in order to keep your warranty valid.

So how about some details?
Type of scooter.
Oil specification, NOT brand name.
Mileage on the scooter.
Exactly what was this "motor malfunction:?

An air-cooled engine I presume so did you use oil that is applicable for an air-cooled?
There’s a number of reason why they can legitimately deny a warranty claim and at this point you have yet to provide one detail about the scooter or the problem.

I am a scooter/motorcycle dealer. I got a blanket email today from one of the distributors of scooters that I sell. The email stated that they are going to start selling their brand oil and that oil is what needs to be used in all of their scooters. If it is not used, and there is a motor malfunction, then the warranty claim will be denied because their oil was not used.

…And the plot thickens.

You may already have the ammo you need in that Moss-Magnuson act. If the manufacturer is not U.S. based they might be un-aware of our rules on the subject and your immediate communication with them is paramount.
Remind them of Moss-Magnusen.
Remind them of the wording in other warranty guideline manuals that includes the kicker “or equivilent” when naming required lubricants/chemicals.
Tell them what are using and how it meets or exceeds their specs.
Tell them to price it right if they insist on that demand or,
if possible, threaten to drop their brand from your store.
Group together with other dealers for a stronger voice.

This comes down to the legal agreements between you and the scooter distributor.

It’s all a bit murky here but if any motor oil meets the specs of the oil they’re trying to force on you then the warranty cannot be voided.

Of course, when push comes to shove there can be a wrestling match with the distributor, the customer, and you in the middle.

My memory is real fuzzy on this but it seems like at one time Harley Davidson Motor Company either stated flat out or strongly insinuated that use of a motor oil other than the HD branded stuff at 10 bucks or so a quart would void the warranty.
They could not enforce this.

Going along with texases here, the dist. may very well have a say-so on what oil you sell or use at your place of business. Outside of that business. they have no say-so about what oil the customer can use. After that it gets a bit murky.

Why are you asking us? Contact your attorney. The cost may be high enough that you will lose money servicing these scooters, so your attorney is the first place to start. You may also want to contact other dealers you know for the same brand and see what they are doing.

[i] There are basically only two ways they can deny warranty.

  1. The wrong weight oil was used…But the OP just said brand name oil.

  2. If the manufacturer offers FREE oil changes.

    That is not wrong weight, that should be any oil not meeting their specifications, of which weight is only a part of it.

Are they denying warranty?

“How can they tell what kind of oil I use?”

They will have purchase records. If you don’t buy oil from them, they won’t have any invoices.

That is not wrong weight, that should be any oil not meeting their specifications

And could you show me the oil that DOESN’T meet ALL manufacturers specifications?? I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t.

I’d be very surprised if that is legal. Someone here I’m sure knows…But there was a law suit about 30 years ago brought against one of the Big-Four for them denying coverage of warranty on their engines if they didn’t use OEM parts (i.e. Oil Filters). What came out of this law suit was a law basically saying that the Manufacturer has the right to deny a claim IF-AND-ONLY-IF they offer that part for FREE. If they do NOT offer that part for free and the aftermarket part meets or exceeds the manufacturers requirements the manufacturer can NOT deny the claim. BMW requires their engines to use Castrol oil or they’ll deny any warranty claim…HOWEVER they offer FREE oil changes while the car is under warranty.