FTC Warns Microsoft, Nintendo, And Sony About Warranty-Voiding Restrictions

Turns out your warranty isn't void after all.

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The Federal Trade Commission has warned several companies, including Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, that its warnings against third-party repair are illegal. Motherboard reports that the stickers you may have seen on your own console tells users that third-party repair or opening your own console voids the warranty, but that policy is actually illegal.

A Freedom of Information Act request from Motherboard found six companies were sent letters on April 9. Those were the three major console manufacturers, along with HTC, Asus, and Hyundai. According to the letter, the companies have 30 days to change their warranty policies on their websites, and if they fail to comply the FTC may take legal action.

"Warranty language that implies to a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances that warranty coverage requires the consumer to purchase an article or service identified by brand, trade or corporate name is similarly deceptive and prohibited," the letters reportedly said.

The letters cite specific language that violates the law, and in the case of the PlayStation 4, warns against using a sticker as a "seal" to prevent users from opening up the console. This method was also used by HTC and Asus, and the FTC says it is "particularly concerned" about it.

Specifically, the FTC is citing the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which disallows repair restrictions on warranties for any manufacturer charging more than $5 for a product. One company that is conspicuously absent from these warning letters was Apple, which is also known to steer customers away from third-party repair.

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