Vehicle Warranties & Third-Party GPS Devices

Throughout the course of a vehicle’s life, regularly scheduled maintenance, or even non-scheduled maintenance/repair can become a burden, specifically when it comes to shop technicians refusing to work with the vehicle due to the installed GPS devices. Technicians may refuse to work with a vehicle altogether due to a third-party device installation, claiming the device voids the vehicle’s warranty or immediately placing blame in that the device is directly tied to the reported malfunction of the vehicle without ever performing the necessary troubleshooting.

The below information is given to help prevent these incidents from occurring altogether, or ultimately provide enough information to the shop/mechanic that enables them to work on the vehicle as needed without requiring the immediate removal or blame of an installed GPS device.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

In 1975 the US government enacted the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, for which one of the specific purposes was to curtail instances where warrantors/vendors were requiring only their branded parts be used within their product, otherwise, the warranty was voided.

The passing of this act ensures that warrantors, or car manufacturers in our use-case, cannot require that only branded parts be used with their product in order to retain the warranty and that if a third party item is used then the full examination of the product is still required when troubleshooting or repairing a defect, failure, or other malfunction.

In this instance, if a GPS device is identified as being installed in a vehicle that’s malfunctioning, or needing service, then that technician is still required to perform that service to the best of their ability, all while leaving the GPS device untouched.

Vehicle Issue Validation

Some manufacturers, like GM, instruct technicians to validate if the issue reported of the vehicle is caused by the third party device or not. If a technician truly believes that the GPS device is causing the issue, then validation can be performed by attempting to duplicate the issue with the device both installed and then uninstalled. It is specifically called out that only “if on the rare occasion [vehicle] parts appear to have been damaged by the [third party] device or the installation of the [third party] device, this would not be a defect covered under the… Limited Warranty.”

It is extremely rare that a GPS device can cause defects or malfunctions within a vehicle, however if the instance arises then please be sure to contact GPS Insight’s Support Team and they can help navigate and resolve the issue. Per our terms & conditions, if GPS Insight is unable to resolve the issue remotely and determines it was the result of an improper installation by the Installer, GPS Insight will schedule a technician to correct such installation under our standard installation warranty.

Ultimately, the information above should help inform and provide guidance for if/when there ever comes an instance where a vehicle is refused service due to a GPS device being installed.