Lift Kit Voids Warranty For 2016 Chevrolet Silverado Despite Being Installed By Dealer37
It’s not uncommon for owners to take to personalizing their new vehicles with a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories. And as the pickup truck segment continues to boom, trucks are a major source for aftermarket goodies.
According to Torque News, an owner of a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado decided a lift kit would suit his fancy, choosing a BDS six-inch lift kit. After selecting the kit, he brought the 2016 Silverado to his local dealer for installation to ensure the warranty would not be voided by going elsewhere. However, that wouldn’t be the case.
After hitting a bump while off-roading the Silverado, the side curtain air bags went off. Upon taking the Silverado in for service, the dealer denied the warranty claim due to aftermarket parts being installed. Seems fishy on the surface, but the warranty contract’s fine print allows it.
The six-inch lift from the aftermarket kit raised the 2016 Silverado’s center of gravity. According to the owner, the computer now registers a rollover crash due to the kit.
Moral of the story? Factory accessories and parts are your best friend if you truly care about keeping the factory warranty in tact.
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I say this all the time….
How on Earth would that help this guy? GM would still deny the warranty claim.
I think we should direct sales of the vehicles. if they dealers didn’t have protectionist laws to kill direct sales of cars we cut out the pain and aggravation of dealing with car sales people and save a lot of money. One day we will have the option, it will take more new players like Tesla to make the industry join the 21st century.
What’s the story with the trucks with lift kits on dealers lots. Brand new trucks. Do they not come with a warranty?
Those might be warrantied just through that dealership since it is a private dealer installed package, not a GM approved packaged.
There the dealership is under an obligation to inform the customer that the new truck may lose its warranty. If they do not, the dealer would be liable for not informing the customer that the dealer-installed part could compromise the warranty.
Then again, if it’s a GM approved package, the warranty is still intact.
I need to caution that I meant by “GM approved” that is in regarding warranty status. GM Parts will tell you which kits are approved to retain the warranty… and which aren’t.
Even if it isn’t approved, aftermarket OEMs suspension cannot void the original warranty (though it can immediately void extended warranties), it just give GM grounds to argue later that the suspension did void the warranty when a situation arises. See below for more details on Magnuson-Moss.
Just because it’s dealer installed doesnt mean sh*t. You’ve significantly altered the factory vehicle. From suspension, to drivetrain, to even breaking characteristic and additional wear is affected. GM can’t warranty that.
You go aftermarket and assume the risk.
Braking, not Breaking. Although in this guys case Breaking might be appropriate.
Is this news? Why would a warranty cover just because you bought an aftermarket suspension somewhere and had the dealer install it?
This is the big deal with OEM Accessories- that they retain the warranty. If you care about the warranty, go OEM. If you go aftermarket, its outside of the dealer’s control so of course your warranty isn’t valid.
As I expand in my post below, you have to check. OEM does not always equal warranty-preserving.
Even Mopar’s 2-inch lift for Ram 1500 trucks states in the warranty information that any damage caused by the parts may not be covered:
“The addition of performance parts does not by itself void a vehicle’s warranty. However, added performance parts (parts not originally supplied on the vehicle from the factory) are not covered by the vehicle’s warranty, and any failure that they may cause is also not covered by the vehicle’s warranty.”
Per the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, GM still has to establish that the aftermarket suspension caused the airbag deployment, at least, to a more-likely-than-not degree.
Note that this does not apply to extended service contracts or extended warranties.
Factory performance/suspension parts can also void the warranty. Mopar makes that very clear. GM used to at least clarify which performance parts kept the warranty intact, such as the Stage 2 tunes in the 2000’s.
Ugh. I wish people would stop regurgitating this. The burden of proof is not on the manufacture. Don’t agree, take them to court and good luck.
Show me where in Magnuson-Moss that burden is put on the consumer.
Seriously. I’d like to see you cite a source. I have the plain text of the bill to back me. Don’t just spread FUD with “take them to court and good luck” – back up your opinion with statute if you’re challenging a widely held view – a view that by your own admission is widely held.
GM has performance upgrades that when dealer installed do not drop warranty, but they also have items that will. But like someone mentioned it is clearly stated in the catalog. Now an aftermarket part installed by the dealer, the dealer is at fault they should of either denied to perform the work or create a signed contract stating the parts would void the warranty.
Well, maybe. Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware, is the law of the land. There’s no law that a dealer has to have you sign a document saying that your warranty is void. That being said, it really hurts them if they don’t. The dealer then has to argue that they either verbally advised the customer, or that the customer should have known the warranty is void.
The customer in this situation probably should file a small claims suit against the dealership and GM as joint and inseverable, and let the court decide who is liable for what.
Well here is the deal here.
After market parts do not void the warranty unless they are show to have been a direct cause of that failure. In this case a lift has been since the arrival of air bags as been listed as one item that can and will affect the deployment of an air bag system.
This is not anything new as most lift companies sell the kits with the quiet disclaimer that this could make a problem for the air restraints.
GM is not liable for anything that is caused by an outside part or force. If that were the case if you hit a brick wall would you blame them for paint failure?
GM has their own SPO parts that have been tested to ensure they do not void any warranty. You use them as long as they are road rated you are safe.
You used aftermarket and if it is proven that it caused the failure it can be held against you. But with that said if it is a failure and it is not directly linked to the failure say air bag failure because you put step bars on the dealer is not going to hold that against you. The fact is most dealers are generally fair as is GM on these things.
As for the aftermarket modified trucks the dealers and the company that modified it are generally doing the warranty work. If it is related to the lift the custom company will take the hit and if it is just a failure of say a wiper motor the dealer will deal with it.
GM also will make wavers for some suppliers as like on the Fiero for 4 years GM offered the T top option as a Dealer installed option. That means the dealer could send the Car to Cars and Concepts the T top maker to have it installed. The car could be sold with a full warranty. In 1988 GM just sent the cars to Cars and Concepts and had the same T top installed still with a full warranty.
Generally any of these issues are covered in Warranty info in the owners manual, or paperwork that accompanies the dealer sold item. The T top on the Fiero was warrantied by C&C but the rest of the car was covered by the Dealer till 1988 and then the dealer took care of it all.
Generally the warranties are written as worst case but as we all know most will not hold the hard line unless you are wrong. Occasionally a poor dealer will jerk someone around but it is rare.
The whole deal is GM has to protect itself from damage caused by people and companies with parts they had nothing to do with. It is not their problem if you use other peoples parts.
If the dealer did not make it clear to the customer it is on them not GM and if the customer chose to not read the fine print it is on him and not GM.
People can expect some crazy things as I just saw a case where we sold an engine that did not come with lift hooks. Well they are not included and Ford never offered them to the public. The customer was mad at us and Ford because they were not included. He wanted to know which one of us would be responsible if he dropped it. Sorry but he would be as we can not take responsibility of the item in his care. Also when he bought this it is his responsibility to be able to move and install the engine.
We see this stuff everyday and like the dealers often we still take care of things even beyond out warranty just out of trying to treat the customer well. It is part of the cost of doing business as it is more expensive to replace the customer than to keep them by eating a part now and then.
If abuse is clear we do still hold the right to refuse to warranty but we try to avoid that if possible in reasonable cases. Now the customer who returned a bed liner cut up in a box was one acceptation we did refuse to accept.
Having to deal with quality control and customer service in the performance aftermarket I can tell you just when you think you have seen it all some one comes along and tops it before you know it.
But the long a short of this is if there is a clear indication the dealer warned this guy they can skip the warranty here. But if they did not warn him in writing then they have a major issues here. Even fixing the bag is not going to resolve the problem and if the system fails to work in an accident they could be taken to the cleaners for making the system not functioning as it should
The possibility of the system not functioning as it should is why the lift market is pretty hands off on recommending these kits unless they have engineered them to work properly.
Lawsuits are the bane of the auto industry and aftermarket as even if you are right too often you spend more to win the case then settle so you end up paying basically black mail even in winnable cases. Our legal man sits near me and he is good but even he can not win them all economically.
FYI most off roaders know that the lifts can and will f up the sensors from working properly as it changed the forces and parameters of the parts.
God bless your heart. Love reading your comments. You’re very knowledgeable and I’ve learnt a lot from your opinions and thoughts but please find a way to keep them shorter ;D
I often find myself reading thru half of it and than I have to walk away for some reason and when I come back I have read it again to refresh…and boy it eats up my time…hehe
Good day and Merry Christmas!
GM is not fair with any issues I’ve had with my stock 2016 Z71,they have the worst customer service and I will never buy a GM after I sell this one,Ford or Dodge will be getting my hard earned money from now on
Is that customer experience with GM direct or with a dealer and their service department? There is a difference that many don’t understand. There are some great dealers out there ……and a few not so great dealers too.
That Chevrolet Canada and the dealership
I just bought a 2016 Colorado Z71 a week ago with a dealer installed BDS 5.5″ lift. Before purchase, I very specifically inquired about the impact of the lift on the truck’s warranty and was told that because it had been installed by the dealer and that it was a BDS kit, all was OK. BDS website claims the following: “The system has passed FMVSS126 testing for stability control compliance”
I would be sure to get that in writing.
Just because it passed an NHTSA stability control standard means absolutely nothing for GM honoring a vehicle warranty on anything related to or potentially caused the lift kit.
Totally agree. FMVSS does not mean a thing when it comes to warranty.
Get the dealer to provide written confirmation it protects the warranty, or make the dealer remove it. Immediately.
If you remove it, GM would have to prove later the presence for one week harmed components in a warranty claim – and they would almost certainly not be able to.
You gotta pay to play! There are plenty of aftermarket GM parts that do not void the factory warranty. They are marketed this way. With this case though, simply having a dealer install non-GM aftermarket parts so your warranty will stay intact is ludicrous. I don’t know where this guy got his information. A few things I do know are: A. He paid the dealer probably double what a reputable shop would have charged B. He has no GM warranty C. He still has to pay to get his truck fixed (airbags aren’t cheap). The best case scenario is that he tries some other GM dealers and finds one that is lenient on mods in order to honor his warranty.
Google” Silverado air bag deployment” and you will see that the problem described in the original news item is not new and seems to be common; not just Silverados but Denalis and Colorados too. This problem occurred during a 2016 Colorado test at low speed on a forest service road (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6b_93QZ2fM at 4min 48sec). As there are indications that the airbag issue has occurred on unaltered vehicles, this should help support the case for anyone with a similar complaint.
I contacted my dealer this morning and I’m waiting for a letter in writing regarding my warranty protection. Of note, my local dealer has been modifying new trucks for a few years now, all with BDS lifts. Of particular relevance to this thread, Silverados are the most common base.
I will report back as soon as I have information regarding my protected warranty letter from the dealer.
Thanks to everyone that has posted on this subject; very timely for me.
I say just get rid of the damn airbags to begin with. I grew up riding in cars and trucks with out airbags and been in accidents with out those damn things and had no problems. Newer cars and trucks with airbags are just too ridiculous anyhow and are uncalled for and not needed. I personally don’t like having any explosive device waiting to go off at any moment next to my head or in my face. I’d feel a lot more safer pointing a loaded handgun at my face over those stupid airbags which is sad because there is some really nice looking vehicles out there I like but I don’t want anything to do with with all that crap they force on you to have. If anything I’d probably find a way (I know it would be illegal), but I’d have to find a way to install some airbag simulators to connect at the brain (main controller) for all the devices the airbags are plugged into to shut those stupid things off and won’t set off any signal when you remove them for resale or have any recorded temperament alert and wouldn’t be picked up by the scanners when you take it for emissions inspection or warranty repair to have something unrelated fixed.
Why stop with airbags? You should also remove your seat belts and disconnect the horn too while your at it. Better yet just by a seventies model car and have it restored then you will not be encumbered with all of that silly modernity.
If you are seatbelted in, an airbag that goes off by mistake should not be capable of hurting you (aside from Takata airbags, but that’s a different story – those are getting replaced, for that reason).
Trust me, they’re loud, and it would really disorient for a moment, but it is extremely rare. I don’t have status, but I suspect far more airbags go off on purpose (because of an accident) than unintended. Even with the Delta I’s horrible electrical system (part of which I am stuck with on my Sky Red Line).
I have seen people walk away from accidents that would have been killed without airbags. Auto makers wouldn’t be putting a dozen of them into cars today, if they didn’t save and improve the quality of life for those in a serious accident.
Erik, you have survivor bias. Just because you haven’t needed an airbag, or don’t know anyone that has benefitted, doesn’t mean they don’t save thousands of lives a year.
Sounds like this person should have purchased a jeep, or a dune buggy. That truck is fairly high to begin with and if need to go higher you are in terrain made for a Mars Rover. I have taken a Chevy Monza and a Toyota Corolla in places that some people think they need military Humvee to travel on, and four wheel drive is grossly over estimated with modern traction control.
Ten years ago my father purchased a new Colorado and paid for the spray-in bedliner, the dealership did a terrible job and ground off the clear coat and took the paint off down to the primer coat and bare metal in some areas. I am convinced that voided the paint/rust warranty on the truck.
Dealers that sell lifted trucks are warrantied via the company that installed the kit or the manufacturer of the kit. A person would get the factory 3yr 36k but if they had any issues that arose from the lift kit, which is an AFTERMARKET COMPONENT, it would render the factory warranty VOID.
Hi folks: An update; the dealer that I bought the truck from and installed the lift have stated in writing that they will honour the factor warranty should any issue arise. I also contacted BDS, the manufacturer of the lift; they will not honour their warranty because I am the second owner of the truck. This is understandable but the truck only has 9800k kms on it, so I was hoping they may transfer the warranty; it does not hurt to ask.
Thanks again for your contributions.
Back in 2000 I bought a GMC Sierra that had a lift kit and dual exhaust. I brought it in for an issue it was having. They said it’s aftermarket parts. I said yeah but you guys installed it before I bought it. They fixed it. Luckily it was more minor than the side airbags being deployed. I didn’t have those airbags back then. That makes me rethink the one I saw on the lot with a dealer installed lift kit the other day.
If a dealer tries to inform you that your factory warranty is no good for any aftermarket part let them know about this law. In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket’ part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.”
I manage an aftermarket shop and hear dealers trying this until you throw this at them, or the manufacturers warranty rep. They change their tune quick when you can sue them.
You Sir are correct. And, the dealership would have to prove that the installed aftermarket product was the cause of the failure they are refusing to cover under warranty. Prove it and put it in writing.
Just wait until he gets into a traffic accident and finds out his comprehensive auto insurance is voided due to modifications.