Changing a vehicle from factory standard with modifications like sports wheels, a sunroof, window tinting, or body enhancements are popular ways to customise vehicles.
Specialist parts, modification & performance enhancement parts and accessories are added after the purchase to modify vehicles for the intended use. Most car makers do not make these parts themselves; they are generally made by a third party. Australian produced bull bars, lights, tow bars, and suspension components are required to comply with Vehicle Standards, Australian Design Rules, and Australian Standards and are well renowned globally for quality and performance.
Modifying a vehicle does not automatically void a manufacturer’s warranty.
Fear of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle may prompt consumers to purchase dealership ‘preferred’ accessories, even though, in many cases, this product could be identical to an aftermarket supplier branded product or the aftermarket product may be of superior quality.
Vehicle manufacturers are required to fix manufacturing faults on vehicles under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) consumer guarantees. Vehicle upgrades and the fitment of quality accessories does not affect this obligation unless the modification caused the fault.
It’s important to note that a new car warranty covers you against any defects the car may have in accordance with the terms of the warranty document. It does not cover you against failure of accessories that have been fitted by an aftermarket supplier. The manufacturer or supplier of these goods and/or fitting services will provide the ACL consumer guarantee for these items. The ACL consumer guarantees are applicable to vehicles, parts and accessories regardless of whether a manufacturer warranty is offered.
We believe that in some cases motorists may potentially be misled over their entitlements under Australian Consumer Law. Members of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association are able to offer support to their customers with the AAAA Legal Assist hotline if you encounter unreasonable warranty rejections.
Customers can be assured that any advice given to them regarding modifications affecting an ANCAP safety rating of a vehicle is unfounded. A vehicle’s ANCAP rating once it has left the dealership cannot be affected by modifications because an ANCAP rating only applies to a vehicle at the time of original purchase from the car manufacturer. All reputable automotive product suppliers should conduct appropriate testing to ensure that a modification does not interfere with the vehicle’s safety features and the vehicle continues to meet regulatory requirements.
Will vehicle modifications affect my vehicle warranty?
Should a problem occur in the vehicle because of the modification, or the fitting of a part or accessory, the problem may be covered under the warranty provided by the part manufacturer or the supplier of the part and/or fitting services. Make sure that you ask about the modification part and fitment warranty and always use a reputable modification supplier and fitter.
The manufacturer’s warranty cannot exclude the ACL consumer guarantees. Meaning the accessories or part manufacturer will be required to provide a remedy under the ACL if the part does not meet the manufacturer’s guarantees to you (e.g. that the good is of acceptable quality or matches the description).
Will a vehicle modification affect my insurance?
It’s recommended you advise your insurer of any modification made to your vehicle.
Are aftermarket parts of the same standard as car manufacturer’s parts?
Many products manufactured and sold in Australia are required to meet appropriate Vehicle Standards, Australian Design Rules or Australian Standards. Request information on compliance to Australian vehicle standards from the supplier or the part manufacturer.
What are Genuine Accessories?
The term ‘genuine accessories’ has been used by vehicle manufacturers as a reference to accessories that are sold in a manufacturer’s branded packaging. This term is commonly used as a marketing tool by vehicle manufacturers and may give the impression that their branded parts are in some way superior to ‘non’ genuine accessories. It is useful to note that Australian independent parts manufacturers often supply products directly to car manufacturers which are then on sold to consumers as a ‘genuine’ OEM part.