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Lift Kits and Your Toyota Truck Warranty - What You Should Know

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Toyota Tacoma

Lift Kits and Your Toyota Truck Warranty - What You Should Know

Jason Lancaster
April 6, 2012


Toyota Tacoma Customized
If you’re a Toyota Tacoma owner, chances are you thought about adding a lift kit or some other performance or appearance modification to your vehicle. These and other aftermarket parts and accessories help enhance the appearance, utility and enjoyment of Toyota’s mid-size pickup offering. Unfortunately, with the installation of aftermarket car or truck parts comes the fear of having your Tacoma’s warranty voided.

How Does a Lift Kit Affect Your Warranty?

The average lift kit consists of shocks, springs, brackets and other suspension components that raise your vehicle’s ride height several inches from the ground. Most lift kits are intended for use with off-road driving, although many Tacoma owners choose to install lift kits on purely aesthetic grounds. Several reputable aftermarket firms offer lift kits with varying degrees of quality and pricing.

Adding a lift kit to your Toyota Tacoma introduces a number of new variables your suspension must deal with. A properly installed lift kit won’t cause any problems to the rest of the Tacoma’s suspension, but an improperly installed kit can introduce accelerated wear and tear to other suspension components.

How Denied Warranty Claims Affect You

In most cases, service technicians and other dealership mechanics operate on the assumption that your Tacoma’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic warranty is valid if (and only if) the vehicle remains stock. The presence of a lift kit or other aftermarket modifications can prompt automakers to assume that those parts were related to your warranty claim and thus have your warranty voided.

Is There Protection Against Warranty Claim Denials?

Many people think that there’s little to no recourse against having a vehicle’s warranty voided due to installed aftermarket parts. Fortunately, the U.S. government has an effective tool available that helps Tacoma owners fight against warranty claim denials, especially when their aftermarket parts are not linked to those service and repair claims.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was put into place in 1975 to counteract blanket warranty coverage denials due to the installation of lift kits and other aftermarket parts. The federal law makes it illegal for consumer product manufacturers, including car and truck manufacturers, from voiding a factory warranty due to the addition of an aftermarket part or accessory to their vehicle. Automakers remain responsible for honoring warranty claims unless there is proof that the warranty claim was a direct result of wear and tear or damage caused by an installed aftermarket part.

In addition, if the aftermarket part is shown to be a direct cause of the problem necessitating a warranty claim, only the warranty claim for that problem can be denied. In other words, the entire warranty remains valid and other unrelated issues can still be covered under your Tacoma’s warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Act also eliminates special conditions such as the use of a particular service facility or use of a specific part brand for maintenance and repairs. Although the Magnuson-Moss Act prevents unfair warranty claim denials, dealerships retain the right to deny warranty claims based on legitimate breaches of the warranty agreement.

Keeping this information handy will certainly help in the case of fighting a denied warranty claim on your Tacoma.

Author Jason Lancaster is the editor of TacomaHQ.com, a website for Toyota Tacoma owners with accessory reviews, news, and vehicle information. Be sure to read the comprehensive Tacoma lift kit guide for more information about how lift kits work.

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