Consumers Should Insist on Factory-Installed Accessories and Components


When looking for a new car, you should avoid cars with non-factory-installed or “aftermarket” accessories or components.  If you see a vehicle on the car lot you like, but it does not have a specific component or accessory you want, the salesperson will probably tell you the dealership can have the component or accessory installed.  Common aftermarket accessories include: alarms, DVD players, remote starters, stereos, navigation systems, back-up cameras, and sunroofs.  However, you should insist on a vehicle with factory-installed accessories or components.  This means you may have to wait for the dealer to order or locate a vehicle with all factory-installed accessories and components.  But it is definitely worth the wait.

Not only will you have little recourse if you experience problems with the aftermarket accessories, you may also have little recourse if those accessories cause problems with the factory-installed components.  In fact, if the aftermarket components cause damage to the factory components, your warranty may be partially voided.  Aftermarket components are typically installed by third-party facilities—not the manufacturer or the dealer.  The selling dealer usually does not extend any warranty covering these components.  The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover them because they aren’t the manufacturer’s components.  The third-party installer may not even offer a warranty on the components.  Therefore, if you are having problems with aftermarket components or if they are affecting the factory-installed components, you may have few options.  Most likely, you will not have the protection and remedies provided by your state’s lemon law.

In our practice, we have heard many horror stories from buyers of vehicles with aftermarket accessories or components:

  • The aftermarket remote starter wiring was improperly installed, which drained the battery.
  • The aftermarket sunroof has water leaks and the vehicle is flooded every time it rains.
  • The aftermarket DVD player causes the vehicle not to start due to faulty installation.
  • The aftermarket navigation system compromised the vehicle’s entire electrical system.

Despite these significant problems, none of these vehicles qualified for relief under the lemon law.  These people had to either live with the problems or have the aftermarket components removed.


One Response to “Consumers Should Insist on Factory-Installed Accessories and Components”

  1. How to Buy a Car Without Getting Taken for a Ride « Romano Stancroff & Mikhov PC’s Lemon Law Blog Says:

    […] further information on extended warranties.  See… for information regarding dealer installed […]

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