For years, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), the makers of Ski-Doo snowmobiles and Can-Am ATV’s, have threatened withhold warranty coverage from users that did not use BRP branded lubricants. Dealers and the wordings in owner’s manuals basically threatened to void warranties if aftermarket lubricants were used. Multiple Ski-Doo and Can-Am manuals specified that the use of other engine oils may cause severe engine damage and may void the limited warranty. Some manuals even went so far as to suggest that there was “no known equivalent” to the BRP branded lubricants on the market.
We have dealt with many frustrated customers over the years who would love to use AMSOIL products in their new Ski-Doo or Can-Am, but were worried that they could lose warranty coverage. Frankly, we couldn’t blame them, despite the fact that in our opinion, this was a dishonorable practice by BRP.
Enter the AMSOIL legal department. In the US, there is federal legislation called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In basic terms, this law prohibits manufacturers from requiring the use of OEM branded service or replacement part unless the branded service or replacement part is provided free of charge. It looks to us like AMSOIL pointed to the Magnuson Moss Act and suggested to BRP that they were in contravention of this law. At least that is our speculation.
In a new technical service bulletin entitled Ski-Doo, Can-AM Warranty Coverage & AMSOIL Products, AMSOIL explains how BRP has made significant changes to their lubricant suggestion practices.
BRP, while denying that its warranty language violated the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act or any other regulation, advised AMSOIL that it has never denied a warranty claim based on the use of “improper oil” (2). Furthermore, BRP advised that it will modify the language of its operator’s guides as follows:
1. It will no longer say that use of oil other than the BRP branded product may void the warranty.
2. When it recommends a particular branded product, it will ensure that the language is clearly identified as a recommendation rather than a requirement.
3. It will no longer comment on the availability of equivalents to the BRP brand oil(s).
Thank goodness this heavy-handed practice has been discontinued.