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Reply to "New Car Warranty using Amsoil..."

I just wanted to throw out a scenario since I believe you worked for Ford.

Lets say I buy a 2010 Ford Mustang and decide to go with Amsoil 0W-20 for one year or 25,000 miles.

At 20,000 miles a lubricated part goes bad, I go to Ford, and since I did not follow the manufactures OCI's they deny my warranty.

I call up Amsoil, send them an oil sample, they say its fine, so they will not be paying.

Could Ford and Amsoil be fighting it out for maybe a year or a couple of years, especially since it could cost thousands of dollars to fix the car.

I got a vague answer from Gary, like the process may take a little while.

I have my doubts that Amsoil would be spending money on lawyers to fight Ford.

Gary or Pablo would just give me the Amsoil Company Line.

I just do not see something like this getting resolved quickly and I would think Ford would stall in trying to pay up.

Your scenario is certainly a possibility.

Conceptually, a lot of this comes down the M/M Warranty Act. You can Google it to read it for yourself.

Basically, an OEM is responsible for warranty as long as you follow the provisions of the warranty. Any failure that would occur during that time, while using approved/licesned products, would place the burden of proof upon the OEM to show that they were not at fault.

But if you venture outside the OEM warranty provisions, then the burden of proof falls upon you and/or the aftermarket manufuacturer. Here is where things can become mired down in time/money/etc.

If an aftermarket manufacturer makes the product to the specs of the OEM, it will be easy for the aftermarket manufacturer to prove their worth. And example would be filter or lube makers that comply with industry standards and/or seek OEM license. Fram, Wix, Purolator all design filters to meet OEM criteria; any lube related failure would be view from either a component or product angle. Did the filter fail due to a defect in manufacture? Then the filter maker would pay. Did the failure come from a design issue? Then the OEM would be at fault, because the aftermarket made a product to OEM spec.

But then you venture further outside of "normal" and get to unlicesned, non-approved products like Amsoil. They have their own testing, and very few of their products are API licensed (only the XL lubes as I recall - which few people use). They also don't seek out the OEM license. They rely on thier own testing as proof of performance. Here is where the OEM (Ford, GM, etc) can throw the burden of proof onto the aftermarket, legally.

So in your scenario, it's possible that a long drawn-out battle may ensue. Depending upon the exact type of failure, and type products used, it might place Ford into a postion where they are comfortable denying warranty until Amsoil could PROVE in court (or arbitration) that the oil (and the OCI) was not at fault.

Amsoil's own warranty is very well written. Ironically, the very M/M Act they claim to provide leverage against Ford, is the very same one they use to provide leverage against you. Ever read the whole Amsoil warranty? They have just as many "don't do this; must do that" provisions as well. Ultimately, if the Amsoil fluid is found to be at fault, and they balked (which I don't think they would) then you'd have to turn around and take legal action against them.

All this while your ride sits and depreceiates, unusable, awaiting repair. You make payments on a vehicle you cannot even use ...

On the other hand, I can see the need for limited warranties. People often think that they know "better" then the OEMs. They try to out-do the OEM by re-engineering a product that typically has thousands of man-hours and million of dollars in development. Occasionally, an OEM can get it wrong. But that is not typically the case. Plus, the OEM has mounds of cash and huge resources as proof as to why they made decisions. What would you have?

Let me give an exmample that seems extreme, but play right into the M/M Act guidelines. I'm being overtly endulgent here, making stuff up, but you'll get the point.

Say Joe Schmoe decided that he knows "better" than the OEM, and decided that since "thicker is better" when it comes to lubes, he decides to run gear oil in his engine. After all, a mass-market 90 grade GL-5 isn't that far off from a 40 grade or 50 grade engine oil. It works for a while, but eventually something fails in his engine (perhaps he's done this in a turbodiesel truck?). So out come the "experts". His Ford turbo failed. Ford takes an oil sample as wonders what is in the crankcase?
"Mobil 1 75w-90" is Joe's reply.
Ford: "Your warranty is denied."
Joe: "You can't do that; the M/M act says so." (Joe is wrong here).
Ford: "see if Mobil will cover it."
Mobil: "no way in Hades; that is an unapproved use of our fluids, and not according to OEM specs, and we have our own written warranty that you ignored, Joe".
Joe: "but oil is oil, and thicker is better!"
Ford and Mobil (together): "oh yeah? Prove it. See you in court."

Had Joe used a spec'd/licensed engine fluid, Ford would legally be in a position to prove that their own spec's were not at fault; kind of hard to do or admit when you're the one that made them. So Ford would pay. Or, if Ford felt the oil was properly spec'd, but made wrong (a bad batch of HDEO oil) then they might push the issue to Mobil, which then would review it's production data and make a decision. But when Joes uses gear oil in a place where both the OEM and aftermarket say "use this; not that" then JOE is the one with the burden of proof.

See, just because someone thinks they know better, it is COMPLETELY about burden of proof. Ford and Amsoil have all the time in the world, and both of them have more cash than you. Ultimately, one of them would likely pay because (I presume) you would use an Amsoil engine oil in the engine, so at least you followed one recommendation.

Now, I understand you're not going to use GL-5 in your engine, but the point I'm making is that M/M is about the burden of proof, and where it can be pushed. If you have a engine failure using Amsoil, the first question is "was it mechanical"? Oil will not make an engine throw a rod, but it might make a rod spin a bearing ...

And so begins the finger pointing.

I am NOT against Amsoil, or any other aftermarket product. But I always weigh my options and take a path that makes the best reward for the least cost. To me, it makes sense to use licensed/approved products during a warranty period. Past that point, the world is open to you. For example, my Duramax engine requires an OCI at least annually; I change oil once a year even though I only drive about 6k miles in the truck. I know for a fact that HDEO can go longer and further, but I'm not willing to risk a $8,000 engine to save some money. I'm not willing to over-extend my OCI without good UOA proof to back me up.

I don't think Gary or Pablo are leading you astray, but they will not be the ones in the legal battle with you (or against you). It will be corporate Ford and corporate Amsoil. Sales teams shy away from stuff when they know the lawyers might come out to play, and I cannont blame them.

It's your decision. Hope that helps.

Tim, this guy works for Ford, guess after reading this I will say no to Extended Drains with Amsoil during the Warranty Period when I get my new car.