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Ford Issues TSB Advising Against Mustang Mods

Posted in auto industry, Favorite Cars, Ford, Mustang, News by Kurt Ernst | July 7th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

If you own a 2011 or newer 5.0 liter Mustang (or F-150), be advised that Ford is on the warpath in regards to modifications and vehicle warranty. Their latest TSB warns that modifications may exceed component design limits, resulting in component failure (and the associated loss of warranty coverage). The TSB tells dealers to be on the lookout for aftermarket modifications, ranging from reflashed ECUs through intakes, headers and exhausts. A flowchart in the TSB talks dealers through the repair process, with one ending option being “Initiate warranty cancellation process”.

While dealers are still obligated to prove that a modification caused the component failure under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, modifying things like the ECU gives dealers a broad range of claims to deny. Reflash the ECU and hole a piston, and the repair won’t be covered by Ford. Reflash the ECU and have a shock absorber leak oil, and you should still be covered by your car’s warranty.

It’s not yet clear how dealers will interpret this TSB, but the tone of the bulletin sends a clear message. In the past, manufacturers were more tolerant of modifications, but many cars today are damn near optimized in stock form. If you opt to mod your car and exceed the specs for a component, don’t expect the manufacturer to replace it for free.

Source: Mustangs Daily

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3 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    This is horrible, I hope others don’t follow!

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Anthony, I think a lot will depend on the reaction Ford gets. Other makers (such as Mitsubishi, for the Evo and Nissan, for the GT-R) have adopted anti-tuning policies, but I can’t remember them issuing a TSB to dealerships.

      With 412 horsepower bone stock, the Mustang is a fast car off the dealer’s showroom floor. Ford could strengthen the internals to take more power, but that would add significant cost to the car. Would they have been better off releasing the car with 350 hp so customers could tune it up to 400 hp? Maybe.

      It’ll be interesting to see if Chevy follows Ford and releases a TSB on the Camaro. My guess is that they won’t, and they may even use Ford’s TSB in their marketing. I certainly would.