During the week of Independence Day, the FTC announced that it is seeking further public comment on its Amplifier Rule, which requires uniform measurements and disclosures for home entertainment amplifiers. In addition, the FTC initiated a new action against grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, LLC for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their purchased products.  These stories and more after the jump.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Consumer Goods

  • The Federal Trade Commission seeks additional public comment on its Amplifier Rule, which was formally known as the Rule Relating to Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products, on two proposed amendments raised from previous comments. First, the Commission proposes requirement of uniform testing methods for power output so that consumers could better prepare sound quality. The Commission also seeks public comment on what parameters consumers typically use to test multichannel home theater amplifiers.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Manufacturing & Retail

  • The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Illinois-based grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, LLC, claiming Weber’s warranty included terms that illegally restrict consumers’ use or installment of third-party parts on their grill products. Weber offers limited warranties of its grill products for no-cost repair or replacement, should the products have defects or other issues, but the warranty would be voided if consumers used or installed any third-party parts. The FTC alleged that these repair restrictions harm consumers and competition by restricting consumers’ choices to use third-party parts, potentially costing consumers more money, and undercutting independent businesses of aftermarket parts. The FTC therefore orders that Weber remove the illegal terms, recognize the right to repair by adding specific language “Using third-party parts will not void this warranty” to its warranty, and come clean with consumers. This is the third in a string of similar settlements. We cover the FTC’s recent right of repair cases in a July 15, 2022 client alert.