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Warranty

Additional Resources

  1. Consumer Perception Of Warranty As Signal Of Quality [amherst.edu]
  2. Consumer Perception Of Warranty As Signal Of Quality [economics.yale.edu]
  3. A Theory Of The Consumer Product Warranty [digitalcommons.law.yale.edu]
  4. Efficient Remedies For Breach Of Warranty [scholarship.law.duke.edu]

Definition

In contract law, a warranty has various meanings but generally means a guarantee or promise which provides by one party to the other party that specific facts or conditions are true or will happen. This factual guarantee may be enforced regardless of materiality which allows for a legal remedy if that promise is not true or followed.

Warranty

A warranty, also commonly known as a guarantee, is a statement made by the owner, manufacturer, or seller of a product and service, regarding the condition of the product or service. It’s a promise that the product or service will stand the test of a particular time period and, should any problems arise within that time, the issuer would rectify those. A warranty can be seen differently from a business, legal, or ethical perspective. It is of many kinds. The warranty may be expressed or implied, verbally or written, full or limited, or any other form agreed upon by the seller and the customer.

Features

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the primary arbitration institution when it comes to warranty law, a warranty on a product and service must have the following elements:

  • A particular time period for which the warranty will be valid, and any potential limitations on the length of the warranty.
  • An express statement about which products and services would be excluded from, or covered by, that warranty.
  • What the customer must do to claim the warranty.
  • What the guarantor would do once the warranty is claimed.
  • The legal rights of the consumers.
  • Some of the damages on which the warranty cannot be claimed.

The kinds of warranties

Implied warranty

The laws of various states recognize the implication of a guarantee on the quality and integrity of the product or service during the financial transaction. Therefore, the implied warranty is an agreement between the manufacturer or the seller, and the buyer or consumer; which is not expressly written or spoken, but rather implied.

Express warranty

Express warranties are explicit and particular promises made by the guarantor to the consumer regarding the product or services. Express warranties are usually made voluntarily, rather than under compulsion from the state law. They can be oral or written, although the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act only covers written warranties.

Limitations on warranties

Manufacturers or sellers can choose to apply certain limitations on the conditions under which the consumers can request the solution to the problems. The limitations on a warranty can be on the time period for which the warranty is valid, or the circumstances surrounding the damage of the product. Often, manufacturers can choose to offer full or limited warranties.

A full warranty dictates the consumers would receive free repairs, and that they have no responsibility other than to report the damage or defect to the manufacturer. If the repair is unsatisfactory, the customer receives a full refund.

A limited warranty, on the other hand, imposes certain limits on the liability of the guarantor in case of a problem. For instance, the offer to perform free repairs can only be for a limited period of time.