Product Warranty: Protecting the Rights of Consumers

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To protect the rights of American consumers, most companies are required to put warranty on products.  If this assurance of quality does not meet the consumer expectations, people can charge companies with product liability claims or breach of warranty. There are two types of warranty: “implied” warranty which covers most products and services and “express” warranty which is an oral or written statement.

Implied Warranty

Implied warranty has two forms: implied warranty of fitness and implied warranty of merchantability.

Implied Warranty of Fitness

Implied warranty of fitness involves consumers buying a product with specific use in mind.  For example, a woman asks a seller about the most ideal travel bag which can accommodate a certain weight.  The seller then refers a certain brand and in essence, provides an implied warranty that the bag is durable and can support a heavy luggage.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

Meanwhile, implied warranty of merchantability covers all consumer products and provides assurance that these will work according to a reasonable expectation.  This also applies to second-hand goods.

In most states, implied warranties last forever.  However, the duration of this warranty in some states is the same as express warranty that comes with a merchandise. If there is no express warranty, the duration of implied warranty in some states, including California, is 60 days to one year if a product is brand new when bought.

Express Warranty

This kind of warranty, which can be in verbal or written form, promises customers that a product will meet a certain quality standard and will work for a certain period of time. Examples of express warrant are statements like, “The company will replace or repair certain parts six months after the purchase” and “This product is made of lead-free paints.” Usually, express warranty comes directly from the manufacturers and distributors.  This guaranty can be seen in the sale contract, product label, and advertisement.

This type of warranty, when presented in advertisement, is in the form of written or oral phrases that lure customers into buying a certain product.  For example, a store sign reads “water-proof compact cameras”.

Product Liability and Consumer Protection

If sellers refuse to fix a product which has a certain defect or decline to replace a defective good, consumers may file a claim, or ask for a legal advice from a top protection consumer attorney.

From the author: Unsafe Product Business Lawyer