A warranty is a form of guarantee or assurance that the product you bought operates as intended. The objective of warranty law is to provide an assurance or promise about the quality of the product sold to the buyer.
Almost all products carry either a written warranty or an implied warranty. A written warranty (also called expressed warranty) is like a contract. In it are the terms and conditions of what you can expect from the product. Most types of written warranties promise that the product is free from defects for a prescribed period of time. Most of the time, if the product is broken or defective the seller will either replace the product or refund your money. If the seller refuses to honor its own warranty the seller can bring a legal action.
Some products do not come with a written warranty. These are called implied warranties. Most states have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code. This law provides that new products come with two important implied warranties. One covers the product for merchantability; the other covers the product for fitness. The warranty that covers merchantability assures that the product purchased will work if used for its intended purpose. The warranty covering the fitness of the product provides that the product will work if you used it in a reasonable manner and consistent with its intended purpose.
Implied warranties also cover used products. However the warranty or promise is based on the product being in a used condition. The implied warranty for a used product is that it will work as expected given the products age and condition.
In most states an expressed warranty will last for the term stated in the language of the warranty. If it says five years, it means five years. Implied warranties of new products can last indefinitely but can be limited by the limitations inherent in the products intended use and under its intended purpose.
Expiration of Warranties
In cases in which a product fails after the warranty expires, in most states, assuming the failure of the product originally surfaced within the original warranty period, the make or the product will extend your warranty. However most manufacturers will insist that your previous repairs to their product was performed by an authorized repair service. While most manufacturers make money on extended warranties, purchasing additional warranty coverage should at least be considered.
In most instances, if you purchase a new product, the defect will likely show up fairly soon. As soon as it does, you can return the product to the seller to have it fixed or replaced. If the seller fails or refuses repair, refund, or replace the defective product, you will need to take legal action. Small claims court is an excellent forum for such disputes and the judges usually understand and appreciate the law of contract and warranty.
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