The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

What Is the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that governs the content and regulation of consumer product warranties. The Act protects consumers’ rights by detailing the obligations of warrantors that offer written warranties with their consumer products. The Act also limits the restrictions that can be placed on implied warranties.

What Are the Requirements of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act establishes three basic requirements that must be met by the manufacturer, seller, or warrantor of a consumer product.

  1. Written warranties must be titled either “full” or “limited.”
  2. Warranties must outline the coverage they provide using language that is easy to understand.
  3. Warranties must be available for consumers wherever the product they cover is sold.

Implied Warranties

The Act also includes a number of restrictions for implied warranties. Every consumer product sold comes with an implied warranty, which is created by operation of law. Although these warranties are not written, they still guarantee that products and services will satisfy consumers’ reasonable expectations of them. In layman’s terms, implied warranties require consumer products to meet certain minimum levels of quality.

In the case of automobiles, that means that the automobile must be safe and reasonably free from defects. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prevents written warranties from lessening the coverage provided by implied warranties. However, a written limited warranty may restrict the duration of an implied warranty to match its own.

How Does the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Protect Consumers?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects consumers by making it easier to file breach of warranty claims after purchasing “lemons.” Most importantly, the Act allows consumers to recover attorneys’ fees, court costs, and other expenses when they prevail.

This fee-shifting provision levels the playing field and makes it feasible for consumers to bring claims against some of the world’s largest corporations. Congress recognized that consumers should be encouraged to defend their rights with proper legal representation. By adding the fee-shifting provisions to the Act, Congress enabled consumers to do so without requiring them to pay out of pocket.

The fee-shifting provisions in the Act ensure that consumers who lack the funds to hire an attorney can still defend their rights. At Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®, we only get paid a fee for our services if we prevail. And thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, we can bill the defendant instead of our clients when we do.

Does the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Apply to Cars?

Yes! Often referred to as the federal Lemon Law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all other consumer products. In fact, when the federal Act was enacted by Congress in 1975, Congress did so with the automobile industry chiefly in mind. Further, many of the protections the Act provides are broader than those granted by state lemon laws.

For a defective vehicle to qualify as a lemon under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, you must provide the manufacturer of your vehicle with a reasonable opportunity to repair any defects. In some courts, as few as two to three attempts will suffice. However, many states’ lemon laws provide manufacturers with four repair attempts or three attempts plus a final repair opportunity. In addition, the Act allows you to bring a claim if the vehicle is unmerchantable, meaning it is not of the level of quality you would expect from another one like it.

The Act also extends the period during which you can make a claim. In general, state lemon laws only allow you to file claims for a certain period of time after the original purchase date. Some states provide as little as twelve months to do so. The federal Lemon Law, on the other hand, generally allows you to file claims for a full four years after the vehicle’s purchase. And in some cases, you have up to four years after the warranty expires to file a claim.

A consumer may recover significant damages under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. These damages are designed to make the consumer whole after buying a defective lemon of a car. The damages compensate the consumer for overpaying for their lemon, a legal concept known as diminished value. Thus, if you paid $30,000 for a lemon that was only worth $20,000 because of a defect, the law entitles you to the difference, which would be $10,000 in this example.

In many instances, the federal Act also allows consumers to seek additional damages they may have incurred. Such damages must be incidental or consequential to the manufacturer’s failure to properly and timely repair the vehicle. Thus, you could receive compensation for aggravation, inconvenience, loss of use, rental charges, storage charges, etc.

How the Magnuson-Moss Act and Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® Can Help You

Without extensive experience handling both federal and state lemon law cases, it can be difficult to know which law to file a claim under to provide maximum compensation to a consumer. But with more than 25 years of experience and 50,000 success stories, that’s never a problem at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center®.

In fact, Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® has helped to lead the nation in advocating for the rights of consumers. There are countless reported appellate decisions and state supreme court decisions where attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. have helped shape the law favorably for consumers across the nation.

Quite simply, we don’t just practice the law, we help make the law great for consumers through our zealous advocacy in the courts. The knowledge and experience of the highly credentialed attorneys at our firm, allow us to efficiently assess all manner of Lemon Law cases. Our track record speaks for itself, with over 99% of our cases settling outside of court.

So reach out to us today for a free case review if you would like to see if you qualify for compensation under The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. You can Contact Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® by calling our toll-free telephone number (866) 388-8290, emailing us at, or completing our Free Lemon Law Case Review.

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