A warranty is an agreement between a seller or manufacturer and the buyer stating that the product will work as intended or that the warrantor will agree to repair any defects and non-conformities in the product. A warranty binds the manufacturer or seller to take responsibility in the event of a malfunction to repair or replace defects in your product within a given period of time.
Warranty problems occur when the company has misstated its policy or when the language included in the warranty is confusing. The main problem which lies in warranty is warrantors refusing or failing to honor the warranties they unilaterally drafted and provided to the consumer. However, it is the seller's responsibility to make sure that the warranty's language and intent is clear.
Based on the laws that govern warranties, a manufacturer should either repair the nonconformity or replace the product in fully working condition, or in some instances even refund the money that you paid for the product.
Here are some general warranty types that you may encounter:
An implied warranty is a warranty created by operation of law based upon the purchase or lease of a product which affords the consumer certain basic rights. As such, an implied warranty is not restricted by the express representations made by the seller.
There are two types of implied warranties: merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
Implied Warranty of Merchantability – The implied warranty of merchantability guarantees that a product or vehicle will be fit for the ordinary purpose for which it was intended. In the case of automobiles, typically, courts require that the automobile be safe, reliable, and substantially free from defects in order for it to be merchantable.
Implied Warranty of Fitness for a particular purpose – The implied warranty of fitness guarantees that the product or vehicle will function for the purpose you bought it.
An express warranty is typically a guarantee from the distributor or manufacturer of a product that specifies the extent to which the quality or performance of the product is assured and states the conditions under which the product can be returned, replaced, or repaired, for a certain number of miles or for a certain period of time. It is often given in the form of a specific, written “Warranty“ document.
When a vehicle or other consumer product is sold "As Is," the dealer cannot be held accountable for any necessary repairs after the sale. However, pursuant to federal law, even though you may have purchased your product that the seller labeled "AS IS," you may still have various rights and protections if the seller of your product either provided you with a written warranty or service contract within 90 days from the time of sale. Further, if any of the details and attributes of the product were misrepresented or omitted you may still have other rights that are not defeated simply because the seller claimed you purchased the product "AS IS."
An extended warranty or service contract covers the cost of repairs to defects that may arise after the date of sale and after the expiration of the written warranty. Should the product malfunction within a stipulated amount of time after the purchase, the extended warranty company or service contract company may be required to pay for needed repairs to your vehicle or consumer product. In essence, an extended warranty or service contract is an insurance policy on your vehicle or consumer product, a safeguard against expensive, unforeseen repairs. Determining whether extended warranty company or service contract company has in fact breached an extended warranty or service contract can be complicated. A lawyer from Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® can help you determine if you have a claim and can prosecute your rights accordingly.
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