Breach of warranty laws are sometimes referred to as “lemon laws.” The term is often used to refer to luxury automobiles and other vehicles, but warranty laws apply to all consumer products with a sales price of more than $10.
What is a Warranty?
A warranty is a promise or guarantees that a product will live up to the claims made by a manufacturer or seller, or a promise that if anything needs repairing or replacing the seller or manufacturer will take care of the problem.
If a manufacturer or seller fails to live up to the terms provided at the time of purchase, a breach of warranty has occurred and the consumer has a right to file a breach of warranty lawsuit.
Claims related to breach of warranty can include:
- Breach of express warranty, which occurs when a seller fails to honor its stated guarantee of quality or performance of a product or fails to honor the return, repair, or replacement promises made in the warranty
- Breach of implied warranty of merchantability, which occurs when a product fails to meet the minimum quality specifications that would reasonably conform to the average buyer’s expectations.
- Breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, which occurs when a seller fails to select a product to fit a specific request.
Warranty laws fall under something called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This is a federal law that was created to make warranties easier to understand and enforce. The act also makes it possible for consumers to file a breach of warranty claim if the terms of a warranty are violated. There is no law requiring that products have a warranty, but when they do, the warranty must conform to federal law.
Breach of warranty laws can be filed against any manufacturer or seller that has included a warranty with the sale of its product.
What Triggers a Breach of Warranty Lawsuit?
Breach of warranty lawsuits can be filed for a variety of reasons related to the violation of a warranty. If a manufacturer or seller refuses to provide warranty service or is unable to repair a defect after three attempts, or if a product is out service for 30 or more days, a claim can be filed.
Despite efforts to simplify warranties and make them more consumer-friendly, battling breaches can still be complicated. An attorney can help you determine if you have a case against a company related to a defective product or another breach.
Breach of warranty law has some limitations. In order to file a lawsuit against a company for breach of warranty:
- A product must have not been damaged while in the possession of the consumer
- A product must have been used in the way that was intended
- A product must have been maintained in a proper manner
In order to for a breach of warranty lawsuit to be successful, you’ll need to prove you did everything you were supposed to do and that the problem with the item was not caused by anything you did or did not do. As an example, if you file a breach of warranty lawsuit because of a problem with the engine in your vehicle, but it turns out you failed to maintain the oil in the engine, your lawsuit will likely be unsuccessful.
Breach of warranty lawsuits can help you recover damages related to:
- Loss of the use of a product
- Cost of replacing the product
- Lost wages
- Other costs related to the defective product
If you believe a warranty related to a product you own was violated, you could be eligible for compensation. Every case is different. Contact an attorney for more information.