Consumer Warranties

As a consumer, you are entitled to certain warranties when you purchase a good from a merchant. There are two types of warranties that you can rely on when you purchase a product: express warranties and implied warranties.

Express Warranties

Express warranties are explicitly stated by the seller to you, the buyer. If a seller promises that a product will meet some certain standard, then it is an express warranty. An express warranty can be written or made orally. An example of an express warranty would be when a seller tells a buyer that a vacuum cleaner is suited to clean hardwood floors. In this example, if the vacuum cleaner turns out to be not suitable for hardwood floors, then the warranty has been breached.

One thing to keep in mind when considering express warranties is that words of puffery are not deemed to be express warranties. Describing a product as being the “best” or the “most amazing” would be examples of puffery. Puffery in advertising is legal as long as it is not deceptive by making false claims that cannot be substantiated.

Implied warranties

Unlike an express warranty, implied warranties, as the name suggests, are not explicitly stated orally or in writing by the seller. There are two types of implied warranties: implied warranty of merchantability and warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.

Implied warranties guarantee that the product will work as it is expected to work and that it meets the same quality as set forth by similar products in that condition. For example, if you buy a toaster, the implied warranty guarantees that it will actually toast bread as you expect it to.

In order to satisfy the implied warranty of merchantability, certain requirements must be met.

  1. The product must pass without objection in the trade as it is set forth in the contract.
  2. The product must be of average quality if it is a fungible good.
  3. The product is fit for the ordinary purpose for which it is to be used.
  4. The product is within the permitted variations for kind, quality and quantity within each unit and among all units.
  5. The product is appropriately labeled and packaged.
  6. The product conforms to any promises or affirmations made on the packaging.

Both new and used goods carry an implied warranty of merchantability. However, a Seller can disclaim a warranty of merchantability if there is a conspicuous disclaimer in writing. Such language as “sold as is” would be considered a disclaimer of the warranty of merchantability.

In addition to the warranty of merchantability, there may be an implied warranty of fitness for the particular purpose. When the seller knows that you, as the buyer, are in search of a product to fulfill some specific use and he suggests a product that is meant to satisfy that use, then there is an implied warranty of fitness for the particular purpose. This type of warranty cannot be disclaimed.

If you think you may have a claim that arises out of a breach of warranty, contact an attorney at the Kim Law Firm, LLC to discuss what your options are and the potential remedies that are available to you.