What is covered by product warranties?

The exact nature of what a product warranty covers depends on whether it is an express warranty issued by a manufacturer or an implied warranty. There are, for example, certain statutes and laws that impose warranties to cover consumer goods and other items.

Understanding Express Warranties and Implied Warranties

There are a wide variety of different warranty laws in place, some on the local level and some on the federal level. For example, warranties are imposed:

  • By the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC. This collection of rules and regulations has been adopted in whole or in part by all 50 states and imposes a warranty on all "goods." This may include both consumer goods and goods sold from business to business. Essentially, almost any item that is bought or sold that is not a service or real property is going to be covered by the UCC. The UCC contains a variety of different warranty laws that apply to these "goods," including an implied warranty that the goods will function for their intended purpose, and a right to refuse or return any goods that have been damaged;
  • By the Magnusson Moss Act, a federal act that covers consumer goods. It is the federal "lemon law." Here consumer goods means any new product or part that is used, bought, or leased for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; and
  • By state acts, such as the Song-Beverly Act which is California's version of the "lemon law." It was passed in California to cover consumer goods as well.

The law may also impose an implied warranty of habitability on a home that is purchased, and express or implied warranties in a variety of other situations. Further, the law will require a manufacturer to adhere to any warranty - whether written or oral - that is made on any product. 

Getting Help - Product Warranties

If you believe you have a breach of warranty claim, consult a lawyer to determine what laws apply and what recourse you may have.