Consumer Warranty Liability Holds Suppliers, Manufacturers Accountable
It’s nice when you can get a guarantee when purchasing a product or paying for a service. The nice thing is, whether stated or not, every product manufactured and sold in the United States comes with some form of guarantee regarding condition and general performance. When manufacturers create products and they are sold to consumers, those products come with implied legal guarantees that are effective for several years and carry the weight of law. Called an “implied warranty,” they guarantee consumers that products are free of defects and are of an acceptable condition. And federal law requires manufacturers to print the warranties on their packaging so that consumers can see the explicit warranty and assurance that come with the purchase.
Implied Warranties Outlast Many Manufacturer Warranties
Even when a manufacturer has a one-, two- or three-year warranty in place and printed on a product package, the federal government’s implied warranty is good for an entire four years. So even when products fail after the initial manufacturer warranty has expired, if the failure occurs within four years of the purchase, then the implied warranty remains in effect. Manufacturers and retailers cannot shorten the effective period for an implied warranty. But they can place any kind of manufacturer warranty on a product. The warranty might not be as good as the implied warranty, but that does not limit the impact of the implied warranty.
Most of the time, if a product is defective, then the consumer simply can return it for a refund, replacement or repair. But some products, such as automobiles, medical equipment, safety equipment and many other manufactured products, cause serious losses, up to and including death, when they fail to perform properly. When a manufacturing defect results in a personal injury or a financial loss of some sort, the manufacturer can be held liable.
Have you or someone you know been injured by a defective product?