Kohn Swift’s consumer protection lawyers represent defective product purchasers in breach of warranty lawsuits. Product warranties make promises to customers regarding the performance, function, and quality of warrantied products. Purchasers of warrantied products may be entitled to compensation in state or federal court when manufacturers and sellers fail to live up to their implied or stated promises.

Breach of a product warranty can occur because:

  • the warrantied product is defective
  • the product was in a damaged condition when purchased
  • the product is not fit for its intended purpose, even if it is not defective
  • the product is not what the packaging, label, contract, or seller states it to be
  • the product does not work or function as promised
  • the product does not meet the expectations of the ordinary purchaser
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Consumers may bring breach of warranty lawsuits against product manufacturers and sellers under state or federal law. Product warranty suits are usually filed as class actions by groups of consumers who have purchased defective and unrepaired products. This enables purchasers to recover losses for defective products whose costs are too low to justify the expense of individual lawsuits. Class actions can also prevent companies from profiting from products that do not live up to the companies’ promises.

The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) dictates minimum acceptable standards for written (express) warranties on products that cost more than ten dollars. The Act requires product warrantors to, among other things:

  • inform consumers of the contents of their warranties
  • provide a remedy for a warrantied product’s or product component’s defect, malfunction, or nonconformance with the written warranty
  • provide the remedy or repair at no cost to the consumer and within a reasonable period of time
  • offer the consumer a choice between a refund or a replacement of the defective or malfunctioning product or component if the defect or malfunction remains after a reasonable number of attempts to remedy it

MMWA breach of warranty lawsuits commonly involve consumer claims for defective and unrepaired:

  • automobiles or automobile components (including motorcycles, motor homes, and other certified pre-owned and new motor vehicles)
  • major appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and dishwashers

Plaintiffs may also file actions under state lemon laws for breach of written / express warranties on defective and unrepaired automobiles. (Lemon laws do not protect consumers against warranty breaches for other products.)

State laws also grant consumers the right to bring actions for breaches of implied (unwritten) warranties. All products (other than those sold “as is”) contain implied warranties. Implied warranties may include:

  • warranties of fitness for an intended purpose, and
  • warranties of merchantability

Plaintiffs in defective product breach of warranty lawsuits may obtain:

  • refunds or replacements for their defective and unrepaired products
  • compensation equal to the difference between the value of a product as warranted and the actual value of the purchased product