Generally speaking, a warranty is a type of guarantee that’s made in connection to the sale of a product or of property.  There can be many different types of warranties, depending on the type of product being sold.  A warranty may make various promises, such as the promise that:

  • The product is actually the type of product being sold that is listed
  • The product can be returned or refunded within a certain amount of days
  • The manufacturer or seller will provide repairs for the item
  • The manufacturer will provide a replacement in case of damage or lost items
  • The product is of a certain quality, grade or craftsmanship
  • The purchaser has certain rights with regards to the product or property (such as exclusive rights to the use of land or property)

Thus, a “warranty contract” is a formal agreement that specifically lists out these types of guarantees.  The warranty contract may be embedded as part of the sales contract, or it may stand out as its own separate contract document.  Most warranties should list the date that they are applicable, and whether they will be subject to an expiration date.

What are Some Types of Warranty Contracts?

There may be as many warranty contracts as there are different products and real property being sold.  Warranty contracts can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each party involved in a sale.  Some common types of warranty contracts can include:

  • Implied warranty-  These are generally associated with the sale of real property; the transfer of the title to the land usually “implies” or suggests various rights to the purchaser, such as the right to use the land exclusively
  • Auto warranty– Car sales are usually backed by some form of warranty.  These usually have to do with the replacement of car parts and with car repairs; auto warranties are generally associated with the manufacturer’s obligations as detailed in the car sales package
  • Consumer warranty– Many common consumer items (such as appliances, toys, clothing, furniture, etc.) come with a warranty, which may allow the purchaser to obtain a replacement or refund if they aren’t satisfied with the product

What are Some Legal Remedies for Warranty Violations?

A breach of warranty rights by the seller is generally viewed as unfavorable.  A warranty is usually meant to establish the brand’s reputation, and is thought to encourage consumers to buy the product.  That is, if one product is covered by warranty and a similar product isn’t, the consumer will usually purchase the one covered by warranty. 

Therefore, if the manufacturer or seller breaches their warranty obligations, it can mean a loss of business for the company.  For instance, if the warranty allows a car owner to obtain repairs from the auto plant for at least a year after purchase, the car company is obligated to provide those repairs.  Failure to do so might be bad for the company’s business.  Thus, most companies are willing to provide remedies in the event that they breach a clearly stated warranty right.

Some remedies for breach of warranty can include a monetary damages award issued by the court through a properly filed lawsuit.  The damages award may allow the warranty holder to receive their rights under the warranty, as well as any extra damages that are reasonably connected with the breach. 

Another remedy might be injunction, which is a court order instructing the company to make good on its warranty promises (such as making the necessary repairs, replacements, etc.).  This is common if the purchase was made under warranty promising a certain quality or grade of product. 

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Need Assistance With a Warranty Contract?

Warranty contracts are an important aspect for both the business company as well as the average consumer.  You may need to hire a defective products lawyer if you need help with the drafting, reviewing, editing, or revision of a warranty contract.  Your lawyer can ensure that your rights are properly reflected in the warranty contract documents.  In the event of a breach of warranty, you may also need to hire a lawyer for representation in a civil lawsuit.