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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a statutory warranty?

A statutory warranty is a type of warranty that is mandated by state or federal law. This warranty is designed to reduce seller fraud and protect consumers. For instance, in some states, sellers are legally required to extend warranties for passenger cars to ensure that consumers aren’t charged when car repairs are needed to reduce vehicular emissions below regulatory limits. Statutory warranties are different from express and implied warranties. An express warranty is a spoken or written commitment by a seller or manufacturer that a product is functional and in good condition. On the other hand, an implied warranty is a guarantee by a seller that a product is free of defects and is functional. Implied warranties are automatically mandated by state law and are usually limited to 4 years. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal regulation that relates to warranties. This Act requires sellers and manufacturers of consumer goods to clearly delineate the bounds of express warranties and to expressly state the requirements for maintaining warranty coverage. The Act also facilitates buyers in suing sellers and manufacturers of consumer goods in breach of warranty cases. Lemon laws are designed to prevent the sale of defective consumer products by sellers and manufacturers. These laws typically only apply to dealerships—individuals are often not bound by such regulations.
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