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Warranties (Goods) Consumer Warranty Protection (Civil Code § 1791.(a)
The following general information about warranties may provide a consumer with the necessary information; however, the referrals listed below, for example, "other referrals" may provide more specific assistance.
A warranty or guarantee is an assurance or a promise about the quality or services of the goods, which a consumer buys. It is intended to give a consumer some form of recourse whether to fix the good or to take it back if the good, which is purchased, does not live-up to what was assured or promised Warranties are either express or implied. An express warranty is a statement regarding the product. Express warranties can be created through an oral or written statement, a description, and a brochure or through an advertisement.
There are two kinds of implied warranties:
- Implied warranty of merchantability or
- Implied warranty for a particular purpose
An implied warranty of merchantability is an assurance that a product will work when used for a reasonable purpose. An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose applies when the consumer has a particular purpose in mind for a product, and the seller under the particular circumstances should have reasonably known of that particular purpose.
Warranties may be disclaimed if a seller truly sells a good with particular language such as "AS IS". A seller cannot claim that a sale is "AS IS" if the seller makes oral promises regarding the quality of the product.
The California Song-Beverly Warranty Act, (Song-Beverly Act), contained in Civil Code sections 1790-1795.8) is the primary source of warranty law for consumer products. It requires automobile manufacturers and other warrantors to maintain service and repair facilities sufficient to carry out the terms of their new car warranties. The warranty itself must clearly describe what is covered; it must state what the warrantor will do in the event of a defect, malfunction or failure to conform with the warranty; and it must include a step-by-step explanation of the procedures the consumer should follow to obtain performance of any warranty obligation.
A consumer may also buy or extend the warranty on a consumer good through a service contract. This is defined by federal law as a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance or repair (or both) of a consumer product. Service contracts are sold under many names --"extended warranty". "maintenance agreement", "protection plan" or "service contract". Sometimes service contracts are sold to extend the manufacturer's warranty, or are sold in place of a manufacturer's warranty. They are like a warranty, except that you pay extra for the protection, and some other company may perform the repairs.