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Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Pub. L. No. 93-637 (1975), codified at 15 U.S.C. §§2301 et seq.
The Act is a major federal consumer protection law. The Act, which is primarily administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), prescribes comprehensive federal standards for written warranties and service contracts on and in connection with consumer products manufactured on or after July 4, 1975.
The Act seeks to meet four basic goals: (1) to promote consumer understanding of warranties; (2) to protect consumers who buy consumer products which are covered by written warranties; (3) to provide viable warranty enforcement on behalf of consumers; and (4) to stimulate manufacturers to produce more reliable products. To do so, the Act establishes minimum standards for various types of written warranties and service contracts, requires that consumers be given detailed warranty information before and after purchasing consumer products, and provides judicial, administrative, and informal warranty enforcement mechanisms.
The Act, however, does not require a manufacturer or seller to issue a warranty. Moreover, the FTC is not authorized to prescribe warranty duration. Instead, the Act applies to written warranties and service contracts which have been voluntarily provided in connection with consumer products.
It covers any "tangible property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family or household purposes." The law focuses on disclosure requirements relating to written warranties. For this purpose, warranty provisions must contain the following disclosures:
- Any limitation on the duration of implied warranties must include the statement: "Some States do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you."
- An exclusion or limitation on relief must include the statement: "Some States do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above may not apply to you."
- All warranties must include the statement: "This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from State to State."
- ↑ 15 U.S.C. § 2301(1).