What Is An Implied Warranty?
Implied warranties are created by state law. They ensure that consumers always have some legal protection for goods that don’t live up to basic expectations. An implied warranty covers almost every purchase you make.
An implied warranty of merchantability means the item is guaranteed to work when it is used for its intended purpose.
Whether goods are sold online or offline, there may exist under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) warranties of:
- Fitness for a particular purpose.
In addition, the Magnuson-Moss Act provides some special rules for the sale of “consumer goods.” See further Clever Article on the Magnuson-Moss Act.
Implied Warranty Of Merchantability
This is the most common type of implied warranty. It means that the seller promises that the product will do what it is supposed to do.
The Uniform Commercial Code UCC states that goods sold:
- Must conform to the standards of the trade as applicable to the contract for sale
- Must be fit for the purposes such goods are ordinarily used, even if the buyer ordered them for use otherwise
- They must be uniform as to quality and quantity, within tolerances of the contract for sale
- They must be packed and labeled per the contract for sale
- They must meet the specifications on the package labels, even if not so specified by the contract for sale.
Fitness for Purpose
This means that a product is guaranteed for a specific purpose.
The goods sold must be “fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used.” When a seller knows the particular reason the buyer wants the goods and understands that the buyer relies on them to select a suitable item for their purpose.
- You ask a watch seller for a waterproof watch. You tell them that you want for diving to a depth of 30 meters because you are going deep-sea diving the next day.
- The merchant gives you a diving watch but it is only tested to 10 meters and the watch leaks. The watch is not fit for the particular purpose you stated and the store has breached an implied warranty of fitness for purpose.
- If the merchant told you that they “didn’t know anything about diving watches beyond the information provided with the watch and you could check for yourself,” they would not be in breach of the warranty for fitness for purpose as not all merchants can be expected to have the skills and knowledge of all their products and situations.
For more see: Fitness For Purpose
Goods Sold ‘As Is’
Implied warranties can be excluded by describing the product with language such as:
“Sold as is” or “with all faults or “sold as seen.”
The UCC (Article 35) also states: “The seller is not liable…for any lack of conformity of the goods if at the time of the conclusion of the contract the buyer knew or could not have been unaware of such lack of conformity.”
For more see: Goods Sold As Seen
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