Lemon Law for appliances
Is appliances comes in lemon law??
If the manufacturer has given a warranty on your refrigerator, washer or dryer, dishwasher, or other major appliance, you probably have rights under both state law (the Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC) and the federal Magnuson-Moss Act. The Magnuson-Moss Act standardizes the terms of consumer warranties, should the manufacturer decide to offer any warranty at all. And, of course, I am sure that you know that you need a warranty when you purchase a major appliance, and wouldn’t purchase one without it.
Under the UCC, the description of the appliance features that the manufacturer has given on the box or carton or instruction pamphlet becomes part of the guarantee unless such description is immediately followed by a statement that the manufacturer is not promising anything.
Most warranties are limited; the buyer has a certain timeframe for the guarantee, and there are certain conditions that must be met for the warranty to remain in force - for example, if the buyer smashes the television screen with a sledgehammer, the warranty won’t pay. Sometimes, there is a short period of full warranty followed by a longer period of limited warranty.
If there is no written warranty, your state’s law may still award you an “implied warranty of fitness” or an “implied warranty of merchantability.” These are promises that the appliance will do what the sales literature affirmed (fitness) or that the appliance will perform its basic functions (merchantability - for example, that a washing machine will have a wash, rinse, and a spin cycle). It is very important to keep copies of all of the advertisements and sales literature you relied on, so you can stake a claim under these implied warranties. If you buy over the Internet, print the screens that gave you the sales information.
Please note that if a product is sold “as is,” there is no warranty of any kind on the product.
It is always a good idea to make major purchases with a credit card that offers a double warranty period. Furthermore, if you purchase by credit card, you have the advantage of being able to use your card issuer as a mediator in any dispute you have with the manufacturer before you have paid the credit card bill in question.
Don’t buy an extended warranty unless you are certain that you will be inflicting extreme use on your new appliance. In general, extended warranties are profit centers for retailers, and few claims are actually made by consumers.
Products manufactured outside the United States may not have warranties comparable to domestic goods, and you may have to ship a defective item abroad for service. This is a good reason to “buy USA.”
Save your sales receipt to prove the date that your warranty began. You do not need to send in the registration card, and, if you decide to send it in anyway, you do not need to fill in the “interests and demographic” blanks - such information is simply used for direct marketing campaigns. (For products like car seats for children, it is a good idea to send in the registration card so that you will be notified if there is a product recall.)
The length of your warranty period is extended, under the law of many states, by the amount of time that you were without the appliance because it was in transit to the manufacturer for repair or was in the manufacturer’s shop.
As a last resort, you may have to sue in small claims court. Proceedings there are informal, and you can make your case in a short oral presentation with the same documents that you sent to the company in your letter of complaint. Phone your local court to learn more about how to file a suit in your county.
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|Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 11:22 am under What Exactly is Lemon law? | RSS 2.0 Feed|