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What happens if a warrantied product proves to be defective?

Whether you buy a car, television, toaster or children's toy, it most likely comes with a consumer warranty. While it's commonplace for new products we all purchase to be covered by a warranty, items that you may buy used may also be covered by extended warranties. Even if an explanation isn't made at the time of a purchase, an implied warranty may cover an item that you buy.

A warranty merely serves as a way for a seller to guarantee that a product is both reliable and of high quality.

If a product stops working or fails to operate as advertised, then it's possible that you, as the buyer, can request that the seller make amends for it not living up to expectations. This often entails a seller either offering to fix a product or replacing it at no cost to the consumer.

A consumer's right to either have a defective product replaced or fixed is protected under the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This federal law requires that all sellers provide consumers with written warranties for virtually every nominally priced product before they make their purchase.

Under this law, there are certain elements that must be present in a product's written warranty including both the name and address of the warranty company and a description of the parts or product being covered as well as those that aren't. It should also mention if any improper use invalidates the warranty.

It also requires that sellers describe how they will handle defective products, including whether they will repair, replace or refund the cost of them. It should go into detail about how long the warranty is intended to remain in effect after a buyer's purchase as well.

Finally, the warranty description should include further details about a consumer's rights, including how disputes between buyer and seller should be handled should they arise. In many cases, warranties will state that a consumer and a seller must first try to resolve their differences via arbitration before resorting to filing a lawsuit.

There are three different types of warranties, including express, implied and lifetime ones. There are some cases in which used items may be covered by warranties as well.

If you've purchased a product that's caused you physical or emotional harm because of its failure to perform as intended, then a Nashville attorney can provide guidance in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Consumer warranty basics," accessed June 14, 2018

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