Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Here’s something you might not know: Even if you’re not the original owner of your vehicle, the performance of that vehicle may be covered under the federal act.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act may provide some assistance in helping you receive the proper compensation and assistance you need with repairs—especially if the vehicle is relatively new.

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A Brief Overview

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act became federal law in 1975, at a time when it wasn’t uncommon for manufacturers to use disclaimers or unfair warranties in order to generate more revenue. The Act exists today both to protect consumers and to help them make informed purchases. While it was created to cover a wide range of products, the Act also covers most vehicles.

Congress had four goals in mind when it passed the Act, and they’re still essential to the Act today:

  • To ensure customers can receive all of the information about warranty terms and conditions.
  • To ensure customers can compare warranties before making a purchase.
  • To promote competition among manufacturers on the basis of warranty coverage.
  • To promote timely repairs under warranty obligations.

In addition, the Act has three major requirements for warrantors and sellers:

  1. Warrantors must designate or title a written warranty as “full” or “limited.” For reference, a full warranty covers the entire vehicle for a certain period of time. A limited warranty covers only certain components as listed in the warranty at the manufacturer’s or seller’s discretion.
  2. Warrantors must explain certain aspects of the warranty in a single, clear, easy-to-read document. That includes discussing information like the parts covered under the warranty, how the warrantor will respond to a defect or malfunction, and an explanation on what actions consumers need to take and the expenses they need to bear in the event something breaks.
  3. Warrantors and sellers must ensure warranties are available where vehicles are sold so that consumers can review them before purchasing.

In addition, the Act prohibits using “tie-in sales” provisions. This includes selling a warrantied vehicle while requiring the consumer to only receive services or parts from a single business. For example, a manufacturer can’t require you, under a warranty, to only use a certain brand of tires in order to maintain the warranty.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Your Vehicle

Most of today’s vehicles are sold with an original manufacturer’s warranty. In some cases, used vehicles are sold with the remaining portion of that original manufacturer warranty. Your dealer should honor this warranty through its expiration date.

When your car is under the original manufacturer’s warranty, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act requires the manufacturer to abide by the agreement laid out within that warranty, and to replace or repair the covered vehicle components in a timely manner. Failing to do so is a direct violation of the Act.

The Law in Action

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Let’s say you purchase a car with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. If you have an electrical problem, you can return the vehicle to the dealership for repairs. However, if your problem turns into three or more visits to the dealership, or if your vehicle is out of service for a cumulative twenty or more days, then you may be able to pursue action. The manufacturer may have violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act because the repairs weren’t completed in a timely fashion. If something like this happens to you, contact the Robison Lemon Law Group for assistance.

Lawsuits, Recalls, and Complaints

Thanks to the Act, consumers have a quick avenue for suing if they believe a manufacturer failed to honor the requirements within the warranty. The Act also allows consumers to recoup court costs and reasonable lawyer fees—provided that the consumer/plaintiff prevails.

All Cases Reviewed By An Experienced Attorney

In most cases, warranty lawsuits regarding vehicles are handled outside of court. In fact, the Act encourages companies to settle warranty disputes via informal dispute resolution. That said, most cases involving the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and cars won’t reach higher than the state court. However, if there has been at least $50,000 in damages, or if there is a class action lawsuit, the case may appear before a federal judge.

Partially because of the Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration coordinates recalls and complaints from consumers. Before purchasing a vehicle, it’s a good idea to check for vehicle complaints and recalls to see if you’re buying something that may get you in trouble down the road.

Seek Legal Assistance Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The law may be on your side if your vehicle is in constant need of repairs despite being under warranty, your dealership refuses to repair your vehicle in a timely manner, or if the manufacturer refuses to fix a warrantable defect altogether. Robison Lemon Law Group can help you navigate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Avg. Days To Settlement: 55