The Oregon Lemon Law

The Oregon Lemon Law

(Enforcement of Express Warranties on New Motor Vehicles)

646A.400 Definitions for ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418. As used in ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418:

(1) "Collateral charge" means a charge, fee or cost to the consumer related to the sale or lease of a motor vehicle, such as:

(a) A sales, property or use tax;

(b) A license, registration or title fee;

(c) A finance charge;

(d) A prepayment penalty;

(e) A charge for undercoating, rust-proofing or factory or dealer installed options; and

(f) The cost of an aftermarket item purchased within 20 days after delivery of the motor vehicle.

(2) "Consumer" means:

(a) The purchaser or lessee, other than for purposes of resale, of a new motor vehicle normally used for personal, family or household purposes;

(b) Any person to whom a new motor vehicle used for personal, family or household purposes is transferred for the same purposes during the duration of an express warranty applicable to such motor vehicle; and

(c) Any other person entitled by the terms of such warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

(3)(a) "Motor home" means a motor vehicle that is a new or demonstrator vehicular unit built on, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, chassis cab or van that becomes an integral part of the completed vehicle, and that is designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use.

(b) "Motor home" does not include a trailer, camper, van or vehicle manufactured by an entity that primarily manufactures motor vehicles other than motor homes as defined in this subsection.

(c) "Motor home" does not include "living facility components," which means those items designed, used or maintained primarily for the living quarters portion of the motor home, including but not limited to the flooring, plumbing fixtures, appliances, water heater, fabrics, door and furniture hardware, lighting fixtures, generators, roof heating and air conditioning units, cabinets, countertops, furniture and audio-visual equipment.

(4) "Motor vehicle" means a passenger motor vehicle as defined in ORS 801.360 that is purchased in this state or is purchased outside this state but registered in this state. [Formerly 646.315; 2009 c.448 §1]

646A.402 Availability of remedy. The remedy under the provisions of ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 is available to a consumer if:

(1) A new motor vehicle does not conform to applicable manufacturer's express warranties;

(2) The consumer reports each nonconformity to the manufacturer, the manufacturer's agent or the manufacturer's authorized dealer, for the purpose of repair or correction, during the two-year period following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer or during the period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 24,000 miles, whichever period ends first; and

(3) The manufacturer has received direct written notification from or on behalf of the consumer and has had an opportunity to correct the alleged defect. "Notification" under this subsection includes, but is not limited to, a request by the consumer for an informal dispute settlement procedure under ORS 646A.408. [Formerly 646.325; 2009 c.448 §2]

646A.404 Consumer's remedies; manufacturer's affirmative defenses. (1) If the manufacturer or agents or authorized dealers of the manufacturer are unable to conform the motor vehicle to an applicable manufacturer's express warranty by repairing or correcting a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, market value or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall:

(a) Replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle; or

(b) Accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase or lease price and collateral charges paid, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the motor vehicle. In lieu of refunding, as part of the collateral charges paid, the cost of an aftermarket item purchased within 20 days after delivery of the motor vehicle, the manufacturer may remove the aftermarket item from the motor vehicle, if the aftermarket item can be removed from the motor vehicle without damage, and return the aftermarket item to the consumer.

(2) Refunds must be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as the interests of the consumer and lienholder may appear.

(3)(a) As used in this section, "reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the motor vehicle" means:

(A) For a motor vehicle that is not a motorcycle or a motor home, an amount of money equivalent to the motor vehicle mileage as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, multiplied by the combined amount of the cash price or lease price of the motor vehicle and the amount of any collateral charges paid by the consumer, and divided by 120,000.

(B) For a motorcycle, an amount of money equivalent to the motor vehicle mileage as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, multiplied by the combined amount of the cash price or lease price of the motorcycle and the amount of any collateral charges paid by the consumer, and divided by 25,000.

(C) For a motor home, an amount of money equivalent to the motor vehicle mileage as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, multiplied by the combined amount of the cash price or lease price of the motor home and the amount of any collateral charges paid by the consumer, and divided by 90,000.

(b) The motor vehicle mileage for the purposes of the calculation described in paragraph (a) of this subsection is the motor vehicle's mileage at the time the manufacturer takes an action described in subsection (1) of this section, less 10 miles for mileage that the motor vehicle traveled during any period in which the consumer did not have use of the motor vehicle because the manufacturer or an agent or authorized dealer of the manufacturer was repairing the motor vehicle.

(4) It is an affirmative defense to a claim under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 that:

(a) An alleged nonconformity does not substantially impair such use, market value or safety; or

(b) A nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle. [Formerly 646.335; 2009 c.448 §3]

646A.405 Manufacturer action under ORS 646A.404; request to Department of Transportation; notice to buyer; unlawful practice; rules. (1) A manufacturer that takes an action with respect to a motor vehicle under ORS 646A.404 (1)(a) or (b) shall request the Department of Transportation to:

(a) Title the motor vehicle in the manufacturer's name; and

(b) Inscribe on the certificate of title for the motor vehicle and in the department?s records concerning the motor vehicle the notation "Lemon Law Buyback."

(2) A person that acquires a motor vehicle in order to sell, lease or otherwise transfer the motor vehicle and that knows or should have known that the manufacturer took an action with respect to the motor vehicle under ORS 646A.404 (1)(a) or (b) or that the certificate of title for the motor vehicle is inscribed with the notation specified in subsection (1) of this section, before selling, leasing or otherwise transferring the motor vehicle shall:

(a) Provide the buyer, lessee or transferee with a notice that states:

______________________________________________________________________________

This vehicle was repurchased by its manufacturer in accordance with Oregon's consumer warranty law because of a defect in the vehicle. The title to this vehicle has been permanently inscribed with the notation "Lemon Law Buyback."

______________________________________________________________________________

(b) Obtain the signature of the buyer, lessee or transferee on the notice in a space provided for that purpose under a statement in which the buyer, lessee or transferee acknowledges receiving and understanding the notice.

(3) Failure to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) or (2) of this section is an unlawful practice under ORS 646.608 and a person that fails to comply with the requirements is subject to the causes of action and remedies provided in ORS 646.632 and 646.638.

(4) The Director of Transportation may adopt rules to prescribe the form and content of the notice required under this section and to require the disclosure of other information the director deems necessary to inform a buyer, lessee or transferee of the condition of a motor vehicle that is subject to the provisions of this section or information that is otherwise material to a sale, lease or transfer of the motor vehicle. [2009 c.448 §10]

646A.406 Presumption of reasonable attempt to conform; extension of time for repairs; notice to manufacturer. (1) It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable manufacturer's express warranties if, during the two-year period following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer or during the period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 24,000 miles, whichever period ends first:

(a) The manufacturer or an agent or authorized dealer of the manufacturer has subjected the nonconformity to repair or correction three or more times and has had an opportunity to cure the defect alleged, but the nonconformity continues to exist;

(b) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair or correction for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days or 60 or more calendar days if the vehicle is a motor home; or

(c) The manufacturer or an agent or authorized dealer of the manufacturer has subjected a nonconformity that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury to repair or correction at least one time and has made a final attempt to repair or correct the nonconformity, but the nonconformity continues to exist.

(2) A repair or correction for purposes of subsection (1) of this section includes a repair that must take place after the expiration of the earlier of either period.

(3) The period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 24,000 miles, the two-year period and the 30-day period shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

(4) The presumption described in subsection (1) of this section does not apply against a manufacturer unless the manufacturer has received prior direct written notification from or on behalf of the consumer and has had an opportunity to cure the defect alleged. [Formerly 646.345; 2009 c.448 §4]

646A.408 Use of informal dispute settlement procedure as condition for remedy; binding effect on manufacturer. If a manufacturer, for the purpose of settling disputes that arise under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418, establishes or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure that substantially complies with the provisions of 16 C.F.R. part 703, as in effect on June 23, 2009, and causes a consumer to be notified of the procedure, ORS 646A.404 does not apply to a consumer who has not first resorted to the procedure. A decision resulting from arbitration pursuant to the informal dispute settlement procedure is binding on the manufacturer but is not binding on the consumer. [Formerly 646.355; 2009 c.448 §5]

646A.410 Informal dispute settlement procedure; recordkeeping; review by Department of Justice. A manufacturer which has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure shall keep records of all cases submitted to the procedure under ORS 646A.408 and shall make the records available to the Department of Justice if the department requests them. The department may review all case records kept under this section to determine whether or not the arbitrators are complying with the provisions of ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 in reaching their decisions. [Formerly 646.357]

646A.412 Action in court; damages if manufacturer does not act in good faith; attorney fees; expert witness fees; costs. (1) If a consumer brings an action in court under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 against a manufacturer and the consumer is granted one of the remedies specified in ORS 646A.404 (1) by the court, the consumer shall also be awarded up to three times the amount of any damages, not to exceed $50,000 over and above the amount due the consumer under ORS 646A.404 (1), if the court finds that the manufacturer did not act in good faith.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, fees for expert witnesses and costs to a consumer who prevails in an appeal or action under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418. If a court finds that a consumer brought an action under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 in bad faith or solely for the purposes of harassment, the court may award a prevailing manufacturer reasonable attorney fees.

(3) The court may award reasonable attorney fees, fees for expert witnesses and costs to the prevailing party in an appeal or action under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 that involves a motor home. [Formerly 646.359; 2009 c.448 §6]

646A.414 Limitations on actions against dealers. (1) Except as provided in ORS 646A.405, nothing in ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 creates a cause of action by a consumer against a vehicle dealer.

(2) A manufacturer may not join a dealer as a party in a proceeding brought under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418, nor may the manufacturer try to collect from a dealer damages assessed against the manufacturer in a proceeding brought under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418. [Formerly 646.361; 2009 c.448 §7]

646A.416 Limitation on commencement of action. An action brought under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 must be commenced within one year after whichever of the following periods ends earlier:

(1) The period ending on the date on which the mileage on the motor vehicle reaches 24,000 miles;

(2) The two-year period following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer; or

(3) The period that ends after an extension of time provided under ORS 646A.406 (3). [Formerly 646.365; 2009 c.448 §8]

646A.418 Remedies supplementary to existing statutory or common law remedies; election of remedies. Nothing in ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 is intended in any way to limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law. However, if the consumer elects to pursue any other remedy in state or federal court, the remedy available under ORS 646A.400 to 646A.418 shall not be available insofar as it would result in recovery in excess of the recovery authorized by ORS 646A.404 without proof of fault resulting in damages in excess of such recovery. [Formerly 646.375]

(Vehicle Protection Product Warranties)

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The Federal Lemon Law

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

15 U.S.C. § 2301. Definitions.

15 U.S.C. § 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties.

15 U.S.C. § 2303. Designation of written warranties.

15 U.S.C. § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties.

15 U.S.C. § 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product.

15 U.S.C. § 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of written warranty.

15 U.S.C. § 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to perform duties under written or implied warranty.

15 U.S.C. § 2308. Implied warranties.

15 U.S.C. § 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by Commission.

15 U.S.C. § 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes.

15 U.S.C. § 2311. Applicability to other laws.

15 U.S.C. § 2312. Effective dates.

15 U.S.C. § 2301. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) The term "consumer product" means any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes (including any such property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property without regard to whether it is so attached or installed).

(2) The term "Commission" means the Federal Trade Commission.

(3) The term "consumer" means a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product, and any other person who is entitled by the terms of such warranty (or service contract) or under applicable State law to enforce against the warrantor (or service contractor) the obligations of the warranty (or service contract).

(4) The term "supplier" means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.

(5) The term "warrantor" means any supplier or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty or who is or may be obligated under an implied warranty.

(6) The term "written warranty" means—

(A) any written affirmation of fact or written promise made in connection with the sale of a consumer product by a supplier to a buyer which relates to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirms or promises that such material or workmanship is defect free or will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period of time, or

(B) any undertaking in writing in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product to refund, repair, replace, or take other remedial action with respect to such product in the event that such product fails to meet the specifications set forth in the undertaking,

which written affirmation, promise, or undertaking becomes part of the basis of the bargain between a supplier and a buyer for purposes other than resale of such product.

(7) The term "implied warranty" means an implied warranty arising under State law (as modified by sections 2308 and 2304(a) of this title) in connection with the sale by a supplier of a consumer product.

(8) The term "service contract" means a contract in writing to perform, over a fixed period of time or for a specified duration, services relating to the maintenance or repair (or both) of a consumer product.

(9) The term "reasonable and necessary maintenance" consists of those operations (A) which the consumer reasonably can be expected to perform or have performed and (B) which are necessary to keep any consumer product performing its intended function and operating at a reasonable level of performance.

(10) The term "remedy" means whichever of the following actions the warrantor elects:

(A) repair,

(B) replacement, or

(C) refund;

except that the warrantor may not elect refund unless (i) the warrantor is unable to provide replacement and repair is not commercially practicable or cannot be timely made, or (ii) the consumer is willing to accept such refund.

(11) The term "replacement" means furnishing a new consumer product which is identical or reasonably equivalent to the warranted consumer product.

(12) The term "refund" means refunding the actual purchase price (less reasonable depreciation based on actual use where permitted by rules of the Commission).

(13) The term "distributed in commerce" means sold in commerce, introduced or delivered for introduction into commerce, or held for sale or distribution after introduction into commerce.

(14) The term "commerce" means trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation—

(A) between a place in a State and any place outside thereof, or

(B) which affects trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation described in subparagraph (A).

(15) The term "State" means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Canal Zone, or American Samoa. The term "State law" includes a law of the United States applicable only to the District of Columbia or only to a territory or possession of the United States; and the term "Federal law" excludes any State law.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §101, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2183.)

References in Text

For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in par. (15), see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Short Title of 2015 Amendment

Pub. L. 114–51, §1, Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494, provided that: "This Act [amending section 2302 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 2302 of this title] may be cited as the 'E-Warranty Act of 2015'."

Short Title

Pub. L. 93–637, §1, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2183, provided: "That this act [enacting this chapter and sections 57a to 57c of this title, amending sections 45, 46, 49, 50, 52, 56, and 58 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 45, 56, 57a, and 57b of this title] may be cited as the 'Magnuson-Moss Warranty—Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act'."

15 U.S.C. § 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties

(a) Full and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; additional requirements for contents

In order to improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products, any warrantor warranting a consumer product to a consumer by means of a written warranty shall, to the extent required by rules of the Commission, fully and conspicuously disclose in simple and readily understood language the terms and conditions of such warranty. Such rules may require inclusion in the written warranty of any of the following items among others:

(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.

(2) The identity of the party or parties to whom the warranty is extended.

(3) The products or parts covered.

(4) A statement of what the warrantor will do in the event of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty—at whose expense—and for what period of time.

(5) A statement of what the consumer must do and expenses he must bear.

(6) Exceptions and exclusions from the terms of the warranty.

(7) The step-by-step procedure which the consumer should take in order to obtain performance of any obligation under the warranty, including the identification of any person or class of persons authorized to perform the obligations set forth in the warranty.

(8) Information respecting the availability of any informal dispute settlement procedure offered by the warrantor and a recital, where the warranty so provides, that the purchaser may be required to resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedies in the courts.

(9) A brief, general description of the legal remedies available to the consumer.

(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.

(11) The period of time within which, after notice of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.

(12) The characteristics or properties of the products, or parts thereof, that are not covered by the warranty.

(13) The elements of the warranty in words or phrases which would not mislead a reasonable, average consumer as to the nature or scope of the warranty.

(b) Availability of terms to consumer; manner and form for presentation and display of information; duration; extension of period for written warranty or service contract; electronic display of terms of warranty

(1)(A) The Commission shall prescribe rules requiring that the terms of any written warranty on a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to the sale of the product to him.

(B) The Commission may prescribe rules for determining the manner and form in which information with respect to any written warranty of a consumer product shall be clearly and conspicuously presented or displayed so as not to mislead the reasonable, average consumer, when such information is contained in advertising, labeling, point-of-sale material, or other representations in writing.

(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than paragraph (3) of this subsection) shall be deemed to authorize the Commission to prescribe the duration of written warranties given or to require that a consumer product or any of its components be warranted.

(3) The Commission may prescribe rules for extending the period of time a written warranty or service contract is in effect to correspond with any period of time in excess of a reasonable period (not less than 10 days) during which the consumer is deprived of the use of such consumer product by reason of failure of the product to conform with the written warranty or by reason of the failure of the warrantor (or service contractor) to carry out such warranty (or service contract) within the period specified in the warranty (or service contract).

(4)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the rules prescribed under this subsection shall allow for the satisfaction of all requirements concerning the availability of terms of a written warranty on a consumer product under this subsection by—

(i) making available such terms in an accessible digital format on the Internet website of the manufacturer of the consumer product in a clear and conspicuous manner; and

(ii) providing to the consumer (or prospective consumer) information with respect to how to obtain and review such terms by indicating on the product or product packaging or in the product manual—

(I) the Internet website of the manufacturer where such terms can be obtained and reviewed; and

(II) the phone number of the manufacturer, the postal mailing address of the manufacturer, or another reasonable non-Internet based means of contacting the manufacturer to obtain and review such terms.

(B) With respect to any requirement that the terms of any written warranty for a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to sale of the product, in a case in which a consumer product is offered for sale in a retail location, by catalog, or through door-to-door sales, subparagraph (A) shall only apply if the seller makes available, through electronic or other means, at the location of the sale to the consumer purchasing the consumer product the terms of the warranty for the consumer product before the purchase.

(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission

No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if—

(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and

(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefor.

(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty provisions

The Commission may by rule devise detailed substantive warranty provisions which warrantors may incorporate by reference in their warranties.

(e) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $5

The provisions of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $5.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §102, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2185; Pub. L. 114–51, §3(a), Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494.)

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 114–51 added par. (4).

Findings

Pub. L. 114–51, §2, Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494, provided that: "Congress makes the following findings:

"(1) Many manufacturers and consumers prefer to have the option to provide or receive warranty information online.

"(2) Modernizing warranty notification rules is necessary to allow the United States to continue to compete globally in manufacturing, trade, and the development of consumer products connected to the Internet.

"(3) Allowing an electronic warranty option would expand consumer access to relevant consumer information in an environmentally friendly way, and would provide additional flexibility to manufacturers to meet their labeling and warranty requirements."

Revision of Rules

Pub. L. 114–51, §3(b), Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 495, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 24, 2015], the Federal Trade Commission shall revise the rules prescribed under such section [meaning section 102(b) of Pub. L. 93–637, which is classified to subsec. (b) of this section] to comply with the requirements of paragraph (4) of such section, as added by subsection (a) of this section [amending this section].

"(2) Authority to waive requirement for oral presentation.—In revising rules under paragraph (1), the Federal Trade Commission may waive the requirement of section 109(a) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 2309(a)) to give interested persons an opportunity for oral presentation if the Commission determines that giving interested persons such opportunity would interfere with the ability of the Commission to revise rules under paragraph (1) in a timely manner."

15 U.S.C. § 2303. Designation of written warranties

(a) Full (statement of duration) or limited warranty

Any warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty shall clearly and conspicuously designate such warranty in the following manner, unless exempted from doing so by the Commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section:

(1) If the written warranty meets the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a "full (statement of duration) warranty".

(2) If the written warranty does not meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a "limited warranty".

(b) Applicability of requirements, standards, etc., to representations or statements of customer satisfaction

This section and sections 2302 and 2304 of this title shall not apply to statements or representations which are similar to expressions of general policy concerning customer satisfaction and which are not subject to any specific limitations.

(c) Exemptions by Commission

In addition to exercising the authority pertaining to disclosure granted in section 2302 of this title, the Commission may by rule determine when a written warranty does not have to be designated either "full (statement of duration)" or "limited" in accordance with this section.

(d) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $10 and not designated as full warranties

The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $10 and which are not designated "full (statement of duration) warranties".

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §103, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2187.)

15 U.S.C. § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties

(a) Remedies under written warranty; duration of implied warranty; exclusion or limitation on consequential damages for breach of written or implied warranty; election of refund or replacement

In order for a warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty to meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty—

(1) such warrantor must as a minimum remedy such consumer product within a reasonable time and without charge, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty;

(2) notwithstanding section 2308(b) of this title, such warrantor may not impose any limitation on the duration of any implied warranty on the product;

(3) such warrantor may not exclude or limit consequential damages for breach of any written or implied warranty on such product, unless such exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty; and

(4) if the product (or a component part thereof) contains a defect or malfunction after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to remedy defects or malfunctions in such product, such warrantor must permit the consumer to elect either a refund for, or replacement without charge of, such product or part (as the case may be). The Commission may by rule specify for purposes of this paragraph, what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts to remedy particular kinds of defects or malfunctions under different circumstances. If the warrantor replaces a component part of a consumer product, such replacement shall include installing the part in the product without charge.

(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor

(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) respecting a written warranty, the warrantor shall not impose any duty other than notification upon any consumer as a condition of securing remedy of any consumer product which malfunctions, is defective, or does not conform to the written warranty, unless the warrantor has demonstrated in a rulemaking proceeding, or can demonstrate in an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding (including private enforcement), or in an informal dispute settlement proceeding, that such a duty is reasonable.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a warrantor may require, as a condition to replacement of, or refund for, any consumer product under subsection (a), that such consumer product shall be made available to the warrantor free and clear of liens and other encumbrances, except as otherwise provided by rule or order of the Commission in cases in which such a requirement would not be practicable.

(3) The Commission may, by rule define in detail the duties set forth in subsection (a) of this section and the applicability of such duties to warrantors of different categories of consumer products with "full (statement of duration)" warranties.

(4) The duties under subsection (a) extend from the warrantor to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product.

(c) Waiver of standards

The performance of the duties under subsection (a) shall not be required of the warrantor if he can show that the defect, malfunction, or failure of any warranted consumer product to conform with a written warranty, was caused by damage (not resulting from defect or malfunction) while in the possession of the consumer, or unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance).

(d) Remedy without charge

For purposes of this section and of section 2302(c) of this title, the term "without charge" means that the warrantor may not assess the consumer for any costs the warrantor or his representatives incur in connection with the required remedy of a warranted consumer product. An obligation under subsection (a)(1)(A) to remedy without charge does not necessarily require the warrantor to compensate the consumer for incidental expenses; however, if any incidental expenses are incurred because the remedy is not made within a reasonable time or because the warrantor imposed an unreasonable duty upon the consumer as a condition of securing remedy, then the consumer shall be entitled to recover reasonable incidental expenses which are so incurred in any action against the warrantor.

(e) Incorporation of standards to products designated with full warranty for purposes of judicial actions

If a supplier designates a warranty applicable to a consumer product as a "full (statement of duration)" warranty, then the warranty on such product shall, for purposes of any action under section 2310(d) of this title or under any State law, be deemed to incorporate at least the minimum requirements of this section and rules prescribed under this section.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §104, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2187.)

15 U.S.C. § 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the selling of a consumer product which has both full and limited warranties if such warranties are clearly and conspicuously differentiated.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §105, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2188.)

15 U.S.C. § 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of written warranty

(a) The Commission may prescribe by rule the manner and form in which the terms and conditions of service contracts shall be fully, clearly, and conspicuously disclosed.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a supplier or warrantor from entering into a service contract with the consumer in addition to or in lieu of a written warranty if such contract fully, clearly, and conspicuously discloses its terms and conditions in simple and readily understood language.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §106, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2188.)

15 U.S.C. § 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to perform duties under written or implied warranty

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any warrantor from designating representatives to perform duties under the written or implied warranty: Provided, That such warrantor shall make reasonable arrangements for compensation of such designated representatives, but no such designation shall relieve the warrantor of his direct responsibilities to the consumer or make the representative a cowarrantor.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §107, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2189.)

15 U.S.C. § 2308. Implied warranties

(a) Restrictions on disclaimers or modifications

No supplier may disclaim or modify (except as provided in subsection (b)) any implied warranty to a consumer with respect to such consumer product if (1) such supplier makes any written warranty to the consumer with respect to such consumer Product, or (2) at the time of sale, or within 90 days thereafter, such supplier enters into a service contract with the consumer which applies to such consumer product.

(b) Limitation on duration

For purposes of this chapter (other than section 2304(a)(2) of this title), implied warranties may be limited in duration to the duration of a written warranty of reasonable duration, if such limitation is conscionable and is set forth in clear and unmistakable language and prominently displayed on the face of the warranty.

(c) Effectiveness of disclaimers, modifications, or limitations

A disclaimer, modification, or limitation made in violation of this section shall be ineffective for purposes of this chapter and State law.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §108, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2189.)

15 U.S.C. § 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by Commission

(a) Oral presentation

Any rule prescribed under this chapter shall be prescribed in accordance with section 553 of title 5; except that the Commission shall give interested persons an opportunity for oral presentations of data, views, and arguments, in addition to written submissions. A transcript shall be kept of any oral presentation. Any such rule shall be subject to judicial review under section 57a(e) of this title in the same manner as rules prescribed under section 57a(a)(1)(B) of this title, except that section 57a(e)(3)(B) of this title shall not apply.

(b) Warranties and warranty practices involved in sale of used motor vehicles

The Commission shall initiate within one year after January 4, 1975, a rulemaking proceeding dealing with warranties and warranty practices in connection with the sale of used motor vehicles; and, to the extent necessary to supplement the protections offered the consumer by this chapter, shall prescribe rules dealing with such warranties and practices. In prescribing rules under this subsection, the Commission may exercise any authority it may have under this chapter, or other law, and in addition it may require disclosure that a used motor vehicle is sold without any warranty and specify the form and content of such disclosure.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §109, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2189.)

15 U.S.C. § 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes

(a) Informal dispute settlement procedures; establishment; rules setting forth minimum requirements; effect of compliance by warrantor; review of informal procedures or implementation by Commission; application to existing informal procedures

(1) Congress hereby declares it to be its policy to encourage warrantors to establish procedures whereby consumer disputes are fairly and expeditiously settled through informal dispute settlement mechanisms.

(2) The Commission shall prescribe rules setting forth minimum requirements for any informal dispute settlement procedure which is incorporated into the terms of a written warranty to which any provision of this chapter applies. Such rules shall provide for participation in such procedure by independent or governmental entities.

(3) One or more warrantors may establish an informal dispute settlement procedure which meets the requirements of the Commission's rules under paragraph (2). If—

(A) a warrantor establishes such a procedure,

(B) such procedure, and its implementation, meets the requirements of such rules, and

(C) he incorporates in a written warranty a requirement that the consumer resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedy under this section respecting such warranty,

then (i) the consumer may not commence a civil action (other than a class action) under subsection (d) of this section unless he initially resorts to such procedure; and (ii) a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under subsection (d) except to the extent the court determines necessary to establish the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs, unless the named plaintiffs (upon notifying the defendant that they are named plaintiffs in a class action with respect to a warranty obligation) initially resort to such procedure. In the case of such a class action which is brought in a district court of the United States, the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs shall be established in the application of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In any civil action arising out of a warranty obligation and relating to a matter considered in such a procedure, any decision in such procedure shall be admissible in evidence.

(4) The Commission on its own initiative may, or upon written complaint filed by any interested person shall, review the bona fide operation of any dispute settlement procedure resort to which is stated in a written warranty to be a prerequisite to pursuing a legal remedy under this section. If the Commission finds that such procedure or its implementation fails to comply with the requirements of the rules under paragraph (2), the Commission may take appropriate remedial action under any authority it may have under this chapter or any other provision of law.

(5) Until rules under paragraph (2) take effect, this subsection shall not affect the validity of any informal dispute settlement procedure respecting consumer warranties, but in any action under subsection (d), the court may invalidate any such procedure if it finds that such procedure is unfair.

(b) Prohibited acts

It shall be a violation of section 45(a)(1) of this title for any person to fail to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by this chapter (or a rule thereunder) or to violate any prohibition contained in this chapter (or a rule thereunder).

(c) Injunction proceedings by Attorney General or Commission for deceptive warranty, noncompliance with requirements, or violating prohibitions; procedures; definitions

(1) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of any action brought by the Attorney General (in his capacity as such), or by the Commission by any of its attorneys designated by it for such purpose, to restrain (A) any warrantor from making a deceptive warranty with respect to a consumer product, or (B) any person from failing to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by or pursuant to this chapter or from violating any prohibition contained in this chapter. Upon proper showing that, weighing the equities and considering the Commission's or Attorney General's likelihood of ultimate success, such action would be in the public interest and after notice to the defendant, a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted without bond. In the case of an action brought by the Commission, if a complaint under section 45 of this title is not filed within such period (not exceeding 10 days) as may be specified by the court after the issuance of the temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, the order or injunction shall be dissolved by the court and be of no further force and effect. Any suit shall be brought in the district in which such person resides or transacts business. Whenever it appears to the court that the ends of justice require that other persons should be parties in the action, the court may cause them to be summoned whether or not they reside in the district in which the court is held, and to that end process may be served in any district.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "deceptive warranty" means (A) a written warranty which (i) contains an affirmation, promise, description, or representation which is either false or fraudulent, or which, in light of all of the circumstances, would mislead a reasonable individual exercising due care; or (ii) fails to contain information which is necessary in light of all of the circumstances, to make the warranty not misleading to a reasonable individual exercising due care; or (B) a written warranty created by the use of such terms as "guaranty" or "warranty", if the terms and conditions of such warranty so limit its scope and application as to deceive a reasonable individual.

(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction; recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims

(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e), a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief—

(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of Columbia; or

(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses (including attorneys' fees based on actual time expended) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorneys' fees would be inappropriate.

(3) No claim shall be cognizable in a suit brought under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection—

(A) if the amount in controversy of any individual claim is less than the sum or value of $25;

(B) if the amount in controversy is less than the sum or value of $50,000 (exclusive of interests and costs) computed on the basis of all claims to be determined in this suit; or

(C) if the action is brought as a class action, and the number of named plaintiffs is less than one hundred.

(e) Class actions; conditions; procedures applicable

No action (other than a class action or an action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) applies) may be brought under subsection (d) for failure to comply with any obligation under any written or implied warranty or service contract, and a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under such subsection with respect to such a failure except to the extent the court determines necessary to establish the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs, unless the person obligated under the warranty or service contract is afforded a reasonable opportunity to cure such failure to comply. In the case of such a class action (other than a class action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) applies) brought under subsection (d) for breach of any written or implied warranty or service contract, such reasonable opportunity will be afforded by the named plaintiffs and they shall at that time notify the defendant that they are acting on behalf of the class. In the case of such a class action which is brought in a district court of the United States, the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs shall be established in the application of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(f) Warrantors subject to enforcement of remedies

For purposes of this section, only the warrantor actually making a written affirmation of fact, promise, or undertaking shall be deemed to have created a written warranty, and any rights arising thereunder may be enforced under this section only against such warrantor and no other person.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §110, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2189.)

References in Text

Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsecs. (a)(3) and (e), is set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

15 U.S.C. § 2311. Applicability to other laws

(a) Federal Trade Commission Act and Federal Seed Act

(1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, or supersede the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] or any statute defined therein as an Antitrust Act.

(2) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, or supersede the Federal Seed Act [7 U.S.C. 1551 et seq.] and nothing in this chapter shall apply to seed for planting.

(b) Rights, remedies, and liabilities

(1) Nothing in this chapter shall invalidate or restrict any right or remedy of any consumer under State law or any other Federal law.

(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than sections 2308 and 2304(a)(2) and (4) of this title) shall (A) affect the liability of, or impose liability on, any person for personal injury, or (B) supersede any provision of State law regarding consequential damages for injury to the person or other injury.

(c) State warranty laws

(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) and in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a State requirement—

(A) which relates to labeling or disclosure with respect to written warranties or performance thereunder;

(B) which is within the scope of an applicable requirement of sections 2302, 2303, and 2304 of this title (and rules implementing such sections), and

(C) which is not identical to a requirement of section 2302, 2303, or 2304 of this title (or a rule thereunder),

shall not be applicable to written warranties complying with such sections (or rules thereunder).

(2) If, upon application of an appropriate State agency, the Commission determines (pursuant to rules issued in accordance with section 2309 of this title) that any requirement of such State covering any transaction to which this chapter applies (A) affords protection to consumers greater than the requirements of this chapter and (B) does not unduly burden interstate commerce, then such State requirement shall be applicable (notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection) to the extent specified in such determination for so long as the State administers and enforces effectively any such greater requirement.

(d) Other Federal warranty laws

This chapter (other than section 2302(c) of this title) shall be inapplicable to any written warranty the making or content of which is otherwise governed by Federal law. If only a portion of a written warranty is so governed by Federal law, the remaining portion shall be subject to this chapter.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §111, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2192.)

References in Text

The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§41 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.

The Antitrust Acts, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), are defined in section 44 of this title.

The Federal Seed Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is act Aug. 9, 1939, ch. 615, 53 Stat. 1275, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 37 (§1551 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1551 of Title 7 and Tables.

15 U.S.C. § 2312. Effective dates

(a) Effective date of chapter

Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this chapter shall take effect 6 months after January 4, 1975, but shall not apply to consumer products manufactured prior to such date.

(b) Effective date of section 2302(a)

Section 2302(a) of this title shall take effect 6 months after the final publication of rules respecting such section; except that the Commission, for good cause shown, may postpone the applicability of such sections until one year after such final publication in order to permit any designated classes of suppliers to bring their written warranties into compliance with rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

(c) Promulgation of rules

The Commission shall promulgate rules for initial implementation of this chapter as soon as possible after January 4, 1975, but in no event later than one year after such date.

(Pub. L. 93–637, title I, §112, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2192

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