22 Dec UCC Article 2 Warranties
Giving the Gift of Good Warranties
With the holiday season in full force, many consumers are out purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones. Most consumers will solely focus on price or quality of product when searching for that perfect gift. However, consumers should also take into account what warranties the product has as well.
A warranty is a guarantee that attaches to a good that is sold. Goods are typically moveable items, like furniture, electronics, or books. Both goods and warranties are governed under a body of law called the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC, specifically Article 2 of the UCC. While the UCC is neither code nor uniform across all states, most states have adopted Article 2 verbatim or a version of Article 2 that is in harmony with the statutes of other states. Because of the variation between state code, it is important that you contact an attorney in your state if you think you have a breach of warranty case.
Article 2 creates 3 main types of warranties consumers should be cognizant of: express warranties, implied warranties, and warranties of merchantability.
These are the warranties most people think of when they are buying a product. Express warranties are usually made by oral statement or are in writing. For example, if a car salesman says that a car gets “25 miles per gallon” then the salesman is promising that the car will get “25 miles per gallon.” An express warranty can also be created if you purchase a gallon of paint based off of a sample the paint store gives you, because you expect that the paint you purchased will be like the sample. However, not all oral statements are express warranties. If the car salesman were to say that the “car is the best used car that $1,000 can buy,” it is likely not an express warranty but exaggerated sales language.
Implied warranties are warranties that automatically attach to a good without the seller making any express promises. An implied warranty will only attach if it is sold by a merchant who deals in those kind of goods. For example, if you buy a couch from a furniture store then an implied warranty will attach. However, if you buy a couch from your neighbor’s garage sale an implied warranty will not attach.
Warranty of Merchantability
A warranty of merchantability is another type of implied warranty. This warranty guarantees that the good is fit for the ordinary purpose for which it is used, which simply means the good will be able to be used as expected. For example, a dremel tool would be warranted to perform sanding wood. However, that same dremel tool would probably not be warranted to perform dentistry on another human. Once again, this kind of warranty only attaches when the good is sold from a seller who deals in those kind of goods.
Both implied and express warranties can be disclaimed by a seller. Generally, for a warranty to be disclaimed, it must be disclaimed specifically. An express warranty must be expressly done so, whether in writing, orally, or conduct that tends to negate or limit the warranty. An implied warranty, however, can only be disclaimed in writing and it must be conspicuous. If a seller buries the disclaimed of an implied warranty in the back of an owner’s manual, they have not effectively disclaimed the implied warranty. To disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability, the disclaimer must meet the requirements to disclaim an implied warranty and must also mention “merchantability” in the disclaimer. An implied warranty may also be disclaimed by expressions like “as is,” “with faults,” or other common language that the buyer will understand to disclaim any implied warranties.
Authored by: Mary E. Zoldak
Serving Columbus and Central Ohio
MacLaren Law LLC provides counsel for the estate and business planning needs of Columbus, Ohio and its surrounding communities, including: Bexley, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Worthington, Westerville, Pickerington, Pataskala, Delaware, Plain City, New Albany, Gahanna, Newark, Zanesfield, Marysville, Powell. MacLaren Law also serves Franklin, Delaware, Knox, Licking, Union, and Muskingum counties.