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The Consumer Law Group, P.C.

Enforcing Express and Implied Warranties for a Defective Vehicle: What Constitutes a "Breach of Warranty"?

Purchasing a vehicle is a significant investment for many people. Often, we purchase the vehicle expecting that it will last us several years. When the vehicle fails to live up to reasonable expectations, consumers may be rightfully upset. Fortunately, even if the vehicle’s defects are discovered more than 18 months after the date of purchase, you may still have legal protection. Some consumers may be entitled to pursue a claim for breach of warranty by the car dealer.

Breach of Warranty: Express or Implied?

When a consumer purchases a vehicle, the following two types of warranties may exist:

  1. Express warranties. When a promise is made to repair certain parts of your car, or a statement of fact is made about the quality of your car, an express warranty exists. An express warranty arises through written or spoken communication with the car dealer or the vehicle’s manufacturer. For example, all new cars come with a manufacturer’s express warranty covering repairs to the car for a set amount of time or miles driven. Express warranties can also be issued as promises made by a salesman or claims made in advertisements. If the promise of an express warranty is breached and the problem is not fixed, the consumer can pursue a breach of warranty claim.
  2. Implied warranties. When you buy a car, an implied warranty exists automatically. There are two types of implied warranties. An implied warranty of merchantability exists that guarantees the car is safe to drive. An implied warranty of fitness also exists that guarantees the car will function for its intended purpose if you made your intentions for the car known to the seller. These warranties can be disclaimed in the purchase contract if the seller wants.

We Can Help You Pursue a Breach of Warranty Claim

Enforcing your rights under an express or implied warranty requires that you take certain specific actions. It is crucial to seek guidance from an experienced attorney to ensure that you protect your right to pursue a breach of warranty claim. For example, you have an obligation to notify the seller of the defect and give them a reasonable number of repair attempts to fix it. In addition, you may need to stop using the vehicle after discovering the defect, or risk negatively impacting your ability to pursue a claim, and you need to write them a letter telling them you want a full refund. You will also need to gather relevant information, such as copies of written warranties or service contracts, copies of your repair orders, and copies of written communications to the seller demanding your money back. Fortunately, we can help walk you through this process in order to protect your legal rights after purchasing a defective vehicle. We encourage you to reach out today for assistance at (804) 282-7900.