Section 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
Section 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties
(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
(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
(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
(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.
(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.
(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
(A) which the consumer reasonably can be expected to perform or have
(10) The term "remedy" means whichever of the following actions the
(B) which are necessary to keep any consumer product performing its intended
function and operating at a reasonable level of performance.
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
(B) replacement, or
(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
(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,
which affects trade, traffic, commerce, or transportation described in
(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.
(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
Section 2303. Designation of written warranties
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(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
(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
(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the
(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.
(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 -
(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.
(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.
(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
(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
(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
(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty
(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.
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
of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products
actually costing the consumer more than $5.
(a) Full (statement of duration) or limited warranty Section 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties
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''.
(b) Applicability of requirements, standards, etc., to
representations or statements of customer satisfaction
(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".
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
(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".
(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 -
Section 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product
(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;
(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor
(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.
(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) of this section 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.
(c) Waiver of standards
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a warrantor may require, as a condition to
replacement of, or refund for, any consumer product under subsection (a) of this
section, 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
(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) of this section extend from the warrantor
to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product.
The performance of the duties under
subsection (a) of this section 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) of this section 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.
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
Section 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and
conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of
(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
Section 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to
perform duties under written or implied warranty
(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
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 co-warrantor.
Section 2308. Implied warranties
(a) Restrictions on disclaimers or modificationsSection 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by
No supplier may disclaim
or modify (except as provided in subsection (b) of this section) 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
(b) Limitation on duration
(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
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
disclaimer, modification, or limitation made in violation of this section shall
be ineffective for purposes of this chapter and State law.
(a) Oral presentationSection 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes
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
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.
(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
Section 2311. Applicability to other laws
(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.
(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).
(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
(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,
(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.
(B) such procedure, and its implementation, meets the requirements of such
(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
(ii) a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under subsection
(d) of this section 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.
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) of this section, the
court may invalidate any such procedure if it finds that such procedure is
(c) Injunction proceedings by Attorney General or Commission for deceptive
warranty, noncompliance with requirements, or violating prohibitions;
(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
(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction;
recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims
(A) any warrantor from making a deceptive warranty with respect to a
consumer product, or
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term ''deceptive
(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.
(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.
(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e) of this section, 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 -
(e) Class actions; conditions; procedures applicable
(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of
(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
(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to
paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(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.
action (other than a class action or an action respecting a warranty to which
subsection (a)(3) of this section applies) may be brought under subsection (d)
of this section 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) of this section applies) brought under
subsection (d) of this section 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.
(a) Federal Trade Commission Act and Federal Seed Act
Section 2312. Effective dates
(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.
(b) Rights, remedies, and liabilities
(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.
(1) Nothing in this chapter shall invalidate or restrict any right or remedy
of any consumer under State law or any other Federal law.
(c) State warranty laws
(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.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in paragraph
(2) of this subsection, a State 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.
(A) which relates to labeling or disclosure with respect to written
warranties or performance 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
(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).
(A) affords protection to consumers greater than the requirements of this
(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.
(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.