Types of Warranties

The different types of warranties are express warranties, implied warranties, implied warranty of habitability, and the implied warranty of fitness. A warranty can be written or oral, and it can be either express or implied. There may also be a number of additional warranty or guarantee types available depending on the laws in your state and the items you buy. Learn more in our guide below.

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

A warranty is a guarantee of the quality and performance of a product. A warranty can be either written or oral and it can be either express or implied.

When most people think of a warranty, they think of a written guarantee from a seller. However, there are many other warranty types as well. For example:

  • An express warranty is a warranty that a manufacturer makes – the kind you are probably familiar with. If you buy a toaster and it has a 1 year warranty against defects included, that is an express written warranty that is going to be binding on the manufacturer. If the toaster has a defect or malfunctions, the manufacturer will have to honor the terms of the warranty and either repair or replace your faulty toaster. An express warranty doesn’t necessarily have to be written, however, oral warranties and a guarantee can count too.
  • An implied warranty of merchantability is another type of available warranty. This means that the law implies a guarantee when products are sold that the products will perform as expected. In other words, if you buy a refrigerator, there is an implied warranty under the law that the fridge will actually work as a fridge. If you get it home and it doesn’t cool, and if the manufacturer didn’t have an express warranty guaranteeing it, then the implied warranty might kick in.
  • An implied warranty of habitability is a guarantee that a house is fit to live in.
  • An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose kicks in when a buyer expressly asks a seller for a product that can be used for a certain purpose.

There may also be a number of additional warranty or guarantee types available depending on the laws in your state and the item you are buying. However, it is important to keep in mind that a seller may also sell a product “as is,” in which case, a warranty or guarantee will not apply.

Case Studies: Exploring Warranties

Case Study 1: The Defective Appliance

John purchases a brand new refrigerator from a local appliance store. The refrigerator comes with a written warranty that guarantees its performance and quality for one year. However, after just a few months of use, John notices that the refrigerator is not cooling properly. He contacts the manufacturer and files a warranty claim to have the appliance repaired or replaced.

Case Study 2: The Misleading Product Description

Sarah buys a smartphone online based on the product description that promises a long battery life and high-quality camera. However, upon receiving the phone, she realizes that the battery drains quickly and the camera quality is poor. Sarah contacts the seller and claims a breach of warranty based on the misleading product description.

Case Study 3: The “As Is” Purchase

Mike purchases a used car from a private seller. During the negotiation, the seller explicitly mentions that the car is sold “as is” without any warranties or guarantees. Shortly after the purchase, Mike discovers multiple mechanical issues with the car. Despite the problems, he cannot seek recourse through warranty claims because he agreed to buy the car in its present condition.

 

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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