Warranty or Statutory Rights

legal_updates

We all regularly hear comments that a warranty covers consumer rights and there is a cut off of those rights once the warranty expires.

Author: Darren Fletcher
Published:
Reading time: 3 minutes

This article is 2 months old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

We regularly find there is a lot of confusion regarding how warranties and consumer rights interact.

First of all, I will state it is not a legal requirement to provide a warranty, although the opposite  is incorrectly quoted more times than I care to remember.

Our members are well aware of the three timeframes of a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA):

  1. If a fault occurs within 30 days post purchase, and the fault was developing when sold, the vehicle may be deemed of unsatisfactory quality. In this scenario, the consumer is entitled to  reject the vehicle without having a repair done first.
  2. If a fault occurs after 30 days post purchase, the CRA presumes the fault was developing when the vehicle was sold, unless the trader can prove otherwise. If the trader cannot prove the fault was not developing when sold, then they have the right to repair.
  3. If a fault occurs after six months post purchase, the CRA presumes the fault was not developing when sold, and the onus switches to the consumer to prove it was.

The above is a very basic summary of the timeframes the CRA 2015 works to.

We all regularly hear comments that a warranty covers consumer rights and there is a cut off of those rights once the warranty expires. Unfortunately, this is not true.

A warranty is the equivalent of an insurance policy. Just as insurance policies have different terms and conditions, so do warranties. Some are very comprehensive, covering a range of issues with a large claim limit, and others cover just a few main items on the vehicle, with a low claim limit.

Here are some scenarios to illustrate how warranties and consumer rights interact:

  1. A fault occurs which would be the trader’s responsibility under the CRA, but there is a warranty which will cover the entirety of the claim. In this scenario, the trader isn’t required to make any payment and the customer gets their vehicle repaired.
  2. A fault occurs which would not be the trader’s responsibility under the CRA, but there is a warranty which will cover the entirety of the claim. In this scenario, the trader isn’t required to make any payment and the consumer gets their vehicle repaired.
  3. A fault occurs which would be the trader’s responsibility under the CRA, and the warranty has expired, does not cover the fault, or the claims limit is exceeded by the repair. In this scenario, the trader needs to pay for the repair or pay the amount of the repair over and above the warranty claim limit.
  4. A fault occurs which would not be the trader’s responsibility under the CRA, and the warranty has expired, does not cover the fault, or the claims limit is exceeded by the repair. In this scenario, the consumer needs to pay for the repair, or pay the amount of the repair over and above the warranty claim limit. 

So, when such a scenario arises, you need to assess the consumer rights and the warranty positions, before you can decide how best to deal with the claim as a whole.

Impression Communications Ltd

Putting the motive in automotive

Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain such as parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing, including social media, event management, customer newsletters and PR, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.

Warranties are a great tool in offsetting cash flow issues and can be as beneficial to the trader as they are to the consumer, but they are not the silver bullet to consumer complaints, and a consumer’s rights must always be borne in mind.

Lawgistics are here to advise you on exactly those situations as and when they arise, so get early advice and nip any claims in the bud with our expert knowledge.

Darren Fletcher

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.