What Is the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act?

What Is the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act?

While most vehicles pass the quality test, some come with manufacturer defects. As a result, some units become “lemons” because they have substantial defects that impact their use, value, and safety.

The cornerstone of consumer protection is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The Act is a federal law established in 1975 that shields consumers against unfair warranty practices with a layer of protection that compliments lemon laws.

Understanding the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is crucial for consumers seeking to assert their rights against consumers who fail to fulfill their warranty obligations.

Consider speaking to an experienced lemon law attorney in California for an interpretation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and how to protect your rights.

What Is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 provides regulation for consumer product warranties. It protects consumers by listing the obligations of warrantors that provide written warranties of their consumer goods.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty also limits a manufacturer’s restrictions on implied warranties. The act ensures that warranty terms are straightforward and helps protect consumer’s rights if a manufacturer violates the warranty.

Protection Offered By Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The act protects consumers by making filing a breach or warranty claim easier after buying a lemon car. The act also allows consumers to recover attorney fees, court costs, and other litigation costs if their case prevails.

The Act creates a legal fee-shifting arrangement, creates a level playing field, and makes it possible to bring claims against large automobile manufacturers. While passing the legislation, Congress recognized that consumers should be encouraged to defend their rights using proper legal representation.

The fee-shifting provision allows an aggrieved consumer to hire an experienced lemon law attorney to defend their rights. Most lemon law attorneys charge a contingency-based fee, meaning they only get paid for their services if they prevail.

Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, an attorney can bill the at-fault automaker instead of a consumer after winning the case.

Warranty Voidance

The Act stipulates that the mere act of a consumer installing after-market parts or services cannot void the manufacturer’s warranty. If anything, a manufacturer must prove that installing an aftermarket part was the direct cause of the defect and denial of warranty.

Right to Choose Service Providers

Consumers can choose a service provider without forfeiting their warranty protection. The provision ensures consumers have no restriction of using dealer service shops or original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to protect the validity of the warranty.

Requirements of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act has the following three basic requirements to be met by the seller, manufacturer, and warrantor of a consumer product:

  • A written warranty should have a title of either “full” or “limited.”
  • Warranties should be available for consumers wherever they buy a covered product.
  • Warranties should outline the coverage they provide using language that is easy to understand

How Does the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Apply to Cars?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is often called the federal lemon law and applies to cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles. During the enactment of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in 1975, Congress passed the law to protect all consumers, including sales in the automobile industry.

More importantly, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act has broader protection than state lemon laws.

For a vehicle to qualify for protection under the act, the consumer should give the consumer a ‘reasonable number’ of repair attempts to fix the defects. Under the act, you can obtain protection after two or three repair attempts.

However, the state lemon laws require consumers to give manufacturers up to four repair attempts to fix the defect. The act also allows a consumer to claim if the vehicle is unmerchantable, meaning it is of substandard quality compared to what you would expect from a similar car.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act extends the period during which you can make a claim. Most states, including California, have lemon laws that require you to bring a if a defect occurs within a set period or miles.

Interestingly, some state lemon laws have a fixed period for when an aggrieved consumer should file a claim against a manufacturer.

On the contrary, the federal lemon allows consumers four years to file a claim after purchasing a vehicle. In other instances, you may have up to four years to file a claim after the expiry of the manufacturer’s warranty.

In addition, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act allows a consumer to obtain significant damages after filing a claim. The Act designs the damages to make the consumer whole after buying a defective lemon car.

Under a concept known as diminished value, the damages compensate the consumer for overpaying for their vehicle. For instance, if you bought a lemon vehicle for $50,000 that was only worth $30,000 because of its defects, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act allows you to recover the difference of $20,000 as damages.

The act also allows consumers to recover additional damages they may have incurred from operating a defective vehicle. The extra damages are incidental or consequential to the manufacturer’s failure to properly and timely fix the vehicle defect.

You may, therefore, obtain additional damages for the following losses:

  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of use
  • Storage charges
  • Aggravation
  • Car rental

“After years of experience with lemon law I was determined to help other receive fair compensation. I am ready to help you and your loved ones.”

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

The Lemon Lady

Implied Warranties

Since each product sold comes with an implied warranty, the act has several restrictions for implied warranties. Although implied warranties are not expressly written, they guarantee that products and services will satisfy consumer’s reasonable expectations.

Automobile consumers expect the product to be reasonably safe and defects-free. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prevents a written warranty from minimizing the coverage offered by an implied warranty.

Even so, the written warranty may minimize the implied warranty coverage to match its duration or miles.

Speak to an Experienced Anaheim, CA, Lemon Law Attorney

Suppose you’ve bought a car with a transmission problem that makes it prone to stalling. In that case, you may incur unexpected expenses, including car rental, accommodation, and towing charges.

You should have representation from an experienced attorney from LemonLaw123, who will aggressively fight to protect your rights. Contact us for a free case review.

Contact a Lemon Law Attorney Near You

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell

Valerie G. Fernandez Campbell, known as The Lemon Law Lady, has dedicated her entire legal career to the specialized field of Lemon Law, a journey that began immediately after her
graduation from UCLA School of Law.

With a 99% success rate and a policy of no fees unless you win, her practice stands as a testament to her expertise in California’s Lemon Law, her commitment to her clients, and her unwavering dedication to justice and consumer rights.

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