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Congress Passes E-Warranty Bill

October 16, 2015 | Topic: Warranty

Last month Congress passed the “E-Warranty Act of 2015” (S 1359).  This bill would amend the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Mag-Moss) to require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revise the Mag-Moss rules to give manufacturers permission to make their product warranties available on their website, in lieu of including the warranties with their products.  If a manufacturer chooses the “E-Warranty” option, it must provide, on the product or in the product’s manual, instructions on how to obtain the warranty terms from its website as well as the manufacturer’s phone number, address, or “another reasonable non-Internet based means of contacting the manufacturer to obtain and review such terms.”  (The new bill can be found here.)

In addition, if the manufacturer’s product is purchased at a retail location, the seller must make the warranty available to the consumer, through electronic or other means, before the product is purchased. 

The bill will now be sent to the President who is expected to sign it.  Assuming it is signed, the FTC will have one year to revise the Mag-Moss rules to comply with the E-Warranty Act. 

Many auto manufacturers, for example, make their warranties available to consumers on their websites as well as providing a copy with the product.  It will be interesting to see if manufactures will adopt E-Warranties as the sole means of communicating warranty terms to the consumers.