(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 others:
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(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 consumer.
(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(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.
(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; electronic display of terms of warranty
(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.
(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 writing.
(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.
(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 contract).
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the rules prescribed under this subsection shall allow for the satisfaction of all requirements concerning the availability of terms of a written warranty on a consumer product under this subsection by—
(i) making available such terms in an accessible digital format on the Internet website of the manufacturer of the consumer product in a clear and conspicuous manner; and
(ii) providing to the consumer (or prospective consumer) information with respect to how to obtain and review such terms by indicating on the product or product packaging or in the product manual—
(I) the Internet website of the manufacturer where such terms can be obtained and reviewed; and
(II) the phone number of the manufacturer, the postal mailing address of the manufacturer, or another reasonable non-Internet based means of contacting the manufacturer to obtain and review such terms.
(B) With respect to any requirement that the terms of any written warranty for a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to sale of the product, in a case in which a consumer product is offered for sale in a retail location, by catalog, or through door-to-door sales, subparagraph (A) shall only apply if the seller makes available, through electronic or other means, at the location of the sale to the consumer purchasing the consumer product the terms of the warranty for the consumer product before the purchase.
(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—
(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
(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.
(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty provisions
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
The provisions of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $5.
2015—Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 114–51 added par. (4).
Pub. L. 114–51, §2, Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 494, provided that: "Congress makes the following findings:
"(1) Many manufacturers and consumers prefer to have the option to provide or receive warranty information online.
"(2) Modernizing warranty notification rules is necessary to allow the United States to continue to compete globally in manufacturing, trade, and the development of consumer products connected to the Internet.
"(3) Allowing an electronic warranty option would expand consumer access to relevant consumer information in an environmentally friendly way, and would provide additional flexibility to manufacturers to meet their labeling and warranty requirements."
Revision of Rules
Pub. L. 114–51, §3(b), Sept. 24, 2015, 129 Stat. 495, provided that: