Consumer Law

How Much Time Do I Have to Raise a Warranty Issue Once I’ve Discovered the Problem?

By Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a warranty issue is four years.

A statute of limitations is the time period you get to file a lawsuit. With a warranty, the statute of limitations generally begins to run when you purchase the item. If the warranty explicitly extends to the future performance of the goods, the statute of limitations period usually starts when you discover, or should have discovered, the defect. After the statute of limitations expires, you can’t file a claim (a lawsuit) in court.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the federal law that governs consumer product warranties) doesn’t have a specific statute of limitations. So, states apply their own time limits. In most cases, the court will use the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) four-year limitation period. This means that you usually have four years after you buy a product to discover a defective product that has a written warranty—unless the warranty explicitly extends to the future performance of the item. Then, the statute of limitations period starts when you discover, or should have discovered, the defect.

While most states’ versions of the UCC give you four years to file a breach of warranty lawsuit, certain states have shorter statutes of limitations in these types of cases. Consider contacting a consumer protection lawyer who deals with warranties if you have questions about the statute of limitations in your state.

Go to the main warranty FAQ page.
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