Consumer Law

What Is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

By Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the federal law that governs written warranties on consumer products.

To protect consumers from defective products, Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in 1975. This federal law governs consumer product warranties.

While the Act does not require manufacturers or sellers to issue written warranties on their products, if they do, the warranty must meet certain standards. For example, the warrantor (the person or company making the warranty) must write the warranty in plain English and designate it as a “full” or “limited” warranty. Also, the warrantor must make the written warranty available for consumers to read before they buy an item—even if they’re shopping through a mail-order catalog or online, rather than in a store.

The purpose of the Act is to make sure that consumers receive complete information about warranty terms and conditions. The consumer then knows what to expect and what to do if something goes wrong with the item in the future. Also, the Act ensures that consumers can compare warranty coverage on different products before they make a purchase.

Go to the main warranty FAQ page.

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