What is a Consumer's Right to Have Something Fixed in West Virginia?
You may have a right under state law to repair if it is a motor vehicle. Otherwise, the warranty terms of the sales contract will govern the right to repair. A breach of warranty involves a broken promise about a product made by either a manufacturer or a seller. The term also covers a failure of a statement or agreement by a seller of property which is a part of the contract of sale, when the truth of the statement is necessary to the validity of the contract. Warranties are also express or implied. An express warranty is a particular stipulation introduced into the written contract, by the agreement of the parties; an implied warranty is a guarantee imposed by law in a sale. Even though the seller may not make any explicit promises, the buyer still gets some protection.
Warranty protection is provided under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which has been adopted, at least in part, by all states. On the federal level, Congress enacted the Magnuson-Moss Warranty—Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act of 1975, The federal Act has had a substantial impact on the warranty provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. In general, it mandates certain guidelines in connection with written warranties and, where written warranties are given, invalidates attempts to disclaim implied warranties. The federal Act is aimed at written warranties and service contracts made in connection with the sale of "consumer products," requires that they they must meet federal standards in terms of disclosure and remedies provided to an aggrieved consumer.
Warranties are governed by contract laws principles. Any claim you may have relating to sale will likely be governed by contract law. The answer will depend on the type and terms of the warranty involved. It will be a matter of determination for the court, based on all the facts and circumstances involved, to decide whether there was a reason to void the warranty terms or toll the time period due to intentional misconduct by the company that wold prevent the warranty terms from being upheld. If you reported a defect to the company during the warranty period and the product wasn't fixed properly, the company usually must correct the problem, even if your warranty expires before the product is fixed. It may also be possible to pursue a breach of contract claim.
For further discussion, please see:
The terms of your contract and warranty language with the company will generally determine your rights and obligations as well as those of the company. You should carefully review the terms of the agreement, to determine your rights and obligations. If you wish to use the legal system to resolve your dispute, you may want to review the following general information regarding contract law and breach of contract actions:
Contracts are agreements that are legally enforceable. A contract is an agreement between two parties that creates an obligation to do or refrain from doing a particular thing. The purpose of a contract is to establish the terms of the agreement by which the parties have fixed their rights and duties. An oral contract is an agreement made with spoken words and either no writing or only partially written. An oral contract may generally be enforced the same as a written agreement. However, it is much more difficult with an oral contract to prove its existence or the terms. Oral contracts also usually have a shorter time period within which a person seeking to enforce their contract right must sue. A written contract generally provides a longer time to sue than for breach of an oral contract. Contracts are mainly governed by state statutory and common (judge-made) law and private law. Private law generally refers to the terms of the agreement between the parties, as parties have freedom to override many state law requirements regarding formalities of contracts. Each state has developed its own common law of contracts, which consists of a body of jurisprudence developed over time by trial and appellate courts on a case-by-case basis.
An unjustifiable failure to perform all or some part of a contractual duty is a breach of contract. A legal action for breach of contract arises when at least one party's performance does not live up to the terms of the contract and causes the other party to suffer economic damage or other types of measurable injury. A lawsuit for breach of contract is a civil action and the remedies awarded are designed to place the injured party in the position they would be in if not for the breach. Remedies for contractual breaches are not designed to punish the breaching party. The five basic remedies for breach of contract include the following: money damages, restitution, rescission, reformation, and specific performance. A money damage award includes a sum of money that is given as compensation for financial losses caused by a breach of contract. Parties injured by a breach are entitled to the benefit of the bargain they entered, or the net gain that would have accrued but for the breach. The type of breach governs the extent of damages that may be recovered.
Restitution is a remedy designed to restore the injured party to the position occupied prior to the formation of the contract. Parties seeking restitution may not request to be compensated for lost profits or other earnings caused by a breach. Instead, restitution aims at returning to the plaintiff any money or property given to the defendant under the contract. Plaintiffs typically seek restitution when contracts they have entered are voided by courts due to a defendant's incompetence or incapacity.
Rescission is the name for the remedy that terminates the contractual duties of both parties, while reformation is the name for the remedy that allows courts to change the substance of a contract to correct inequities that were suffered. In order to have a rescission, both parties to the contract must be placed in the position they occupied before the contract was made. Courts have held that a party may rescind a contract for fraud, incapacity, duress, undue influence, material breach in performance of a promise, or mistake, among other grounds.
Specific performance is an equitable remedy that compels one party to perform, as nearly as practicable, his or her duties specified by the contract. Specific performance is available only when money damages are inadequate to compensate the plaintiff for the breach
Promissory estoppel is a term used in contract law that applies where, although there may not otherwise be an enforceable contract, because one party has relied on the promise of the other, it would be unfair not to enforce the agreement. Promissory estoppel arises from a promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forebearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forebearance in binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise. Detrimental reliance is a term commonly used to force another to perform their obligations under a contract, using the theory of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel may apply when a promise was made; reliance on the promise was reasonable or foreseeable; there was actual and reasonable reliance on the promise; the reliance was detrimental; and injustice can only be prevented by enforcing the promise. Detrimental reliance must be shown to involve reliance that is reasonable, which is a determination made on an individual case-by-case basis, taking all factors into consideration. Detrimental means that some type of harm is suffered.
Reasonable reliance is usually referred to as a theory of recovery in contract law. It was what a prudent person might believe and act upon based on something told by another. Sometimes a person acts in reliance on the promise of a profit or other benefit, only to learn that the statements or promises were either incorrect or were exaggerated. The one who acted to their detriment in reasonable reliance may recover damages for the costs of his/her actions or demand performance. Reasonable reliance connotes the use of the standard of an ordinary and average person.
Please see the following WV statutes:
§ 46A-6A-3. Manufacturer's duty to repair or replace new motor vehicles.
(a) If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable express warranties and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer during the term of the express warranties or within a period of one year following the date of original delivery of the new motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the longer period, the manufacturer, its agent or its authorized dealer shall make the repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to the express warranties, notwithstanding the fact that the repairs are made after the expiration of the warranty term.
(b) If the manufacturer, its agents or its authorized dealer are unable to conform the new motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use or market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall replace the new motor vehicle with a comparable new motor vehicle which does conform to the warranties.
(c) No authorized dealer shall be held liable by the manufacturer for any refunds or vehicle replacements in the absence of evidence indicating that the dealership repairs have been carried out in a manner substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer's instruction. This section does not create any cause of action by a consumer against an authorized dealer.
§ 46A-6-107. Disclaimer of warranties and remedies prohibited.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary with respect to goods which are the subject of or are intended to become the subject of a consumer transaction, no merchant shall:
(1) Exclude, modify or otherwise attempt to limit any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose; or
(2) Exclude, modify or attempt to limit any remedy provided by law, including the measure of damages available, for a breach of warranty, express or implied.
Any such exclusion, modification or attempted limitation shall be void.