Warranty in the United States

Warranty Definition

In Insurance. A statement or agreement by the insured, which is part of the contract of insurance, and the truth of which is essential to the validity of the policy. For the distinction between warranty and representation, see Representation.

In Sales of Personal Property. An undertaking, express or implied, by which the seller insures the existence of certain facts as to the thing sold. It is an express or implied statement of something which the party undertakes shall be a part of the contract, and, though part of the contract, yet collateral to the express object of it. …. It is express when the undertaking is by express words of the seller; it is implied when it results by inference of law from the nature of the transaction.

In Sales of Real Property. In old law, a real covenant, whereby the grantor of an estate of freehold and his heirs were bound to warrant the title, and, either upon voucher or by judgment in a writ of warrantia chartae, to yield other lands to the value of those from which there had been an eviction by a paramount title. …. Collateral warranty existed when the heir’s title was not derived from the warranting ancestor, and yet it barred the heir from claiming the land by any collateral title, upon the presumption that he might thereafter have assets by descent from or through the ancestor; and it imposed upon him the obligation of giving the warrantee other lands in case of eviction, provided he had assets. …

Lineal warranty existed when the heir derived title to the land warranted, either from or through the ancestor who made the warranty. St. 4 Anne, c. 16, annulled these collateral warranties, which had become a great grievance. In the United States, warranty in its original form, it is presumed, has never been known. The more plain and pliable form of a covenant has been adopted in its place ; and this covenant, like all other covenants, has always been held to sound in damages, which, after judgment, may be recovered out of the personal or real estate, as in other cases. And in England the matter has become one of curious learning, and of little or no practical importance. (This definition of Warranty is based on The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition may need to be proofread).

For a meaning of it, read Warranty in the Legal Dictionary here.

Plain-English Law

Warranty as defined by Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law (p. 437-455): A guarantee by a seller to stand by its product or services by making repairs or offering replacements if something goes wrong. See express warranty and implied warranty.

Practical Information

Affirmation of a material fact or promise by the seller, which acts as an inducement for the buyer to make a purchase. A warranty may be express (a direct statement made by the seller), or implied (one that is indicated by the nature of the contract). Warranties relate to many things: fitness of the goods sold for a special purpose; merchantability of goods; title to real or personal property; and quiet enjoyment of premises. All representations made by an applicant for insurance, whether material or not, are deemed warranties. The term guaranty is loosely used in the sense of warranty. The common guaranty of a product is, strictly, a warranty and not a guaranty. (See guaranty (in U.S. law).) Any warranty made by a seller that proves to be false gives the buyer a right of legal action. (Revised by Ann De Vries, 1982)


The UCC governs express warranties and various implied warranties, and for many years it was the only statutory control on the use and meanings of warranties. In 1975, after years of debate, Congress passed and President Gerald Ford signed into law the Magnuson-Moss Act, which imposes certain requirements on manufacturers and others who warrant their goods. We will examine both the UCC and the Magnuson-Moss Act. (1)

Types of Warranties include Express Warranties and Implied Warranties.

Warranty in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

For starting research in the law of a foreign country:

Link Description
Warranty Warranty in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Warranty Warranty in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Warranty Warranty in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Warranty Warranty in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Warranty Warranty in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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  1. “Business and the Legal Environment”, by Don Mayer, Daniel M. Warner and George J. Siedel.

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Consumer Protection
  • Landlord and Tenant
  • Merchantable
  • Products Liability
  • Sales Law.

Further Reading (Articles)

Warranties Against Defects – A New Regulation Will Apply From 1 January 2011., Mondaq Business Briefing; April 21, 2011

Extended warranties: Should you bother? Money tip.(Business), The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA); February 6, 2011

Warranties and service plans for desktops and notebooks., Computer Shopper; February 1, 2006; Kandel, Erin

Warranties: Continued Readability Problems after the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, The Journal of Consumer Affairs; June 22, 1993; Moore, Ellen M. Shuptrine, F. Kelly

Warranties, Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law; January 1, 2006

Warranties & service plans for desktops & notebooks.(Illustration), Computer Shopper; August 1, 2005; Kandel, Erin

Warranties Get Better with Cars, The Washington Times (Washington, DC); January 16, 2004

Warranties: Planning, Analysis, And Implementation, Army AL & T; November 1, 2001; Pellegrino, Roy A

Warranties Can Be Helpful but Tricky, too.(FRIDAY HOME GUIDE)(COVER STORY), The Washington Times (Washington, DC); May 31, 2002

Warranties: Peace of Mind in House Sales, The Washington Times (Washington, DC); February 23, 2007

EXTENDED WARRANTIES? MOSTLY FOR THE PESSIMISTIC, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY); December 2, 1996; HARRY WESSEL – Orlando Sentinel

“Warranty Expiration Date Determining Device and Warranty Expiration Date Determining Method” in Patent Application Approval Process, Information Technology Newsweekly; May 7, 2013

Warranty administration through technology: software tracks opportunities for fleet advantages.(Distribution), Beverage Industry; April 1, 2012; Kolman, David A.


Warranties: A Shopping Cart Disaster., Dealerscope: The Business of CE Retailing; July 1, 2000; Kraft, Jennifer

Warranties for energy investments., Real Estate Weekly; September 28, 2011; DiDonato, Natale

Extended warranties cost profits to contractors, says Equiguard., Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News; June 30, 1997; Mahoney, Thomas A.

Warranty reimbursement: warranty repairs are costly, but you deserve the reimbursement, so be sure your people know what warranties compensation is available and how to make sure it’s collected. (Management Techniques)., Fleet Equipment; May 1, 2003; Deierlein, Bob

Warranties and Disclaimers in the Electronic Age, Yale Journal of Law & Technology; January 1, 2008; Hillman, Robert A. Barakat, Ibrahim

Warranty recovery is important: part of every dollar you spend on a new truck or replacement part goes to pay for warranty–it makes sense to get a return on those dollars.(Management Techniques), Fleet Equipment; August 1, 2009; Gelinas, Tom

Warranty meaning

A promise, whether express or implied, that a good shall be free of defect. Thus cases of products liabilities may be founded on a theory of warranty as well, either as an independent or alternative theory of liability.

The Fred Smartley, Jr., C.C.A.Va., 108 F.2d 603

Warranty in the International Business Landscape

Definition of Warranty in the context of U.S. international business and public trade policy: A promise of quality or performance for a good or service.

Warranty: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Warranty. This part provides references, in relation to Warranty, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Warranty by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Warranty and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Warranty or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Warranty and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Warranty. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Warranty should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Warranty when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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