Reconciling Song-Beverly and Commercial Warranty Provisions By Janine Schwerter and Saleem K. Erakat

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Article Reprinted and/or posted with the permission of Daily Journal Corp. (2012).

In a breach of warranty claim, the California Commercial Code and the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act work in conjunction to provide relief to California’s consumers. Originally, only the Commercial Code covered causes of action for breach of warranty. The Consumer Warranty Act was later enacted to add additional rights and provisions for breach of warranty claims. The Act extended protection to purchasers of consumer goods by requiring specified implied warranties and placing strict limitations on how and when a manufacturer may disclaim implied warranties.

The Commercial Code and the Consumer Warranty Act have different notice requirements limiting when a plaintiff can sue under the Consumer Warranty Act. In an action for personal injury or property damage, a plaintiff is not required to give prior notice before asserting a breach of implied warranty claim if he or she has not directly dealt with the manufacturer or supplier. On the other hand, the Act requires the consumer to notify the manufacturer of the non-conformity and allow the manufacturer an opportunity to repair or replace the non-conforming good. See California Civil Code Sections 1793.2, 1793.22.

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