MAINE CONSUMERS PROTECTED BY IMPLIED WARRANTY LAW

February 19, 2003

FEBRUARY 6, 2003

CONTACT:
CHARLES DOW, DIRECTOR
COMMUNICATIONS AND LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
207-626-8577

Attorney General Steven Rowe today used the occasion of Consumer Protection Week to highlight a little-known but very important protection for Maine Consumers. Maine law provides automatic warranty protection in addition to any "express" written or verbal warranty provided by a seller or manufacturer.

In general, the implied warranty law applies to new or used consumer items that:

A. Are seriously defective;
B. Have not been abused; and
C. Were purchased less than four years ago and still within their normally expected "useful life" (i.e., not simply worn out).

All new and used goods purchased for family, household or personal use €” clothes, new cars, appliances, sports equipment and more €” are warranted by law to be fit for the ordinary purpose for which such goods are used. The only exception to this law is that used car dealers can disclaim implied warranties when selling used cars "as is," without any express warranty.

If you have been the victim of a breach of the implied warranty, then you are generally entitled to your incidental and consequential damages (e.g., free repairs by either the manufacturer or the seller). Please note: In order to preserve your warranty rights you should always give both the dealer and the manufacturer written notice of the defect.

The entire Maine Consumer Law Guide is always online at: http://www.maine.gov/ag/index.php?r=clg