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Warranty Law   Tags: consumer information, consumer rights, lemon law  

Information on warranties and warranty law in Texas.
Last Updated: Dec 19, 2014 URL: http://guides.sll.texas.gov/warranty-law Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research from Home

If you have a TexLaw ID, you can check out an OverDrive eBook title or access our remote databases. Don't have a TexLaw ID? Texas residents can register for a TexLaw ID from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some eBook titles that may help you with your research on warranty law.

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Know Your Rights! - Richard M. Alderman
Call Number: KFT 387 A4 2010
ISBN: 9781589794566
Publication Date: 2010
Richard Alderman is a University of Houston law professor who answers legal questions on the website, The People's Lawyer. This book is a compilation of some of the more popular questions and their plain English answers. The focus is primarily consumer law, covering topics such as applying for credit, contracts, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, online sales, small claims court, family law, immigration, warranties, landlord and tenant law, and wills and probate.

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Texas litigation guide - William V. Dorsaneo
Call Number: KF 170 D6
Publication Date: 2014
This comprehensive set explains the law and procedure in a given area and then provides drafting guides to prepare the forms. The set is divided into 10 different units: Pretrial Practice, Trial Practice, Appellate Practice, Pleadings in Business Entity Litigation, Pleadings in Commercial Litigation, Pleadings in Real Estate Litigation, Pleadings in Personal Injury Litigation, Family Code Litigation, Probate Code Litigation, and Administrative Proceedings. Chapters are divided into four parts: legal background on a topic, a drafting guide, forms, and a research guide.

 

Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some library resources that can help with your warranty law questions.

If you are looking for books that can help you during litigation, click on the "Practice Aids" tab above. We also have other resources in addition to the highlights below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have questions.

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Consumer rights and remedies - Texas Practice Series
Call Number: KFT 209 T4 V.28
Publication Date: 2002, updated annually
This title covers a wealth of consumer law topics and serves as a great tool for anyone wishing to research consumer laws on warranties. It also includes practice tips for those who are currently involved in litigation.

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Consumer warranty law - National Consumer Law Center
Call Number: KF 919 C6 S42
ISBN: 1931697906
Publication Date: 2010, updated annually
This is a great resource that goes through the federal and state laws on warranties. Access to the companion website is available from the National Consumer Law Center database. See Electronic Databases for remote access.

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Texas consumer law - H. Clyde Farrell
Call Number: REF DESK KFT 1610 F3
ISBN: 0937606022
Publication Date: 1993
Chapter 5 of this book deals with warranties.

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The law of buying and selling - Margaret C. Jasper
Call Number: KF 915 Z9 J37
ISBN: 037911366X
Publication Date: 2002
This title discusses sales in general and includes information about warranties.

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Sales and leases of goods in a nutshell - Frederick H. Miller
Call Number: KF 915 S7
ISBN: 0314232141
Publication Date: 2003
This title describes the basics of a sale with information about express and implied warranties.

About This Guide

In general, warranties are promises, assurances, or guarantees that a product will do what it is intended to do. Different types of consumer products will have different types of warranties, and there are limits to what a warranty covers.

The information on this page is intended to help you understand what a warranty is, what types of warranties exist, the state and federal laws that govern warranties, and what remedies you may have.

We also include special sections dedicated to two specific types of warranties: the "lemon law" for vehicles and laws related to manufactured housing warranties.

Texas and Federal Laws on Warranties

Below you will find links to the actual text of the Texas and federal laws that deal with warranties and service contracts (extended warranties) in general.

If you are looking for the laws relating to motor vehicle warranties (the "Lemon Law") or to manufactured housing warranties, see the boxes below.

  • Texas Business and Commerce Code secs. 17.46 and 17.50
    The Deceptive Trade Practices Act (sec. 17.46) protects consumers from unlawful business practices. In particular, this section of the DTPA lists what is considered an unlawful business practice in Texas. Also see section 17.50 for the legal remedies available when a warranty is breached.
  • Texas Business and Commerce Code secs. 2.313-2.315 and 2.715
    Business and Commerce Code section 2.313 covers express warranties, and sections 2.314 - 2.315 cover implied warranties. Also see section 2.715 for a description of the consequential and incidental damages one can recover in a lawsuit related to a breach of warranty.
  • Texas Occupations Code ch. 1304
    Service contracts, also known as extended warranties, are regulated by the Service Contract Regulatory Act.
  • 16 TAC 77
    These rules were adopted in conjunction with the Service Contract Regulatory Act. They regulate the providers of service contracts/extended warranties.
  • 15 USC 50
    The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act contains provisions that apply to consumer product warranties. Federal law is applicable in all states, including Texas.
  • 16 CFR 700
    These federal regulations relating to consumer product warranties were adopted in accordance with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

If you are looking for information relating to motor vehicle warranties (the "Lemon Law") or to manufactured housing warranties, see the boxes below.

  • Consumer Law Handbook
    The Houston Bar Association's handbook of consumer law has a section dedicated to the different types of warranties that exist. They offer it in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Facts for Consumers on Warranties
    The Federal Trade Commission explains the basic concept of what a warranty is and describes the differences between written warranties, spoken warranties, and implied warranties.
  • Nolo: Warranty Rights FAQ
    A few frequently asked questions about warranties answered by Nolo, a legal publishing company.
  • Consumer Rights in Disputes with Retailers
    ConsumerReports.org, a private consumer protection organization, addresses some common disputes between merchants and customers. Some of the issues deal with both express and implied warranties.

Motor Vehicles, the Lemon Law, and Optional Warranties

In general, the Lemon Law covers issues related to new vehicles that have repeated problems. Below are some resources that can help you understand the Texas Lemon Law, including when and how it applies and how to file a complaint.

  • Texas Occupations Code ch. 2301
    This chapter, "Sale or Lease of Motor Vehicles," contains information about general warranty complaints (sec. 2301.204), the Lemon Law (secs. 2301.601-613), and judicial review and appeal (secs. 2301.751-755).
  • Texas Transportation Code ch. 503
    Discusses dealer's and manufacturer's vehicle license plates.
  • Texas Finance Code sec. 348.208
    Texas law allows charging for a warranty in a motor vehicle retail installment contract.
  • 43 TAC 215
    Discusses motor vehicle distribution. Subchapter G specifically addresses warranty performance obligations.
  • Texas DMV - the Lemon Law
    On this page, the Texas DMV offers information about the Texas lemon law, what it covers, and how to file a complaint. See the "Lemon Law Publications" link at the bottom for more details.
  • Lemon Law for New Cars
    An article on "lemon law" protections published by Nolo. This page is not specific to the Texas version of the "lemon law," but it provides an explanation of what "lemon laws" cover in general.
  • Car Warranties: The Basics
    An article on the basics of car warranties published by Nolo.
  • Texas Attorney General's Guide for Buying a Used Car [PDF]
    A helpful guide from the Attorney General on what to consider when buying a new car.

Manufactured Housing Warranties

Texas has special provisions related to warranties on manufactured housing. Use the resources below to find more information about these special provisions, including the text of the laws themselves.

  • Texas Occupations Code ch. 1201 subchapter H
    The Manufactured Housing Standards Act contains many provisions applicable to manufactured housing. Subchapter H deals with warranties in particular.
  • Manufactured Housing Division
    The Manufactured Housing Division of the Texas Dept. of Housing & Community Affairs oversees manufactured housing and may be able to assist you with your warranty questions.
  • Manufactured Housing Laws and Rules
    This page, from the Texas Dept. of Housing & Community Affairs, contains links to all the applicable state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to manufactured housing.

Who Can I Contact?

You may want to contact the state agencies listed below as they have jurisdiction over certain warranty issues in Texas.

 

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at library@sll.texas.gov.

Important:

The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.
 

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