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“For many years warranties have confused and misled the American consumers. A warranty is a complicated legal document whose full essence lies buried in myriads of reported legal discussions and in complicated State codes of commercial law. The consumers' understanding of what a warranty on a particular product means to him frequently does not coincide with the legal meaning. … Today, most consumers have little understanding of the frequently complex legal implications of warranties on consumer products.”

These comments, included in the report submitted by the Committee on Commerce accompanying the bill that was to become the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act, accurately describe the disorderly mélange encountered by the modern American consumer in the field of warranties. In particular, provisions for disclaimer of warranties and limitation of remedies or damages in transactions involving the sale of goods have been the source of confusion and extensive litigation during recent years. Unless state legislation provided special treatment for consumer transactions, the respective states' adoption of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code has provided the primary source for resolving disputes involving warranty provisions. Partly for this reason, and because decisions varied substantially from one jurisdiction to another, the state of the law in the warranty field has, in the past, been difficult to assess.


Keith J. Hey, Professor of Law, University of Dayton; B.S.C., Creighton University, 1955; J.D., Creighton University, 1963; LL.M., Georgetown University, 1969

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