This morning, the FTC announced that it is seeking public comment on its rules and guidance regarding consumer product warranties under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

The FTC rules promulgated under the Magnuson-Moss Act regulate the availability and contents of written warranties for consumer products, and include disclosure requirements for written warranties on consumer products, requirements for sellers and warrantors to make written warranty terms available to consumers before a sale (the "Pre-Sale Availability" Rule), and procedural standards for warrantors who want consumers to use a dispute resolution process before filing suit for breach of warranty. The rules specifically require that warranties disclose in clear language:

  • who is protected by the warranty;
  • what products, parts, characteristics or properties covered (or not covered);
  • what the manufacturer will (or will not) do in the event of a defect or malfunction;
  • when the warranty commences and its duration;
  • a detailed description of how the consumer can obtain warranty service;
  • availability of alternative dispute resolution procedures;
  • any limitations on implied warranties; and
  • limitations on damages or other relief.

The agency also seeks comment on the FTC’s Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees and its interpretations of the Act. The agency will accept public comments on the Act and the related rules and guidance until October 24, 2011.

Click here to view the Request for Comment published in the Federal Register.