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How similar is a guarantee to a warranty?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2020 | Commercial Litigation |

While reading a written promise on a good, you may wonder if the words “warranty” and “guarantee” have the same legal definition. 

In any warranty litigation case, it is best to know the differences and similarities between the two. 

Express and implied warranty 

According to FindLaw, an express warranty assures the buyer of a standard level of quality. Unlike other types of promises, the seller explicitly states the features and benefits of the item. 

Implied warranties are statements that are not written down but still promise certain aspects of quality for a product. The precedent of merchantability guarantees for you that the item works as expected. This means whether a merchant uses the words “guarantee” or “warranty,” it means the same in a legal context, for all intents and purposes. 

Uniform Commercial Code 

When comparing the two terms, you need to keep in mind the Uniform Commercial Code, which states that even a description of some product can create a warranty. Not all descriptions of items get taken at face value in this situation, however. 

For example, a car dealer exclaiming that their car is the best in the country does not mean that there is a legal precedent to sell a car that is literally the best. These forms of marketing are not taken seriously as promises of quality, or as warranties or guarantees. 

Situational context 

In some unlikely but possible situations, a guarantee may lead to a different circumstance. If a parent promises to take responsibility for a debt that his or her child has, then that guarantee could cause him or her to pay in place if the child misses a deadline. 

However, in most other cases, the meanings of the two words are extremely similar.