Consumer sales – extended notion of sold item’s non-compliance with the contract

In consumer sales, the notion of the item’s non-compliance with the contract has a broader meaning. The seller is liable not only for its own assurances regarding the item’s properties, but also for public assurances of the manufacturer, manufacturer’s representative, distributor or an entity indicated as the manufacturer on the item (e.g. its logo is on the packaging).

 

An example: A manufacturer publicly (e.g. in an advertisement) assures that their hand watches are waterproof. The seller will be liable to the buyer for any damage to such a watch resulting from water ingress, even if the seller personally did not inform the buyer about its waterproofness.

 

Such extended liability does not apply if the seller did not and reasonably could not know the assurances of the manufacturer (or other entities listed above), or if such assurances could not influence the buyer’s decision to conclude the sales contract, or if the content of such assurances was rectified before concluding the sales contract.

 

An example: In the earlier example, the seller would not be liable for the watch’s lack of waterproofness if it turned out that the manufacturer’s assurance of waterproofness was made in a TV commercial broadcast in a distant country. Likewise, the seller would not be liable if they explicitly informed the buyer prior to the transaction that the watch was not waterproof.