Guarantee

A guarantee constitutes an additional, non-obligatory regime of the seller’s liability. A guarantee is provided if the seller or manufacturer so chooses.

 

A guarantee is not issued automatically by operation of law, but only if a  guarantee statement is made. Thus, a guarantee may constitute a marketing instrument. In particular, it may denote the manufacturer’s strong belief in the high quality of its products. A guarantee is not necessarily issued by a seller – it can also be issued by a manufacturer or a distributor.

 

An example: A manufacturer issues a guarantee covering defects occurring within 4 years after issuing the product to the buyer. If a defect is identified 3 years thereafter, the buyer will not be able to use warranty rights and make claims against the seller. However, they will be able to make guarantee claims against the manufacturer.

 

The Civil Code does not describe any details of guarantee rights. Generally it is the guarantor that determines the rights and obligations arising thereunder. In each case, the content of guarantee rights is determined on the basis of an analysis of the guarantee statement. The provisions of the Civil Code serve merely the purpose of clarifying doubts related e.g. to unclear or incomplete guarantee statements.

 

Guarantee liability is irrespective of  warranty liability. If a guarantee has been given, the buyer can – as they find fit – exercise their warranty or guarantee rights. Selection of one of the options does not waive the other option, should the first one prove ineffective. For instance, if it turns out that the guarantee period has expired, but the period for making  warranty claims has not yet lapsed, the buyer can use the other option, despite having made guarantee claims first.

 

However, making guarantee claims affects the  time limits for making  warranty claims. Upon commencement of the guarantee procedure (notification of the seller about the defect), warranty time limits become suspended. They will start running again on the date of refusal to fulfill guarantee obligations or upon the lapse of the period allowed for such fulfillment. In simple terms – commencing the guarantee procedure suspends the  time limits allowed for exercising  warranty rights. The purpose is to avoid a situation in which a failed attempt at exercising guarantee rights has an adverse effect on one’s right to make  warranty claims.

 

 Quality guarantee is the basic type of a guarantee.