- START – buyer’s rights
- Article 560 § 3 of the Civil Code
- Basis for liability for defects
- Buyer’s warranty rights
- Civil Code
- Claims for compensation
- Consumer’s rights act
- Consumer sales – consequences of non-response to the consumer’s claims
- Consumer sales – extended notion of sold item’s non-compliance with the contract
- Consumer sales – limitation of the seller’s freedom of choice
- Consumer sales – period of prescription
- Consumer sales – presumption of the defect’s existence upon transferring the risk to the buyer
- Costs incurred by the consumer withdrawing from the contract
- Cost of removal and reinstallation in consumer sales
- Distance contracts
- Guarantee document
- Guarantee statement
- Improper performance of the contract
- Legal defects
- Major defect
- Minor defect
- Non-performance of the contract
- Obligations of a trader buyer
- Off-premises contracts
- Physical defects
- Price reduction
- Quality guarantee
- Refunds (upon withdrawal from a distance contract or an off-premises contract)
- Repair or replacement of an item
- Returning an item (upon withdrawal from a distance contract or an off-premises contract)
- Time limits – warranty
- Time limit for withdrawal from the contract – distance sales and off-premises sales
- Withdrawal from a distance contract or an off-premises contract
- Withdrawal from the contract
- Withdrawal statement form
Warranty is the fundamental regime of liability for physical and legal defects in a sold item. The buyer’s warranty rights and the seller’s obligations are stipulated in the Civil Code.
Warranty liability arises irrespectively of guarantee liability. If a guarantee has been given, the buyer can freely choose whether to 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 intended 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.
Warranty makes the seller liable for physical defects and legal defects of a sold item. However, the liability is waived if the buyer is aware of the defect: a) upon concluding the contract, if the transaction covers identifiable items (i.e. if already at the stage of concluding the contract it is possible to identify the item, for instance if the contract specifies its serial number); b) upon issuing the item to the buyer, if the transaction covers items of a certain type (e.g. sale of a specific model of a TV – until the product is issued, the buyer does not know which particular item from the warehouse will become their property) or items that are not yet manufactured.
The above is in keeping with the principle volenti non fit iniuria (“to a willing person, injury is not done”) – if the buyer knowingly buys a defective item and does not object to it, they cannot make claims against the seller later on.
The seller is liable only for those physical defects that exist in or are caused by reasons inherent to the item upon transferring the risk to the buyer (usually upon issuing the item). Thus, warranty specifically does not cover accidental damage occurring after issuing the item to the buyer. However, it does cover defects that exist but are not identified upon issuing.
An example: A tire bursts after the buyer has driven fifty miles. If the underlying reason was inappropriate material or poor workmanship, the seller will be liable despite the fact that the defect was not obvious upon issuing the tire to the buyer (who even managed to drive fifty miles). However, if the reason for the defect was the fact that the tire hit a nail, the seller will not be liable.
In the case of consumer sales, the buyer enjoys a favorable presumption regarding the moment on which the defect occurred.