President Obama has signed the E-Warranty Act of 2015 (PL 114-51).  The new law amends the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvements Act (15 USC § 2302(b)) by permitting (not requiring) consumer product warranties to be made available online.  If a consumer product manufacturer elects to make product warranties available online, the manufacturer will be subject to a few requirements:

  • The online warranty on the product manufacturer’s site must be available “in a clear and conspicuous manner” and
  • The product, product packaging, or product manual must provide the consumer with two types of information:  (1) the manufacturer’s web site address where the warranty information is located and (2) a non-Internet-based means of contacting the manufacturer:  a phone number, mailing address, or “other reasonable means” to obtain warranty information.

With respect to retailers, if the law requires that a written warranty be made available to consumers prior to the sale of the product, the new law applies only if the retailer “makes available, through electronic or other means, at the location of the sale to the consumer purchasing the consumer product the terms of the warranty for the consumer product before the purchase.”

The new law gives the Federal Trade Commission one year to revise its warranty rules to comply with the new law.