Relates to coterminous consumer electronics warranties; ensures that consumer electronics warranties are meaningful to the extent that the duration of coverage on all parts are coterminous and warrantors must prove negligence on the part of the consumer before denying coverage.
BILL NUMBER: S1081
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the general business law, in relation to coterminous consumer electronics warranties
To strengthen warrantees on Consumer Electronics so that all parts of a device are covered against failure resulting from typical consumer usage.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
This legislation would amend the general business law to add a new section 399-ff to:
Require that the warrantee on all non-consumer replaceable components of a piece of consumer electronics be coterminous;
Stipulate that physical damage caused through normal, non-negligent use shall not be disclaimed by the warrantor. The burden of proof of consumer negligence shall rest with the warrantor.
Certain consumer electronic devices have sensitive parts, like LCD and plasma displays, which are prone to breakage through normal use. Warrantors have denied warranty coverage of these parts through reasoning that a part could not break except if the device was misused or handled negligently, although no other evidence of misuse is present.
Some warrantors specifically exclude certain parts in express warranties, although the consumer might not know this upon purchase, or understand the technical jargon used in the warranty. This act would prohibit express warranties from disclaiming coverage of non-consumable parts.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.7004 of 2007/08 - Referred to Consumer Protection
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : The first day of the thirteenth month after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1081 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 26, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, ADAMS, BRESLIN, DIAZ, HUNTLEY, C. JOHNSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, ONORATO, PARKER, PERKINS, SAMPSON, SERRANO, STACHOWSKI, STAVISKY, STEWART-COUSINS, THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to coterminous consumer electronics warranties THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-ff to read as follows: S 399-FF. COTERMINOUS WARRANTIES FOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "ELECTRONIC" MEANS A "COMMERCIAL UNIT" AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2-A-103 OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE CONTAINING TECHNOLOGY HAVING ELECTRICAL, DIGITAL, MAGNETIC, WIRELESS, OPTICAL, ELECTROMAGNETIC OR SIMILAR CAPABILITIES. 2. THE WARRANTY DURATION FOR ALL NON-CONSUMABLE COMPONENTS OF AN ELEC- TRONIC SHALL BE COTERMINOUS. NO EXPRESS WARRANTY SHALL DISCLAIM THE WARRANTY OF ANY PARTICULAR PART OF AN ELECTRONIC. 3. IF AN EXPRESS WARRANTY INDICATES DIFFERING DURATIONS FOR DIFFERENT COMPONENTS, THE LONGEST DURATION SHALL BE IN EFFECT FOR ALL COMPONENTS. 4. A WARRANTY HOLDER SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PAY ANY FEES OR CHARGES, FOR OTHERWISE COVERED REPAIRS, NOR SHALL AN EXTENDED WARRANTY, OR SERVICE CONTRACT FOR ELECTRONICS BECOME VOID DUE TO: (A) SCRATCHES, DENTS, CHIPS, OR ANY OTHER SLIGHT COSMETIC DEFECTS THAT OCCUR TO ELECTRONICS WITH REGULAR USE; OR (B) THE COST OF REPAIRS EXCEEDING THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE OF THE PRODUCT. 5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT OR ABRIDGE ANY STATUTORY OR OTHER RIGHT OR REMEDY OF A CONSUMER AT LAW OR IN EQUITY.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05060-01-9 S. 1081 2
S 2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the thirteenth month after it shall have become a law, and shall apply only to warran- ties, extended warranties, or service contracts for electronics entered into on or after such effective date.