The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that regulates the warranties of consumer products. These warranties are given by manufacturers and suppliers, and they require these companies to stand behind their products. The purpose of the act is to protect consumers from being taken advantage of when it comes to faulty or defective products. Lemon Lawyer San Diego will give you information on what the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Is.


Aka The “Federal Lemon Law”

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a law that governs warranties for consumer products, including vehicles. The act was enacted in 1975 and since then it has been responsible for providing protections to consumers against defective cars or trucks by allowing them an avenue if their problem cannot be fixed (a legal remedy).

This federal lemon law allows people who have bought new/used models covered under warranty rights so they can get compensation when something goes wrong with the vehicle; whereas California Lemon Law offers statewide protection concerning these types issues however there may be certain instances where you would want apply this instead depending on your location, such as different states having unique regulations regarding auto manufacturing companies.


What is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a law that allows consumers who have purchased vehicles without warranties the option to commence lawsuits under federal law. Notably, this does not require vehicle manufacturers to give written documentation; instead they must describe their terms when providing one of these documents in order for it to be valid and enforceable through court proceedings against them should something go wrong with your purchase later down the road.

The Act provides a number of requirements for written warranties. Under the law, manufacturers and dealerships who provide these types of warranties must:

  • Show if it is a part warranty or a full one
  • Make sure the information is clear and easy to understand regarding the coverage provided in the warranty
  • Make sure that the warranty is provided to the consumer before the purchase

The Act does not allow for implied warranties to be disclaimed or modified by a written warranty. This means that less protection than the merchantability standard is provided in exchange of any kind, and deceptive terms are strictly prohibited under federal law as well.

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Will a State Law Like the California Lemon Law Provide Better Protection?

Under California Lemon Law, a consumer who purchases a lemon car may be entitled to either replacement vehicle or buyback from the manufacturer. In many cases though it’s best to assert your claim under state law rather than federal law because they provide stronger protections when dealing with them.

A car is considered a lemon under California law if the consumer can prove that within 18 months of purchase or after traveling less than 18,000 miles there was an issue with their vehicle’s value and safety. It becomes much easier for consumers in this situation because they don’t need any more proof beyond reasonable attempts to fix it, the burden instead falls onto the manufacturer.

The Lemon Law in California allows a consumer to file suit for an issue that was discovered at any time during the warranty period. If the problem could result in injury or fatality, only two attempts are needed instead of four as allowed by most state’s lemon law criteria.


California Lemon Law Vs. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that limits the amount of money that can be awarded in compensation for damages. By bringing an action under California’s Lemon Law, as opposed to this act which only applies at state level, consumers have the opportunity to maximize their recoveries by recovering up to two times what was incurred during litigation or court proceedings.

If you have been the victim of a lemon, your best bet is to consult with an attorney. The amount awarded can be substantial though it’s not available in every case because there are limitations on what damages qualify for compensation under California law. In addition to providing them with a refund or replacement vehicle, if the manufacturer is found at fault and liable for any damages they may be awarded legal fees which could amount up towards thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs.

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What is the Best Time to File Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act?

The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a useful option for consumers who are unable to pursue their claim under California Lemon Law. For example, the law only provides relief in cases where you purchased your vehicle within California and cannot use its lemon laws because it doesn’t apply outside of this state’s borders.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act can be a helpful law for consumers who have purchased cars and were not satisfied with their purchase. This act has rules which protect against manufacturers that refuse to honor warranties by making repairs outside of an authorized dealership, or even when someone else performs maintenance on your vehicle. The act also covers aftermarket parts as opposed to the California Lemon Law which only covers the parts covered under warranty.



The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that regulates warranties. It prevents people from being tricked into buying an extended warranty when it isn’t needed, and also gives consumers the right to return products if they are defective within one year of purchase. If you have questions about this law or how it applies in your situation, contact us today for help with our Lemon Lawyer San Diego at McMillan Law Group.