Q: In February 2019, I bought a water heater, and it was installed in May 2019. In January 2021, the water heater started malfunctioning and the seller agreed to replace it with a new one. Nearly two years after, the replaced water heater developed some faults.

I would like to know if the water heater’s warranty started afresh when it was replaced with the new one. In other words, since the two years’ warranty has not yet elapsed on the replaced water heater, am I entitled to claim a free remedy from the seller?

A: When a product turns out to be defective and is replaced free of charge under the legal and/or commercial guarantee, the original guarantee given to consumers when the product was purchased continues on the replaced product. So in your case, the water heater’s guarantee expired in May 2021, two years after the originally purchased water heater was installed in your house.

In situations where traders take time to assess the product’s problem and provide a remedy, consumer law stipulates that the legal guarantee’s period is suspended for the duration of negotiations carried on between the seller and the consumer. Once a suitable remedy is provided to the consumer, the period of time taken by the trader to provide a solution is added to the guarantee period.

Regarding commercial guarantees, the law also stipulates that the duration of a commercial guarantee shall be automatically extended for a period equal to the time during which the guarantor had the goods or part of the goods in his possession to execute the commercial guarantee.

To claim the above-mentioned extension, it is necessary that consumers are in possession of the relevant evidence of when they notified the seller about the problem and the time the seller took to provide a solution.

Want to submit your own query? Write to the MCCAA.

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