Warranties: Titling Written Warranties as "Full" or "Limited"

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act requires that every written warranty on a consumer product that costs more than $10 have a title that says the warranty is either "full" or "limited" (The Act calls these titles "designations.") The title is intended to provide consumers, at a glance, with a key to some of the important terms and conditions of a warranty.

The title "full warranty" is a shorthand message to consumers that the coverage meets the Act's standards for comprehensive warranty coverage. Similarly, the title "limited warranty" alerts consumers that the coverage does not meet at least one of the Act's standards, and that the coverage is less than "full" under the Act.

What the Terms "Full" and "Limited" Mean Determining whether your warranty is a "full" or a "limited" warranty is not difficult. If each of the following five statements is true about your warranty's terms and conditions, it is a "full" warranty:

  1. You do not limit the duration of implied warranties.

  2. You provide warranty service to anyone who owns the product during the warranty period; that is, you do not limit coverage to first purchasers.

  3. You provide warranty service free of charge, including such costs as returning the product or removing and reinstalling the product when necessary.

  4. You provide, at the consumer's choice, either a replacement or a full refund if, after a reasonable number of tries, you are unable to repair the product.

  5. You do not require consumers to perform any duty as a precondition for receiving service, except notifying you that service is needed, unless you can demonstrate that the duty is reasonable.

If any of these statements is not true, then your warranty is "limited".

You are not required to make your entire warranty "full" or "limited" If the statements above are true about the coverage on only some parts of your product, or if the statements are true about the coverage during only one part of the warranty period, then your warranty is a multiple warranty that is part full and part limited.

Examples of Full Warranties, Limited Warranties, and Multiple Warranties