You have a number of issues here and you did not post enough information for an attorney who specializes in warranty related law (me) to opine on your question. I'll assume for purposes of this answer that you purchased the product new and it came with an express/written warranty covering certain parts and labor for a time certain.
Have you had ANY repair attempts on this item at all? If so, were those attempts under the written/express warranty? What is the duration of your written/express warranty?
Why is it you think your product is unmerchantable? It is a rare lay-person or attorney for that matter, that understands what the warranty of merchantability actually is.
It's true that the duration of the statute of limitations for filing an action based on the implied warranty of merchantability is four years in CA under the UCC. But, since Song-Beverly allows for up to a one year duration for the implied warranty, a case can be filed up to five years from the date of purchase, where in other situations and other states, the item either is or is not merchantable at the time of sale. SB's statute of limitations therefore specifically allows for when you either did or should have found out about the breach.
That said, it seems as if 7 years is a bit beyond where you can be helped on your issues, so, once again, I revert to the original line of questioning, which is, what does your express warranty say, cover and did you have issues under it and did you give manufacturer a chance to fix under it? If not, you are in a tough position.
No, it is too late. The duration of the implied warranty of merchantability under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act is set forth in Civil Code § 1791.1(c):
"(c) The duration of the implied warranty of merchantability and
where present the implied warranty of fitness shall be coextensive in
duration with an express warranty which accompanies the consumer
goods, provided the duration of the express warranty is reasonable;
but in no event shall such implied warranty have a duration of less
than 60 days nor more than one year following the sale of new
consumer goods to a retail buyer. Where no duration for an express
warranty is stated with respect to consumer goods, or parts thereof,
the duration of the implied warranty shall be the maximum period
California courts apply the four year Uniform Commercial Code statute of limitations for warranty causes of action, found in Commercial Code section 2725. Delayed discovery does not toll the statute of limitations. The statute runs from the moment the breach occurred, even if the plaintiff was unaware of the breach at the time.
Specifically, Commercial Code section 2725 provides:
" (1) An action for breach of any contract for sale must be
commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued. By
the original agreement the parties may reduce the period of
limitation to not less than one year but may not extend it.
(2) A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless
of the aggrieved party's lack of knowledge of the breach. A breach of
warranty occurs when tender of delivery is made, except that where a
warranty explicitly extends to future performance of the goods and
discovery of the breach must await the time of such performance the
cause of action accrues when the breach is or should have been
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California only. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Frank knows California law extremely well and the only thing I would add is that a defendant can usually waive a statute of limitations defense by failing to raise it but odds are they will spot it based on how old your purchase date is. Moral of the story here is simple: if you have a problem, complain and complain and don't wait too long before filing something in court if necessary because for every legal right you have there is only a limited amount of time before your legal rights will run out on you and you will be stuck. Thanks for asking and good luck.
This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. If you need a Consumer Law attorney, click the link above to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.
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