Defective product: consumer rights and guarantees, after-sales liabilities, remedies for injured parties

If a product that has been purchased becomes defective, consumers can benefit from certain warranty rights.

Kulcsszavak: defective product, warranty, guarantee, record, warranty certificate, replacement, repair, implied warranty, quality complaint, breakdown

If a product becomes faulty, the consumer should first contact the seller of the product.

Consumers can pursue warranty claims at the place of purchase for 2 years after the purchase.

Altogether, they may enforce five types of warranty claims due to faulty performance, in two stages. In the first stage, the consumer may request the repair or replacement of the product, this being based on the consumer’s choice as a general rule. Under the implied warranty rights of the second stage, the consumer may demand a price reduction, or may repair the product or have the product repaired at the cost of the undertaking, or withdraw from the purchase.

If there is no receipt, the quality complaint may be rejected, if the consumer cannot otherwise prove the sale took place. If however a receipt is available, this is sufficient for proceeding to settle the quality complaint. The trader cannot demand the packaging, and cannot reject the complaint due to the lack thereof.

For 6 months after the sale, the burden of proof lies with the trader; beyond this period, the burden of proof lies with the consumer.

The range of products for which there is a mandatory guarantee (usually consumer durables of a value above HUF 10 000) is set by law. There is a mandatory guarantee of 1 year e.g. for household appliances, electronic products, tools and equipment, furniture, sports equipment, musical instruments, vehicles. In addition, the manufacturer/trader may decide to provide a guarantee for their product at their own discretion. The conditions of such guarantee may however not be less favourable than the general guarantee conditions enshrined in the legislation.

Consumers should seek to enforce their guarantee claim primarily at the trader where the product was purchased; nevertheless, traders often make it possible to enforce claims at the service workshop indicated on the warranty certificate.

The validity of the guarantee obligation is not affected by the irregular issuance of the warranty certificate or a failure to deliver it to the consumer. This means that consumers may demand repair or replacement of the product under the guarantee even if they have not received any warranty certificate, or had received a warranty certificate that does not fully comply with the legal requirements.

According to the law, repair within 15 days should be sought. If it takes considerably longer to repair the product, the customer may initiate the replacement of the product at the place of purchase, or may request the refund of the purchase price if it is not possible to replace the product.

 

The warranty and guarantee rights are fundamental consumer rights the restriction or impairment of which entitles the consumer to apply to the consumer protection authority in relation to the following issues:

The consumer is obliged to notify their objections to the seller as soon as practicable after detecting the defect. Should they delay the notification without justification, they can be obliged to pay any damages arising therefrom. However, any consumer objections notified within 2 months of detecting the defect must be regarded as notified in due time.

The consumer protection authority may start a proceeding within 3 years of the infringement.

The time limit for conducting the proceeding by the authority is 60 days.

The request to the consumer protection authority to conduct a proceeding must contain:

The proceedings are free of charge.

The consumer protection unit of the county-level (or the capital’s) government agency

You may seek remedies against a decision by the consumer protection authority directly before the courts.

The decision by the consumer protection authority will give information on possible remedies.

This case description was drawn up on: 1 July 2020

On 1 January 2021, an amendment relating to guarantees will enter into force.

Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code

Act CL of 2016 on the Code of General Administrative Procedure

Act CLV of 1997 on Consumer Protection

Government Decree 387/2016 (XII. 2.) on the appointment of a consumer protection authority

Government Decree 151/2003 (IX. 22.) on compulsory guarantee for certain consumer durables

NGM Decree 19/2014 (IV. 29.) on the rules of procedure for the settlement of warranty and guarantee claims in respect of Consumer-Business Contracts

 

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