Consumer Goods Guarantees in the DCFR - 'Best Solution' or Grasping the Wrong Nettle?
European Review of Private Law, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2009
Posted: 6 Mar 2009 Last revised: 5 Nov 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2009
Consumer Guarantees are commonly given by a manufacturer, and also increasingly retail sellers, whenever certain types of goods are supplied to consumers. They are usually free, and offer an alternative basis for a consumer to seek a remedy if goods develop a fault. They are essentially an integral part of the marketing and competitive strategies of a manufacturer or retailer. As they are an important part of many consumer sales transactions, one would expect to see some provisions on these in any legal framework. This paper focuses on the provisions of what is Book IV, Part A, Chapter 6 in the interim DCFR published in 2009 (Arts. IV.A.-6:101 - 108). These are the provisions on consumer goods guarantees. Although the provisions contained in this chapter seem fairly sensible, it will be argued that several of these provisions do not seem necessary. Furthermore, there are concerns which emerge from the methodology applied in drafting the DCFR, as well as the wider literature surrounding consumer guarantees. This paper will first analyse the DCFR provisions on guarantees, before briefly outlining the two dominant theories regarding the function of consumer goods guarantees, drawing on research from the wider social science literature. This will form the basis of a critique of the DCFR provisions. In a final section, the relevance of the DCFR provisions for the acquis review will be considered.
Keywords: consumer guarantees, warranties, Draft Common Frame of Reference, EU Contract Law, Europe, consumer law
JEL Classification: K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation