A Storm in a Teacup? On Consumers’ Remedies for Non-Conforming Goods after Weber and Putz

14 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015

See all articles by Joasia Luzak

Joasia Luzak

University of Exeter - School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)

Date Written: April 7, 2015

Abstract

The Court of Justice of the European Union’s role is to interpret provisions of European law in a way that promotes the European legislator’s intentions. The clarity introduced by the CJEU is supposed to contribute to further harmonization of the Member States’ legal systems. When the Court’s judgment raises, however, as many questions as it answers, like in the Weber and Putz case regarding the assignment of liability for the costs that need to be made when a non-conforming good is replaced, the duty of consistent interpretation resting on national courts may be hard to fulfill. This article examines the implementation of the Weber and Putz judgment by German and Dutch courts, showing us differences in the national approaches to use the test provided by the Court of Justice of the European Union, pursuant to which the national judge can decide how to divide among consumers and sellers the costs for the removal of the already installed, non-conforming goods and for the installation of the new, conforming goods. Moreover, the conducted analysis presents potential unexpected effects of the Court’s ruling. Due to a lack of full harmonization of European consumer sales law, as well as damages having been left to national laws to regulate, in some Member States, for example in the Netherlands, consumers may be significantly better off if they chose the option-out created in the Weber and Putz case: to terminate the contract and claim damages instead of trying to give sellers another chance to perform.

Keywords: consumers’ remedies, CJEU, Weber and Putz judgment, national approaches, harmonization of European consumer sales law, damages

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Luzak, Joanna Aleksandra, A Storm in a Teacup? On Consumers’ Remedies for Non-Conforming Goods after Weber and Putz (April 7, 2015). European Review of Private Law, 2015, Forthcoming; Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2015-04; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591301 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591301

Joanna Aleksandra Luzak (Contact Author)

University of Exeter - School of Law ( email )

Streatham Court
University of Exeter
Exeter, EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL) ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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