Who is liable for faulty goods – the retailer or manufacturer? - Trading Standards Bl (2022)

Posted on 10 February 2019 by tradingstandardsblog

A very common consumer question – which goes along the linesof:

I have bought an item from a shop/retailer which is faulty – I have taken it back to the shop but they tell me to go to the manufacturer. Who is responsible for fixing the faulty item?

The answer to this is quite simple – you bought the itemfrom the shop and your contract is with the shop. You do not have a contractwith the manufacturer. The shop has the legal liability to fix the item.

If the item is faulty then you will have your legal rights under the ConsumerRights Act 2015 against the retailer. You may also have a separate warranty direct with the manufacturer – and if you payextra to the retailer for an ‘extended warranty’ you may also have another setof rights against the retailer or third party insurer.

Bottom line is that when a product breaks (especially ifvery soon after purchase) you should use your legal rights. Only if they do notcover the problem should you move onto a free manufacturer warranty or a paidfor warranty (bear in mind a warranty will often cover things not covered bythe Consumer Rights Act 2015 – such as accidental damage).

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You should bear in mind of course- if you give the item tothe shop they will often just pass it back to the manufacturer – so it is oftenquicker if you just go direct to the manufacturer if the manufacturer is happyto deal with you direct. You should always check with the shop first though andget permission as if you go to the manufacturer without giving them firstchance to offer a refund/repair they may argue that you should have given thema chance to fix the item first.

Bear in mind your rights under the Consumer Right Act 2015 are:

-the item is faulty when it is sold to you (but that fault may be not become apparent until after it has been used) – this essentially means there is some sort of manufacturing defect with the product as it was not designed or made properly

– it is not as described

– it is not fit for the purpose for which it was sold

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 does not cover damage you causeyourself.

There are lots of guides online about the rights you have under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

UPDATE 03/08/2020

Due to so many comments/questions on this matter:

1 – you have a LEGAL CONTRACT with the seller. If you are being fobbed off then you need to take action against the seller.

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2 – if the seller does not give you your rights (as explained above) then you must pursue them through the court system (in England the county court). That is what the court is there for – to resolve disputes where the law is not being complied with. You must be able to demonstrate to the court what LEGAL rights the seller has not given you – therefore you will need to read up on consumer laws like the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to understand what your rights are.

3 – whether you have a claim depends on the situation (e.g how long you have had the item, what the problem is etc). It is not possible to give advice for every situation – seek advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service (see relevant page on this site)

Comments stopped as too many idiots not reading the blog properly.

  1. i purchased a brand new cooker delivered by AO, after fitting it i notices a couple of faults whereupon i was told to get in touch with the manafacturer who sent an engineer out who told me i needed a new over door as mine was faulty, (this was along with a couple more problems)
    the engineer came back with a washer which did stop some play in the door but the door does not sit stright.
    i have since noticed while cleaning it, that the plastic trim under the dials is loose which i noticed when cleaning it.
    who is responsible for this – in my opinion the item is shoddy and not fit for purpose, i did get in touch within an hour of fitting it with the deliver AO and they passed me over to ELECTRA who makes the appliance?

    thanks

    • Legally the retailer is responsible for faulty products

  2. We bought a hot from the range it s broke after only 8 weeks they say we can not return it to them and will not help us at all

    • See advice from Citizens Advice consumer service – if it is a manufacturing fault then they are liable.

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  3. Thank you this was very helpful as we have an exact same problem with a pool filter purchased from a pool shop

  4. I brought a PS4 in November 2019 from Argos and it has and still got the receipt it’s got a problem with it tripping my electric Argos said I must ring Sony which I did and they said I must take it back to Argos.
    I have taken it back and they are saying the same what do I do

    • Pursue Argos at county court (assuming you have a valid claim).

  5. Hi I bought a hot tub and its faulty (2 small leaks) I contacted the retailer who say they dont have the item in stock and I dont want it repaired. They have said they could claim it under the warranty with the manufacturer. I am unsure if I should just ask for a refund or allow them go ahead with the warranty?

    • You need to check on the remedies under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – you may not have the right to have a full refund it very much depends on the specifics of the case (i.e how much use you have had etc)

  6. Bought 2 new sim card radios and on opening and turning on the sims cards never worked despite them being active. The item never had the software or IMEI number. I have returned the items to supplier for replacement. The supplier has said ( they will not replace them until these have been checked by the manufacturer to determine the fault). This is clearly the manufacturer issue. Should the supplier just send 2 new units and them claim replacements from the manufacturer.

    • They have the right to confirm a fault exists///

  7. I bought some soft luggage for a motocycle from an Italian company on Amazon. One of the seams has come apart and I have contacted the Italian company via Amazon and not heard anything. I then contacted Givi UK the manufacturer and they said I had to contact the seller in order for them to progress. I then emailed the Italian company direct through an email on their website and still no reply after a week. If the Italian company ignore my emails, Amazon states that the purchase was over a year ago so no comeback there even though Givi offer a 2 year warranty. I feel I am getting the run around, any advice dealing with a European seller ?

    • You need to obtain the UK sellers details from Amazon and pursue them in court. If they are based in the EU then you can still pursue them in court but obviously its a lot more complicated. You need to establish a legal basis for your claim. If you have a manufacturers warranty and are trying to claim on the warranty then it should be possible to do it direct with the manufacturer.

  8. Hi I bought a Xbox one headset from very with a extended guarantee And it broke in December 2019 I got a replacement and that as not broken contacted them who informed me I had too contact Gem distribution but can not find a contact and very would not give it too me what should I do ?
    Thanks for the help .

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  9. I found a DIY-class tool I received as a gift to be faulty on first use.
    This is where it gets complicated.
    1 – It was a gift from my dad who died shortly after buying it for me, and before giving it to me.
    2 – I have been unable to locate a receipt or other proof of purchase.
    3 – He bought it from an online retailer that has since ceased trading.
    4 – I have contacted the UK-based manufacturer/brand name in order to make use of the two-year warranty advertised and documented with the product. However, they have pointed out that the T&Cs of the warranty state that the warranty is only valid if the product was bought directly from them. My attempts to negotiate a resolution have been fruitless as the product was bought from a 3rd-party retailer.

    Brief research online has identified the same fault has been experienced by numerous other consumers. This would seem to suggest that the product is not fit for purpose.

    Do I have any rights?
    Does the manufacturer/brand name have any legal obligation to help?

    • Short answer – no and no.

FAQs

Who is liable for faulty goods the retailer or manufacturer? ›

You do not have a contract with the manufacturer. The shop has the legal liability to fix the item. If the item is faulty then you will have your legal rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 against the retailer.

Who is responsible for faulty products? ›

If the product is faulty then the liability for any harm caused by the product lies with the manufacturer.

Who is liable manufacturer or seller? ›

Responsibility usually lies with the manufacturer of the item rather than the supplier or the seller. But, if more than one business is part of the production of the item, they can all be liable for the defect.

Who is responsible for faulty goods retailer or manufacturer India? ›

Part 1 of the Consumer protection Act 1987 deals with the strict liability imposed on the manufacturer of the goods for any defect in the product. It means that if consumer suffers any injury, then a claim can be brought against the manufacturer.

Who is responsible supplier or manufacturer? ›

The manufacturer is responsible for the quality, or lack of quality of the appliances it makes. But consumer law puts the onus on the people who sold you the appliance. The manufacturer has no legal obligation under the Sale of goods act other than to honour the guarantee that comes with it.

Who is responsible for manufacturer warranty? ›

The seller is responsible for resolving the issue under consumer law. You are entitled to raise a problem about a product for up to 6 years from the date of buying it. This applies regardless of the terms of any guarantee or warranty.

Is the responsibility of a manufacturer for any injuries or damages caused by a faulty product? ›

Under a legal theory known as negligence, manufacturers and distributors are often held responsible for injuries that occur as a result of a defective product.

Are manufacturers liable? ›

A manufacturer may be liable if a product has a defective condition that makes it unreasonably dangerous to a user. Quality assurance programs can specifically include inspections or testing at those stages in the production process where defects that could present a greater risk of harm to the user could occur.

Are retailers responsible for product liability? ›

When a retailer advertises an item for sale, it is implied that they ensure the product is safe and suitable for use. Even though a retailer may not have manufactured or distributed a defective product, they can be held liable for any injuries or losses caused by a product they sold.

Who is responsible for returning faulty goods? ›

Your contract is with the seller and not the manufacturer, which means that only the seller is liable for the breach of contract (selling faulty or defective goods).

How long is a retailer responsible for faulty goods? ›

Under the Consumer Rights Act, your consumer rights may allow you to get faulty goods repaired or replaced for free up to six years after purchase, although the longer you have had the goods the progressively more difficult it will be to show the defect arose as a result of the state of the goods at time of purchase.

Who all can be liable in a product liability action? ›

Section 86 of the Act lists the instances under which a product seller (who is not a product manufacturer) shall be liable in a product liability action for a harm caused by a defective product sold by the product seller.

Who is legally responsible if defective goods are sold? ›

3. Who is liable for a faulty product if several businesses are involved in the production and supply of the product? Responsibility generally lies with the producer of the product rather than supplier.

What is a manufacturer responsible for? ›

A manufacturer is responsible for assembling the final goods, such as laptops, fridges or watches, or producing parts and components that other manufacturers use to produce more complex products like cars or aircraft.

In which of the following liability a manufacturer is considered liable for a damage caused by a faulty product? ›

manufacturer's liability, legal concept or doctrine that holds manufacturers or sellers responsible, or liable, for harm caused by defective products sold in the marketplace.

Do manufacturers have a responsibility to protect consumers? ›

Defective Products. The bottom line is that manufacturers are required to make safe products. You may have a product liability case against the manufacturer if: A product malfunctions, because it wasn't made properly.

What are your rights on faulty goods? ›

You'll have legal rights if the item you bought is: broken or damaged ('not of satisfactory quality') unusable ('not fit for purpose') not what was advertised or doesn't match the seller's description.

What comes first supplier or manufacturer? ›

The supplier provides the products from the manufacturer, and sometimes the manufacturer and the supplier are one and the same. A supplier works with distributors and wholesalers to get them the goods that they need. Without suppliers, no retailers would have access to the products that they want to sell.

Is the responsibility of the manufacturer for repairs? ›

The manufacturer has to resolve the issue when repairs or spare parts are not available for a period of time after purchase. The consumer can make a claim to the manufacturer or the supplier if a product: is not of acceptable quality. did not match description.

What is the difference between dealer warranty and manufacturer warranty? ›

Warranties provided by the manufacturer as part of the vehicle cost typically cover only certain problems with the vehicle. Extended warranties or service contracts sold for an additional charge typically cover problems with mechanical and electrical parts not covered by the manufacturers' warranty.

What does manufacturer's warranty cover? ›

A manufacturer warranty covers repair and replacement costs due to factory errors but excludes nearly all damage outside of that. The following items are not covered by a typical car warranty: Routine maintenance—Oil changes, brake pad replacements, tire rotations, and similar tasks must be paid out-of-pocket.

Who is responsible for a manufacturing defect? ›

When a defective product causes injury, the manufacturer of the product, the distributor, the wholesaler and the retailer who sold the product may all be liable under product liability rules. There are four possible bases for product liability: 1. Defects in design.

Can a manufacturer be held liable to any person who suffers an injury proximately caused by the manufacturer's negligently made product? ›

Yes. The manufacturer is liable for the injuries to the user of the product. A manufacturer is liable for its failure to exercise due care to any person who sustains an injury proximately caused by a negligently made (defective) product. In this scenario, the failure to inspect is a failure to use due care.

What are retailers responsible for? ›

Retail workers take responsibility for certain aspects of customer service in smaller stores. They arrange any home deliveries that customers require, and deal with customers who want to exchange or return products, applying relevant company terms and conditions.

What are liabilities in retail? ›

retail liability means a liability which is owed to a bank by an eligible depositor; Sample 1. retail liability means a liability which is owed to a bank by an eligible depositor; “title transfer financial collateral arrangements” means an agreement or.

Who in the supply chain can be held liable in a product liability case? ›

Under U.S. product liability law, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public can be held responsible for the injuries caused by those products.

Do shops have to take back faulty goods? ›

The same consumer rights rules apply to second-hand and sale goods from shops. They must be of satisfactory quality and, if they're faulty, you can return them.

Who is responsible for goods damaged in transit? ›

As a consumer, if you receive damaged goods then the Consumer Rights Act 2015 places responsibility on the retailer. That is, you must complain to the retailer if your goods are damaged. It is their responsibility to rectify the situation.

Can a retailer refuse a refund? ›

It depends on your reason. If an item is faulty or has broken - in other words, doesn't comply with the Sale of Goods Act - then the retailer has a duty to offer a refund, exchange or repair. But if you simply don't like the purchase, then that's not a good enough reason.

How long do you have to return faulty goods? ›

Within six years – the longest you have to claim fault.

However people often confuse this and think it means goods must last six years – that just isn't true. To work out what is a reasonable length of time, you have to simply imagine what a reasonable person would say was reasonable.

Can a retailer refusing a replace faulty goods? ›

30-day right to reject

Under the Consumer Rights Act you have a legal right to reject goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, and get a full refund - as long as you do this quickly. This right is limited to 30 days from the date you buy your product.

How long do I have to reject faulty goods? ›

In the first 30 days after purchase, you have the right to reject the goods. This means you can return an item that doesn't meet the three criteria for a full refund.

Which of the following are the three 3 major product liability causes of action? ›

These are: (1) Breach of warranty; (2) Negligence; (3) Strict liability.

What are the three typical product liability negligence claims? ›

Three types of product liability claims come up the most often with consumers injured by something manufactured for sale to the public. These claims are manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn.

Who is responsible in limited liability? ›

Limited liability refers to the extent a company director or shareholder is personally responsible for the debts of their business. Limited liability is often one of the advantages that sways business owners to incorporate as a limited company rather than to operate as a self-employed sole trader.

When the seller is liable? ›

A breach of contract may also render the seller liable to pay damages to the buyer for any loss resulting from the breach. According to the Sale of Goods Act the buyer is entitled to damages for losses he/she suffers because of the seller's delay or a defect in the goods.

What is the law for defective products? ›

—(1) The producer shall be liable in damages in tort for damage caused wholly or partly by a defect in his product. (f) any person who is liable as producer of the product pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.

Who should bear the responsibility for product safety? ›

Manufacturers contend that consumers should bear more responsibility for product injuries because the costs of placing full liability onto companies far outweigh the benefits. Since the 1960s, there has been a steady increase of product liability cases.

Are manufacturers strictly liable? ›

Strict products liability involves the commercial sale of defective products. In most states, any retail, wholesale, or manufacturer who sells an unreasonably dangerous, defective product that causes injury to a user of the product is strictly liable.

What is product liability assessment? ›

Product liability is a concept meaning, in general, the legal responsibility of a seller of a product for defects that cause death, injury, or damage to its user. The seller is usually the manufacturer, but a distributor, lessor, or retailer may also risk attracting a liability.

Who is responsible manufacturer or retailer? ›

The manufacturer is responsible for the quality, or lack of quality of the appliances it makes. But consumer law puts the onus on the people who sold you the appliance. The manufacturer has no legal obligation under the Sale of goods act other than to honour the guarantee that comes with it.

What are the responsibilities of retailers towards customers and manufacturers? ›

Retailers are responsible for creating and improving the demand for various products by taking care of the display and merchandising activities. Retailers act as a major source of funding for the wholesale trade by placing the orders and making payments in advance to the wholesalers for those goods.

What responsibilities do retailers have to ensure consumer safety? ›

Companies, including retailers, have a legal obligation to report a consumer product to the CPSC when they obtain information indicating that a product may create a substantial risk of injury to consumers, may be unreasonably hazardous or dangerous for consumers, may have been involved in a choking or “near miss” ...

How do you deal with faulty goods? ›

Report the problem to the seller as soon as you become aware of the fault. Faulty goods are also often covered by the manufacturer's guarantee or warranty, but this is in addition to your automatic rights and does not represent a get-out-of-jail-free card for the retailer.

What is it called when you get a faulty product? ›

A product defect is any characteristic of a product which hinders its usability for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured. Product defects arise most prominently in legal contexts regarding product safety, where the term is applied to "anything that renders the product not reasonably safe".

Is a manufacturer considered a supplier? ›

Is a manufacturer a supplier? Suppliers and manufacturers are pretty much synonyms. For the purpose of this post, when we refer to suppliers, we're referring to anyone who has the capability to provide you with products and inventory. This encompasses manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.

What is the difference between a supplier and manufacturer? ›

In manufacturing, a supplier sells to other businesses and supplies directly from the manufacturer or are the manufacturer themselves. With physical products, vendors typically sell to end customers and get their products from suppliers.

Can a wholesaler be a manufacturer and retailer at the same time? ›

They usually provide large quantities of goods, but can take on orders for smaller quantities as well. The wholesaler may also be the manufacturer or producer of the product, but they don't have to be.

Who is responsible for warranty the store or manufacturer? ›

Although sold by the retailer, the manufacturer is responsible for executing the extended warranty on behalf of the customer. Special warranty deeds transfer property ownership from one person to another and assure the buyer that the title at the time of sale is free of encumbrances, liens, or claims.

What is the responsibility of a manufacturer? ›

Manufacturers in general have the following responsibilities

designing and manufacturing products in accordance with the essential health, safety or any other objectives of all product legislation applicable to the product. by carrying out (or having it carried out) the relevant conformity assessment procedure.

What voids a manufacturer warranty? ›

Environmental damage: If your vehicle was damaged in a fire, flood, hailstorm, earthquake or any other environmental disaster, the automaker will not honor your warranty. Altered odometer: If your car's odometer has been disconnected, tampered with or replaced, the dealership cannot determine the exact mileage.

How do I claim my manufacturer's warranty? ›

To make a claim against Manufacturer's Warranty, contact the Manufacturer with the product's serial number. Though, a dated sales receipt is usually adequate to file a warranty claim. If you purchased an extended warranty, first contact the provider to make a claim.

What is the difference between a dealer and manufacturer warranties? ›

Warranties provided by the manufacturer as part of the vehicle cost typically cover only certain problems with the vehicle. Extended warranties or service contracts sold for an additional charge typically cover problems with mechanical and electrical parts not covered by the manufacturers' warranty.

Can distributor be held liable for manufacturing defect? ›

Sellers and Distributors of Defective Products

Sellers, retailers and distributors are not involved in the development or manufacturing of a defective product. However, these parties could still be held liable for selling you a defective or dangerous product.

What are my rights regarding faulty goods? ›

You'll have legal rights if the item you bought is: broken or damaged ('not of satisfactory quality') unusable ('not fit for purpose') not what was advertised or doesn't match the seller's description.

What is the law on returning faulty goods? ›

If the item is faulty or not fit for purpose you have the right to reject or return the goods and demand a refund, a repair or a replacement. You must inform the seller within 30 days of receiving it if you decide to reject the goods and have a refund.

What happens if an item is faulty? ›

If the retailer refuses to replace or repair the product, then the retailer will have to prove that you [the consumer] has caused the fault. If they cannot prove that you caused the fault, then you are entitled to a repair, a replacement or even a refund.

Which responsibility is the role of a retail buyer? ›

Retail buyers identify, select and purchase stock that matches the retailer's requirements. Graduates often become buyers after successfully completing a retail management training scheme. Buyers are responsible for sourcing, developing and introducing product ranges that suit their stores and customer base.

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