Query on rust

Query on rust

Q: I am a retailer and sell appliances to consumers. I recently received a complaint from a consumer about rust on a fridge that is still covered by warranty. If the warranty I have given to the consumer upon purchase excludes rust, am I still legally obliged to provide the consumer with a free remedy under the two-year legal guarantee? What are my legal obligations?

A: Article 73 (d) of the Consumer Affairs Act stipulates that traders are obliged to deliver to consumers goods that are of the quality and deliver the performance ex­pected of goods of the same type – given the nature of the goods and taking into account any public statements on the specific characteristics of the goods made about them by the trader, the producer or his representative, particularly in advertising or on labelling.

Appliances that develop signs of rust during the two-year legal guarantee can be considered as breaching this clause, as it is not normal for appliances to show signs of rust during such a short period of time. Hence, unless sellers can prove that the rust is caused by external factors, consumers may ask for a free remedy.

Rust may be excluded in commercial guarantees given by sellers when these are longer than the two-year legal protection. In this case, if goods show signs of rust after the two-year legal guarantee expires, consumers cannot claim a free remedy since rust is specifically excluded in the terms and conditions of the commercial guarantee.

Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority
Office for Consumer Affairs
Mizzi House,
National Road,
Blata l-Bajda
HMR 9010

Freephone: 8007 4400
Tel: 2395 2000
Enquiries: info@mccaa.org.mt
Consumer complaints: fair.trading@mccaa.org.mt
Website: www.mccaa.org.mt

MCCAA office hours for the public:
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm

European Consumer Centre Malta
(For complaints against traders in other EU states)

47A, South Street,
VLT 1101

Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.

Tel: 2122 1901
E-mail: ecc.malta@gov.mt

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