May 15 2015
Bipartisan Legislation Brings Warranty Requirements into 21st Century, Providing Manufacturers with Incentives to Place Information Online
WASHINGTON – Last night, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced new legislation to modernize warranty requirements and allow manufacturers to save paper and printing costs by posting warranties online. The bill, known as S. 1359 – The E-Warranty Act of 2015, was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee following introduction Thursday evening, and will be included in the committee’s markup this Wednesday, May 20th.
Senator Fischer released the following statement:
“The world is changing, and our technology is getting smaller, faster, and more efficient. Our laws must follow suit. That’s why I’ve teamed up with Senator Bill Nelson to introduce a new, bipartisan bill to provide manufacturers the option of posting their warranty information online.
“Working together, we have developed a targeted reform that encourages greater flexibility for job creators and better tools for consumers. Manufacturers would be able to publish their warranty information online, decreasing costs and increasing consumer awareness of their warranty information.”
Senator Nelson released the following statement:
“It’s just common sense to take advantage of new or improving online technologies to help consumers and businesses with their commerce.”
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules are unclear as to whether manufacturers are permitted to meet their warranty notice requirements online. The E-Warranty Act streamlines warranty notice rules and provides explicit direction to manufacturers that they have the option to meet their warranty requirements on their company’s website. The online option:
ü Provides relief to manufacturers and sellers to improve efficiency.
ü Boosts consumer access to warranty information.
ü Advances common-sense environmental benefits by reducing waste.
ü Promotes U.S. global competitiveness in the Internet of Things and the domestic economy.
ü Modernizes government rules to better reflect the digital age we live in.
ü Preserves robust consumer protections for warranty access.
The principles of the E-Warranty Act – to modernize manufacturing requirements – mirror those in Senator Fischer’s E-LABEL Act, which was signed into law last Congress. In the age of the Internet of Things, consumers expect to get information online in an easy and efficient manner.