Kitchen appliance manufacturer Corelle Brands, LLC has intentionally omitted mandatory disclosures from product warranty registration materials provided to consumers, a proposed class action claims.
The 18-page lawsuit alleges Corelle Brands, who does business as Instant Brands, has violated California law by failing to inform consumers that warranty or product registration cards or forms are, in fact, materials for product registration, and that the buyers’ failure to complete and return the card or form does not diminish their individual warranty rights.
According to the suit, California’s Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (SBA) expressly requires manufacturers who choose to provide warranty or product registration cards to include the aforementioned disclosures. As a result of Instant Brands’ failure to do so, the company is able to “chill warranty claims and benefit economically by duping consumers into thinking they do not have warranty rights unless they fill out the form and provide their personal information” to the company, the lawsuit alleges. In another scenario, consumers may actually be deprived of the warranties they were promised when they bought their Corelle Brands products as they must now register their warranties, a requirement that was not disclosed at the time of purchase, the complaint says.
“Consumers are thus additionally deceived into purchasing products they would not have, had they known they did not actually come with warranties,” the suit alleges. “Either scenario results in Defendant benefitting at the consumer’s expense.”
Per the case, the plaintiffs in 2020 each bought an Instant Brands product whose packaging prominently displayed that the item came with an express warranty. The suit says the plaintiffs, in reliance the “affirmative warranty promise” made on the products’ packaging, bought the items before discovering later that they did not come with a warranty as the consumers were led to believe.
Contained within each products’ packaging were instructions that required each plaintiff to “register” their appliances online within 30 days of purchase in order to “validate” their warranties and receive warranty benefits, the lawsuit continues. The online registration form—which calls for a name, email address, phone number, street address, date of product purchase, store name, model and serial number—did not inform either plaintiff that it was for product registration, and that the plaintiffs’ failure to complete the forms and return the warranty card did not diminish their warranty rights under California law, the case says.
The complaint goes on to argue that Instant Brands “has no right to access personal customer information” via warranty registration for the purposes of allegedly “chilling” warranty claims by way of “not making the legally mandated disclosures to customers.”
“Plaintiffs have not received [the] benefit which Plaintiffs bargained for,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit has been removed to California’s Northern District Court since its initial filing on February 18, 2021.
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