So you think you have a 30-year replacement warranty for those 30-year shingles on your house?
Think Again. A recent December 2013 Michigan Appeals Court case affirmed a defendant Shingle Supplier's win over a grieved Plaintiff who sued the supplier after about 13 years because his 30-year shingles were failing.
The plaintiff claimed that there was a breach of implied warranty and a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Federal Law). The court ruled that where a plaintiff seeks to recover for economic loss caused by a defective product, the exclusive remedy is provided by the Uniform Commercial Code(UCC). There was no evidence of any express warranty.
Unfortunately for the Homeowner Plaintiff, the UCC has a defined statute of limitations. The UCC, codified at MCL 440.2725, has a four-year limitations period for a breach of implied warranty. Therefore the filing of the lawsuit after 13 years was way past the limitations period and therefore time-barred. The claim under the Magnuson-Moss act also failed for the same reason.
While the shingles were marketed as “30 year shingles,” that is NOT the same as having an express warranty with full coverage for 30-years. In this case, there was no proof of any express warranty, therefore the lawsuit was filed over an implied warranty and it was too late for that.
Today, the reality is you will be given an express warranty that reads something like this: During the first five years defendant would pay the full cost of labor and materials to repair defective shingles or apply new shingles to replace defective shingles. After five years, a limited warranty provides for prorated coverage for materials only.
The Homeowner loses! Your 30-year shingles are just like your 50,000 mile tires!