Earlier this week, the Connecticut General Assembly declined to override Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto of legislation that would have forced window manufacturers to include replacement and labor costs in product warranties. The proposal was strongly opposed by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), which called it “unprecedented.” The bill is now dead for 2017.

S.B. 821 would have required window, roofing and siding manufacturers offering consumer warranties to make a determination on a claim within 30 days of receiving one. After that period, the claim would have been considered automatically approved, and the manufacturer would have been required to pay it within the following 30 days. In addition, the bill would have required manufacturers to pay any warranty claim made for materials and labor and to reimburse the full price of the materials and labor the consumer was charged. The bill would have forced manufacturers doing business in Connecticut to create separate warranty procedures that differ from the rest of the nation.

WDMA had argued that the new law wasn’t needed because consumers are already covered by product warranties that protect them from legitimate product defects or failures. In addition, manufacturers provide specific instructions for the installation of products, along with maintenance and other important documents. The association also said that making all warranties cover all labor costs for product defects is unreasonable because products can fail for many reasons, such as improper installation, misuse or modification after installation, or improper maintenance.

“WDMA commends the General Assembly for refusing to consider an override of this veto,” said Michael O’Brien, WDMA president and CEO. “This legislation was unprecedented and severely problematic for manufacturers, dealers and consumers doing business in the state of Connecticut. WDMA would like to thank all members who weighed in on this bill. Their efforts were crucial to ensuring this harmful legislation did not make it into law.”

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