Connecticut Passes Onerous Window Warranty BillJune 9th, 2017 by Trey Barrineau
The Connecticut House of Representatives approved a bill this week that forces window manufacturers to include replacement and labor costs in product warranties. The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, for approval. The legislation was strongly opposed by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).
S.B. 821, which passed by a vote of 80 to 70, requires window, roofing and siding manufacturers that offer warranties to pay any claim made for materials and labor, and to repay the full price of materials and labor the consumer was charged. In addition, manufacturers must act on claims within 30 days. After that, the claim is automatically considered approved, and manufacturers must pay the claim within the following 30 days.
“WDMA is strongly opposed to this legislation and is extremely concerned about the circumstances surrounding its passage,” said Michael O’Brien, WDMA president and CEO. “The bill is problematically vague and unfair to manufacturers. Its passage confirms Connecticut’s reputation of being hostile to business and manufacturing in particular. Furthermore, the bill and its ramifications were not given adequate scrutiny during the committee process and the fiscal impact is grossly understated.”
According to WDMA, the vague language of the bill opens the door for warranty coverage of improper installation or use of a product.
WDMA argues that the new law is unnecessary because consumers are already covered by product warranties that protect them from legitimate product defects or failures. Many of those warranties will cover replacement costs. In addition, manufacturers provide specific instructions for the installation of products, along with maintenance and other important documents.
The association says 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 thanks all members who contacted the General Assembly in opposition to the bill and we call on Governor Malloy to immediately veto this misguided legislation,” said O’Brien.