Quick Answers...Consumer Complaints
What is the difference between a
"Warranty of Merchantability" and a "Warranty of Fitness for
a Particular Purpose"?
A "Warranty of Merchantability" and a "Warranty of
Fitness for a Particular Purpose" are both implied
warranties (unspoken, unwritten promises). The Warranty of
Merchantability is a promise that the vehicle will do what
it is supposed to do. This covers the basic functions of the
car, such as running. A breach of this warranty exists only
if the dealer sold the vehicle to you with an existing
The Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose would
apply if the dealer sold a vehicle to you promising that it
would serve a certain purpose, such as hauling a trailer or
a boat. The vehicle must be able to serve that purpose or
the deal may have broken this warranty.
Source: Buying a Used Car: A Consumer Guide from the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Trade Commission, April 1998.
Last update: Friday, April 21, 2006