We have been looking at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

As we now know; we as consumers have the choice of repair, refund or replace in the event of goods bought by us being defective or damaged at the time of the sale.

This rule also applies to a motor vehicle; both new and used.

This choice also has to be formally communicated to the seller, your rights fully explained and the reasons given for your advice to the effect that the goods in question are either damaged or defective as per the relevant provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. If a formal legal process is not followed the service provider will quite rightly simply ignore your protests.

One of the questions that arise from this choice by the consumer, however, is this:

“What happens if I choose to have the item repaired; and the supplier does so, and that does not solve the problem to my satisfaction? “

“Can I then again choose a refund or a replacement?”

The answer is usually: “No.”

It is clear that you cannot simply keep on making a choice or choices until you are entirely satisfied. That is not the intention of the implied warranty. As the saying goes: “You only have one bite at the apple!” The service provider will be very quick to point this out to you, and will insist; that he has now complied with his obligations in terms of section 56(2) of the Consumer Protection Act and has no further legal obligation to you.

However; if you formally choose a repair; then section 56(3) comes into play after the repair is affected.

Section 56 (3) of the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 reads as follows:

“If a supplier repairs any particular goods or any component of any such goods, and within three months after the repair, the failure, defect or unsafe feature has not been remedied, or a further failure, defect or unsafe feature is discovered, the supplier must: - (a) replace the goods; or (b) refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer for the goods.”

This subsection is again very wide; and again gives you an implied warranty on the repaired goods for a further 3 months; not only in respect of the repair for that particular repair but also extends it further to any other defect that may arise or come to your notice within that same 3 month period.

It is important to note that this extension of the implied warranty on goods only applies in the event of a repair and does not apply should your first choice have been a refund ( for obvious reasons) or a replacement item. The act is silent on whether the replacement item is also subject to the implied warranty created by Section 55 and 56 of the Consumer Protection Act. We would argue that it is; because of the very wide terminology used by the legislature in section 56(2) of the Act.

Finally, we have section 56(4) of the implied warranty which is self-explanatory and states:

“The implied warranty imposed by subsection (1); and the right to return goods set out in subsection (2) are each in addition to:- (a) any other implied warranty or condition imposed by the common law, this Act, or any other public regulation; and (b) any express warranty or condition stipulated by the producer or importer, distributor or retailer, as the case may be.”

This means that the implied warranty is over and above any other statutory warranty or manufactures guarantee and is in addition to any such warranty.

Suppliers have tried to argue that if they give you a written guarantee that this guarantee replaces the warranty created and contained in the Act.

This subsection makes it clear that that argument does not hold any water; and is both factually and legally incorrect.

Please visit our website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za for further information.

If you have a legal problem please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will revert to you within 48 hours with a reply.

Should you otherwise wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; just also send us an e-mail, and we will respond.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

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South Africa

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Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za

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