breach of warranty

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Breach of warranty is the violation of an express or implied contract of warranty, and thus it is a breach of contract. In other words, it occurs when the warrantor fails to provide the assurance warranted. A seller can expressly or implicitly assure the buyer about the quality or title of an item sold. If such assurance is proved to be untrue, the buyer has a claim for breach of warranty.

Generally, the breach takes one of two forms: (1) a misrepresentation of a fact or condition warranted to be true, or (2) a failure to do or refrain from some conduct warranted to be done.

Breach of warranty by misrepresentation may be brought in tort for damages or in contract if the representation was made as an inducement of a contract.

Breach of warranty to do or refrain from some action is usually brought as a breach of contract action for damages, rescission or for specific performance.  

A warranty must be distinguished from a statement of opinion or a mere prediction of future events (UCC § 2-313(2))

For a famous case in contract law discussing breach of warranty, see Hawkins v. McGee.

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]