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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 110503
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I purchased my home air conditioner in 2009. Several weeks

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I purchased my home air conditioner in 2009. Several weeks ago the unit froze up. I called the company that originally installed it, however they were unavailable to repair it for a day and a half. I called another company. Their service tech informed me that I was sold a outside unit that was manufactured in 2009 and an inside unit (in the garage) that was manufactured in 2007. He determined the reason the system froze was it was leaking freon, he re-charged the system and got it running. He said I needed to get a leak check to determine the cause of the leak. It cost me nearly $600. I contacted the company that installed the unit to inform them of the situation and convinced them to come out and do a leak test for free. The leak test proved that the leak was coming from the older unit in the garage. The unit is covered under warranty, however, parts and labor are not, therefore the cost of the repair would be $800. The company told me because it was a new unit they would not help me pay for the repair. I checked my original invoice and it was never disclosed that they were selling me a unit that was two years old. Furthermore, they never discounted the unit. My question is are there any laws nationally, or in the sate of Florida that require disclosure of the item being sold? Dont they have some obligation to inform me? Do I have any recourse?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The FL consumer protection laws (and the federal laws) do not have a law regarding disclosure of manufacture date of these types of items (unlike a car) because these items can be sold as new if never installed as they are considered items with "shelf life." While they do not have obligation to inform you of the year of manufacture, all they have responsibility for under both the FL laws and the federal Manguson Moss Warranty Act is to honor their warranty. I am afraid that if the unit is under warranty that excludes parts, I am afraid that is all they are bound to and you do not have recourse to seek more unless you can prove the unit has a manufacturing defect and it is more than just a warranty issue.

In FL, which follows the Third Restatement of Torts on product liability, if you prove the product was defectively manufactured, then the manufacturer is strictly liable for all of the damages to repair the unit. Of course, this means needing an engineer to examine why the unit failed and freon leaked to determine whether or not it was a manufacturing defect or just that the part failed. I am afraid that would be your only recourse to recover more than the warranty provides.

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