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1.4.12 Requirement That Sale Be for “Personal, Family, or Household Purposes”

The UCC applies to sales between merchants as well as sales to consumers. Although courts may give special attention to the consumer nature of a transaction,166 in general there is no UCC requirement that the consumer plead that a purchase is for personal, family, or household purposes.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, on the other hand, applies to consumer products, defined as those “normally used” for personal, family, or household purposes.167 This approach means that a car or other item normally used for personal, family, or household purposes is covered by the Act even if the purpose in a particular transaction is otherwise.168

The Magnuson-Moss Act extends its private cause of action to “a consumer,”169 and a number of its requirements apply to “consumers.” The Act’s definition of consumer refers to buyers other than for purposes of resale.170 While the Act thus does not apply to merchants who purchase a product to sell to others, the fact that the definition of consumer has no further restrictions means that the Act applies to any sale of a consumer product, even if the consumer is not a person, but an organization.

There is no requirement under theories of negligence, strict liability, or fraud that the transaction be for personal, family, or household purposes.171 Certain UDAP statutes, on the other hand, apply only to such transactions.172

Footnotes

  • 166 {166} See § 1.7.2.2, infra.

  • 167 {167} 15 U.S.C. § 2301(1).

  • 168 {168} See § 2.2.1, infra.

  • 169 {169} 15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(1).

  • 170 {170} 15 U.S.C. § 2301(3).

  • 171 {171} See §§ 11.4, 12.1, infra.

  • 172 {172} See § 11.1.1, infra.