4. August 2021

Will the reversal of the burden of proof for used cars soon be extended to 12 months?

Will the reversal of the burden of proof for used cars soon be extended to 12 months?

In fact, in a new draft law, the German federal government would like to extend the warranty right (Gewährleistungsrecht) from 6 to 12 months to the detriment of car dealers. The German Federal Association of Independent Motor Vehicle Dealers (Bundesverband der freien Kfz-Händler) is already clearly speaking out against this change and would like to prevent it by all means.

What are the consequences if this draft comes into force?

  • Warranty is extended from 6 to 12 months
  • Price increase for used vehicles
  • Increase in litigation
  • Expansion of entrepreneurial obligations

The draft law for the amendment of the warranty right was published on February 10, 2021. The effects of such amendment would be enormous for the entire automotive industry. Critics of this amendment are already warning against the possible increase in used car prices.

What is the warranty right actually?

Every buyer has the right to receive the item they have purchased as free of defects. In the case of a used vehicle, for example, any existing damage and defect needs to be clearly listed in the sales contract. The warranty right provides the buyer with a legally regulated claim against the seller in the context of which the seller is liable for defects not listed in the contract within the warranty period.

This also shows the difference to the guarantee. The guarantee is a voluntary service by the dealer.