Until now, one of the biggest warning risks was when online retailers did not inform about warranty conditions of products that sold them (see e.g. this article). According to the previous understanding of many courts, it should also be irrelevant if you as an online retailer did not even know that the manufacturer offers a certain guarantee(see this post).

Of course, this caused headaches for many online retailers.

A similar situation was also made for a dealer who was sued by the IDO Association at the Regional Court of Hanover. Astonishingly, the Regional Court of Hanover did not agree with the previous trend in the case-law.

The district court ruled that the trader would not be obliged to provide information if a (manufacturer) guarantee is neither advertised nor mentioned in the offer.

b. The only decisive factor is therefore whether every seller – i.e. also the one who makes no reference to an existing manufacturer’s guarantee – has to inform about it.

Neither the wording nor the meaning and purpose of Article 246a, Paragraph 1,100 of the 1 p. 1 ETUCGB would support such an obligation to provide information. In essence, this was based on the fact that the consumer would still be able to weigh up the pros and cons of the contract if he was unaware of the guarantee. That is quite convincing.

In principle, it is not the function of information obligations to provide legal advice to a consumer and to carry out a legal ‘favouritism’ for him, which is not objectively affordable.

However, many other courts justified the infringement on the grounds that an obligation to provide information would result from the fact that an entrepreneur would be spared effort if he did not have to compile information on the scope and conditions of a guarantee. The General Court also rejected this argument, since information obligations would not serve to impose a certain burden on all entrepreneurs.

It remains to be seen whether the verdict will be delivered at the next instance.

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