Is a Letter a Contract?

Previous | Next
 rated by 0 users
Latest post Wed, Mar 30 2016 9:10 AM by ca19lawyer2. 12 replies.
  • Fri, Mar 25 2016 10:37 AM

    Is a Letter a Contract?

    Is a letter from a company (specifically offering to honor a warranty for an extra 3 months) the same thing as a contract?

    What if they send such a letter and then don't do what they said they would?  Can you hold them to it? 

  • Fri, Mar 25 2016 12:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    A contract can be written on pretty much anything, letter, a napkin, the back of an old newspaper, whatever. What matters is what it says and what the parties are agreeing to. Here the letter is offering an extra 3 months of warranty service. The question is, what is it (if anything) that you are giving the company in return? Remember from your basic contract course that a valid contract requires offer, acceptance, and mutual consideration. The letter might qualify as an offer, in which case you would be able to accept it. But there is the issue of whether there is mutual consideration here. Why is the company offering the extra 3 months of coverage? 

  • Fri, Mar 25 2016 12:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    Why:  Because there was a service bulletin recommending that dealers inspect and if necessary replace a certain part but they didn't have enough parts available to replace it before the warranty expired.

    It wasn't a recall, just a "service recommendation."

     

  • Fri, Mar 25 2016 2:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:

    Why:  Because there was a service bulletin recommending that dealers inspect and if necessary replace a certain part but they didn't have enough parts available to replace it before the warranty expired.

    It wasn't a recall, just a "service recommendation."

    O.k. so did the warranty promise to cover work that the manufacturer issued “service recommendations” to fix during the warranty period? If the answer is no then the work wasn’t required by the warranty in the first place and you could not  have insisted on the work being done for free even if they had the parts prior to the expiration of the warranty. In that case, extending the warranty for three months really is meaningless as the warranty doesn’t cover that replacement in the first place. 

  • Fri, Mar 25 2016 5:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    Well, the warranty would cover replacement of the part if it needed to be replaced.  The warranty doesn't spell out how you determine if it needs to be replaced.  My understanding is that it is warranty work so long as the warranty is still in effect.

  • Sat, Mar 26 2016 11:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:

    Well, the warranty would cover replacement of the part if it needed to be replaced.  The warranty doesn't spell out how you determine if it needs to be replaced.  My understanding is that it is warranty work so long as the warranty is still in effect.

    If the warranty covered this work and the work was ordered before the warranty expired and just was not done because the part was not available then the buyer is entitled to get the repair work done once the part is available, even if that is after the warranty expires. An extension of the warranty would not be needed for that. If the company extended the warranty and you are trying to get some other new thing done that came up after the original warranty expiration period, that might pose a problem. 

  • Mon, Mar 28 2016 1:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:
    Is a letter from a company (specifically offering to honor a warranty for an extra 3 months) the same thing as a contract?

    As you have described it, probably not, but one obviously would have to read the letter to know for sure.

    A contract is a mutual agreement supported by consideration, and it is often said that the elements of a contract are offer, acceptance, and consideration.  A letter that simply makes an offer (which seems to be what you have described) cannot, by itself, be a contract, although it could form the basis of a contract.

     

    LegalSecy:
    What if they send such a letter and then don't do what they said they would?  Can you hold them to it?

    Depends on to whom the letter was sent and what was done in response.

    In other words, facts matter (which, given your post count, you ought to know), and you provided virtually none.

  • Mon, Mar 28 2016 1:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:
    there was a service bulletin recommending that dealers inspect and if necessary replace a certain part but they didn't have enough parts available to replace it before the warranty expired.

    Ok, so the company offered an additional three months of coverage.  Was this offer conditioned on you doing anything?  What, if anything, did you do as a result of this offer having been made?  Based on the service recommendation, did you have your vehicle inspected?  If so, was a determination made that it was "necessary" to replace the part in question?

  • Mon, Mar 28 2016 1:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:
    The warranty doesn't spell out how you determine if it needs to be replaced.

    Of course not, because the way to determine whether a part should be replaced is to inspect the part, which is what you said was recommended by the service recommendation.

  • Tue, Mar 29 2016 11:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    ca19lawyer2:

    LegalSecy:
    there was a service bulletin recommending that dealers inspect and if necessary replace a certain part but they didn't have enough parts available to replace it before the warranty expired.

    Ok, so the company offered an additional three months of coverage.  Was this offer conditioned on you doing anything?  What, if anything, did you do as a result of this offer having been made?  Based on the service recommendation, did you have your vehicle inspected?  If so, was a determination made that it was "necessary" to replace the part in question?

     

    Yes, I did have it inspected and they did say it needed to be replaced, but they said they had the part on backorder and didn't know when they'd get it in.

  • Tue, Mar 29 2016 1:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    LegalSecy:
    Yes, I did have it inspected and they did say it needed to be replaced, but they said they had the part on backorder and didn't know when they'd get it in.

    Ok, and is there any reason to believe that this replacement won't be done when the part comes in?

  • Tue, Mar 29 2016 2:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    No, it could just be my worry-wart attitude, which is a distinct possiblilty.  But what if, for example, some additional damage (or wear and tear) occurs as a result of running the vehicle with a part that needs to be replaced? 

    The only reason I get so concerned is that I have a 125 mi/day (R/T) commute and absolutely need my vehicle to be working as it is supposed to.  That commute puts mileage on the vehicle very fast (approx 3000 miles/month) ... its not like we just use it for a short little trip to the store every now and then. 

    I'm probably just being overly concerned.

  • Wed, Mar 30 2016 9:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Is a Letter a Contract?

    I suggest you contact the dealer and ask if there are any concerns with driving your car as much as you do without having the part replaced.

Page 1 of 1 (13 items) | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community