Defects in the item purchased by the customer

Fel på varan som kunden köpt - English

If your company sold an item to a consumer that then turns out to be defective, you are obliged to receive the consumer’s complaint.
  • You are responsible for defects in the product at least three years from the time of purchase. For products with digital content, like a gps, the time is three years or longer if the contract is valid longer.
  • The consumer must file a complaint within a reasonable period of time after the discovery of the defect. If the consumer files a complaint within two months, this always counts as being within a reasonable amount of time.
  •  If the consumer finds a defect just before three years has past, he or she can file a complaint for two additional months.
  • The right of complaint is not affected by any warranty. A product may have a warranty of one year, but the consumer still has the right to file a complaint for the product for at least three years.
  • In order for you to be obliged to rectify the defect, the defect must be original, for example a manufacturing defect.
  • For the first two years, or the longer period a contract is valid for products with digital content, consumer protection is particularly strong. During this timeframe, it is you who must prove that the defect did not exist at the time of purchase in order to avoid liability. If you are unable to prove that the defect occurred as a result of the consumer’s actions, you should assume that the defect is original and that it is your responsibility.
  • The consumer must normally deliver the defective item to you. If the consumer does not have the opportunity to do so, the consumer can contact you so that you can decide how the item is to be transported. If the consumer is to return the item to you, it is the consumer who is responsible for packing the item so that it is not damaged during transport.

Your obligations for original defects

When the product defect is original and the consumer has filed a complaint within the correct time frame, you are obliged to either:

  • repair the defect
  • replace the item with a new, defect-free item
  • provide a price reduction
  • allow the consumer to cancel the purchase and give the money back
  • provide compensation for repair
  • allow the consumer to withhold payment
  • pay damages

During the processing of the complaint, the consumer has the right to withhold as much of the payment as corresponds with the consumer’s demand(s). This may include, e.g. the cost of remedying the defect or an amount corresponding to the demand for the desired price reduction. If the consumer has the right to cancel the purchase, the consumer can withhold the full purchase price.

Rectify the defect within “a reasonable period of time”

You have the right to try to remedy the defect. This can be done via, e.g. repair or replacement with another equivalent item. For example, if a shirt has a defect, the best option might be to replace it with a new one. However, if instead the lock to an oven door broken, a repair is probably best solution. Whether the defect is to be repaired or the item will be replaced with a new one, the correction must be implemented “within a reasonable period of time” from the date on which the consumer filed the complaint. A reasonable period of time can be described as the time it normally takes to repair or replace an item in a particular industry.

If you choose to repair the item, you have two repair attempts to fix the defect. If the same defect occurs a third time, the consumer has the right to turn down another attempt. If there are several defects in the item, you may be entitled to perform more than two repairs.

Repairs and replacements must always be carried out free of charge to the consumer.

If you give the consumer a new item and that item also has a defect, whether it is the same defect or a new one, the consumer is entitled to three years’ right of complaint. The right of complaint then applies from the day on which the consumer received the new item.

Price reduction instead of repair or a new item

If you are unable to repair the defect or replace the item, the consumer may request a reduction in price. The price reduction must be reasonable in relation to the defect, i.e. it should correspond to an expected depreciation or future repair costs. You can also agree that the consumer will be compensated for repairing the item elsewhere.

Cancel the purchase if you do not agree

If you do not correct the defect or deliver a new item, the consumer may demand to cancel the purchase. Cancelling a purchase means that you pay back the money paid by the consumer, in return for the consumer returning the item. The consumer does not have to accept a credit receipt. 

The consumer do not have the right to cancel the purchase if you can show that the defect is small, that is, of minor significance.

The consumer has the right to receive interest on the amount you repay. In some cases, you have the right to receive compensation for the use of the item by the consumer; this is known as a deduction for use.

Damages for expenses and losses

If the consumer has incurred expenses as a result of the item’s defect, the consumer may be entitled to compensation - so-called “damages”. The consumer is entitled to damages both if the defect has been repaired and if the purchase has been cancelled.

Examples of costs and losses that you may be required to bear:

  • Outlays for travel and transport. For example, if the consumer had to go to the shop an extra time to get the item repaired.
  • Loss of income. For example, if the consumer has to take time off work to wait for a repairman and thus receives a deduction to her/his wages.
  • Price difference. I.e. if, after cancelling the purchase, the consumer is forced to pay more for a corresponding item.
  • Other losses. For example, if the consumer could not use a ticket for a car ferry because the car had a defect.
  • Damages to other property belonging to the consumer. For example, if a dishwasher leaks water and damages the kitchen floor.

The consumer must try to limit the loss or damage. For example, the consumer must not aggravate a defect in the item by using it. If the consumer uses the item nonetheless, the consumer will have to pay the corresponding part of the loss.

If the compensation is unreasonably large for you, it can be adjusted, i.e. reduced to a reasonable level. In the event of adjustment, account is taken of the economic circumstances of the company and the insurance policies of the company and the consumer.


The text above has been updated due to a new version of The Swedish Consumer Sales Act, valid as of May 1st, 2022. Purchases made by consumers before that date is still regulated by the former version of the Swedish Consumer Sales Act.

Proofread 25 September 2023

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