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1 A fault or failing in a thing. The defect may be obvious (a patent defect) or it may not be apparent at first (a latent defect). In a sale of goods, the buyer usually has a legal remedy against a professional seller if the goods have a latent defect. If there is a patent defect he usually has no such remedy if he had an opportunity to inspect the goods before purchase. See also satisfactory quality.

2 (defect in a product) A fault in a product as defined in the Consumer Protection Act 1987. A defect exists in products under the Act when the safety of the products is not what people generally are entitled to expect. In determining what people are entitled to expect, reference should be made to the way in which the goods are marked, any warnings issued with them, and the time of supply. The Act implements EU directive 85/374 on products liability. Under the Latent Damage Act 1986 the time limit to bring legal actions (see limitation) is extended to a period of three years from when the latent defect becomes apparent.

Subjects: Law.

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