Consumer Protection


The economy has become more consumer-driven over the last two decades, as e-commerce has ballooned. Now more than ever, consumers are paying particular attention to where their products are made, what they are made with, and how their products are manufactured. Deception on any of these issues can run afoul of laws in place, or may even be life-threatening, and may also entitle the consumer to compensation for any damages that occur due to misrepresentation.

Examples of Misrepresentation

These misrepresentations may seem minor but could have a detrimental effect on your health and safety. One of the most dangerous examples of consumer misrepresentation involved the Takata Airbag. For eight years, the company knowingly used cheap material which led to defects in their airbags. The use of this material caused deaths and injuries throughout the country and was a clear case of consumer misrepresentation. Takata represented that their airbags were well-made and would protect the user during a collision. The failure to do so was not only a breach of the company’s duty of care but also consumer misrepresentation.

Another recent consumer misrepresentation case involved Volkswagen’s violation of emissions standards. The company cheated on its emissions tests, which allowed some of their vehicles to deposit pollutants into the atmosphere at a much higher rate than existing emissions standards. The consumer misrepresentation, in this case, was clear, and consumers have had several options to join the class action against the company.

However, smaller consumer misrepresentations can occur on a daily basis and could have dire consequences. For example, a business could be held liable for consumer misrepresentation if a person with a peanut allergy eats at a restaurant that has advertised its food to be “peanut and nut free,” and suffers an allergic reaction after consuming food. This could have severe repercussions on the consumer and is evidence of consumer misrepresentation.

Federal and State Laws for Consumer Protection

Other consumer misrepresentation may be less severe but still could lead to charges under federal and state laws for misrepresentation, such as the guarantee that a product was made in the United States when it was instead made in China.

Several federal and state laws are in place which protects consumers from deceptive trade practices, including consumer misrepresentation. These laws prohibit businesses from misrepresentation and also regulate advertisements and sales. The Federal Trade Commission often assists consumers from a federal standpoint after consumer misrepresentation, although it is always best practice to have an attorney review the facts of your case.


An attorney can help determine what the actual damages might be in a claim, such as financial losses, and physical injuries that resulted due to the misrepresentation. Businesses are held to a high standard upon manufacturing products, drugs, and other goods.

While the world has seemingly grown smaller thanks to e-commerce and online shopping, this has not lowered the standards for businesses. Businesses and manufacturers must continue to hold themselves out honestly and answer to any claims of consumer misrepresentation.