[INFO][EU] Rooting and Flashing don't void the warranty

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Ilko

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May 30, 2007
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All Android users were or are wondering whether flashing their device will void the warranties of their devices.

This concerns European customers (EU).

In short :

The FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe), has concluded that rooting and flashing our devices don't void their warranties. Manufacturers can't refuse to repair a device because modifying or changing system software is not a sufficient reason to void the "statutory warranty". The seller has to prove that the defect is caused by user's actions before completelly voiding the warranty. Unless that, the standard 2 years of the warranty is still valid. So the Directive 1999/44/CE dictates1 protects consummers even if they have rooted and flashed their system in order to use custom ROMs.

  • FSFE Legal team has analysed this issue and the answer, if the consumer bought it inside the EU, is no.
  • The consumer does not loose the obligatory 2-year warranty on the device just because the device is flashed.
  • "A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it to stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software".

Full article :

Directive 1999/44/CE dictates1 that any object meeting certain criteria (incl. telephones, computers, routers etc.) that is sold to a consumer2. inside the European Union, has to carry a warranty from the seller that the device will meet the quality that you would expect for such a device for a period of 2 years.

A telephone is an example of such a device and is an object that comprises many parts, from the case to the screen to the radio, to a mini-computer, to the battery, to the software that runs it. If any of these parts3 stop working in those 2 years, the seller has to fix or replace them. What is more these repairs should not cost the consumer a single cent — the seller has to cover the expenses (Directive 1999/44/CE, §3). If the seller has any expenses for returning it to the manufacturer, this is not your problem as a consumer.

If your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.

If your device becomes defective after the first 6 months, but before 2 years run out, you are still covered. The difference is only that if the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device4. But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused5 the defect. It is generally recognised by courts that unless there is a sign of abuse of the device, the defect is there because the device was faulty from the beginning. That is just common sense, after all.

So, we finally come to the question of rooting, flashing and changing the software. Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software, rooting your device or flashing it with some other OS or firmware was the cause for the defect, you are still covered for defects during those 2 years. A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software — e.g. overriding the speaker volume above the safe level could blow the speaker.

Many manufacturers of consumer devices write into their warranties a paragraph that by changing the software or “rooting” your device, you void the warranty. You have to understand that in EU we have a “statutory warranty”, which is compulsory that the seller must offer by law (Directive 1999/44/CE, §7.1) and a “voluntary warranty” which the seller or manufacturer can, but does not need to, offer as an additional service to the consumer. Usually the “voluntary warranty” covers a longer period of time or additional accidents not covered by law6. If though the seller, the manufacturer or anyone else offers a “voluntary warranty”, he is bound to it as well!

So, even if, by any chance your “voluntary warranty” got voided, by European law, you should still have the 2 year “compulsory warranty” as it is described in the Directive and which is the topic of this article.

In case the seller refuses your right to repair or replace the device, you can sue him in a civil litigation and can report the incident to the national authority. In many European countries such action does not even require hiring a lawyer and is most of the time ensured by consumers associations.

The warranty under this Directive is only applicable inside the European Union and only if you bought the device as a consumer.

[1] EU member states must have by now imported the Directive 1999/44/CE into their national laws. So you should quote also your local law on that topic.

[2] A consumer is a natural person who acts for their own private purposes and not as a professional. .

[3] Batteries can be exempt of this and usually hold only 6 months warranty.

[4] E.g. a defect power button could be caused by spreading marmalade in it or hooking it onto a robot that would continuously press the button every second 24/7 — of course that is not normal or intended use.

[5] Note that correlation is not causation — the defect has to be proven to be caused by your action, not just correlate with it.

[6] E.g. if a device manufacturer guarantees the phone is water- and shock-proof or a car manufacturer offers 7 years of warranty against rust.

Source, article

Reference : EUR-Lex
 
Last edited:

chuayx1

Senior Member
Jun 26, 2008
550
100
Singapore
To be safe, I flashed and rooted it after my warranty expired.

It'll take time for LG to honour the warranty worldwide.
 

lupp0l0

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2010
82
17
In Italy LG warranty doesn't get voided by rooting and custom Rom installation.
I don't know why in other countries it's not the same...
Anyway thank you for sharing this information!

Sent from my LG-P970 using xda app-developers app
 

Ilko

Senior Member
May 30, 2007
972
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Funky town
ilkos-home.blogspot.com
So if they refuse, should I print this and give it to them? :D

yeah you might print the directive itself :D

the bad side of all of that, is that this situation only applies in Europe for now. I live in France, here the consummers are well protected already. For other countries, you can refer to UE and its related laws.

Visit EUR-Lex for more infos
 
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Cedlad

Senior Member
May 16, 2012
588
144
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Francais ? Nikel.
It's so good to read this. Every time i visit LG C. I Flash Official Rom..

Sent from my LG-P970 using xda premium
 

Navios92

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2011
670
102
Damanhour
Anyway we can always unroot, I did this when I asked for screen replacement.
The problem would be with people who bricked their USB and can't unroot.
 

xonar_

Senior Member
Jun 1, 2012
810
619
Between here and there
Technically it's also not allowed to lock the bootloader without giving a way of unlocking it since it restrict the software that the user can use on his phone, but theres still lots of phones with locked bootloaders with no way of unlocking it.

Also it's really easy to tell someone bringing their phone into repair that their phone is broken because they did something while having root permissions if the person involved doesn't know electronics so well. It's still a step in a better direction.
 

Night.Sky

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2012
85
39
Tehran
I have question from starter!
If i instal some custom rom with overclocked cpu?
And this,just for euro?
And asia?

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2
 

Ilko

Senior Member
May 30, 2007
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Funky town
ilkos-home.blogspot.com
I have question from starter!

And this,just for euro?
And asia?

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2

I'm not sure, but if you can send your device in a center located inside EU, it might pass. But since these laws concern european customers, I don't think so...

If i instal some custom rom with overclocked cpu?
The seller has to prove that the defect is caused by user's actions...
 
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ScoopyDoopy

Member
Nov 23, 2012
18
10
Not so sure

Not entirely sure this is something to cheer too much about.

It´s nice and all but we know flashing the wrong firmware can brick your phone. I´m not sure manufacturers should be responsible for that and this might encourage them to make it really tough to root the things in the first place.
 

Ilko

Senior Member
May 30, 2007
972
541
Funky town
ilkos-home.blogspot.com
Not entirely sure this is something to cheer too much about.

It´s nice and all but we know flashing the wrong firmware can brick your phone. I´m not sure manufacturers should be responsible for that and this might encourage them to make it really tough to root the things in the first place.

flashing is not forbidden, but it's not about that. if a flash process fails, you can consider that fact as a defect since this may be a hardware issue (even if it's software, it should not happen).

it's like formatting a hard disk drive that would fail. so yeah, the manufacturer is responsible and must apply the warranty.
 
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xonar_

Senior Member
Jun 1, 2012
810
619
Between here and there
flashing is not forbidden, but it's not about that. if a flash process fails, you can consider that fact as a defect since this may be a hardware issue (even if it's software, it should not happen).

it's like formatting a hard disk drive that would fail. so yeah, the manufacturer is responsible and must apply the warranty.

Flashing wrong firmware can damage the phone. If the bootloader tries to initialize the phone with a higher voltage or clock and it stops somewhere in the process it stays with that clock speed and voltage until the phone is switched off again provided it doesn't crash before setting clock and voltages.

If it failed because of hardware then doesn't matter what software you had on it. Then your right, but wrong firmware can damage your phone. Remember the tools thats used for flashing isn't meant for us, it's for software developers or service centers and we shouldn't have access to it. The tools that are meant for us can't flash wrong firmware without there being wrong firmware on it in the first place so if you flash the wrong firmware then it's your fault and thats not hard to prove that theres wrong firmware on it or that the CPU was damaged due to wrong clock or voltage.

Yes this will lead to manufacturers making it harder to root and flash or they will (like HTC) allow unlocking the bootloader through them and explicitly voiding your warranty.

They can have a license agreement when the firmware is run fresh that you have to accept. Which might contain this sneaky line somewhere in small print.

"Running any software on the device that we don't approve voids your warrenty." (And I'm pretty sure that will include rooting software)
 

Ilko

Senior Member
May 30, 2007
972
541
Funky town
ilkos-home.blogspot.com
Flashing wrong firmware can damage the phone. If the bootloader tries to initialize the phone with a higher voltage or clock and it stops somewhere in the process it stays with that clock speed and voltage until the phone is switched off again provided it doesn't crash before setting clock and voltages.

If it failed because of hardware then doesn't matter what software you had on it. Then your right, but wrong firmware can damage your phone. Remember the tools thats used for flashing isn't meant for us, it's for software developers or service centers and we shouldn't have access to it. The tools that are meant for us can't flash wrong firmware without there being wrong firmware on it in the first place so if you flash the wrong firmware then it's your fault and thats not hard to prove that theres wrong firmware on it or that the CPU was damaged due to wrong clock or voltage.

Yes this will lead to manufacturers making it harder to root and flash or they will (like HTC) allow unlocking the bootloader through them and explicitly voiding your warranty.

They can have a license agreement when the firmware is run fresh that you have to accept. Which might contain this sneaky line somewhere in small print.

"Running any software on the device that we don't approve voids your warrenty." (And I'm pretty sure that will include rooting software)

yes, but if such programs are leaked, it's their problem, not ours. there is no any law or rule that explicitly forbid software modification. It's open source... and the european directive protects us. I'll even say, that the ability of flashing wrong firmware could be considered as a default. This should not be possible.

people must understand that rooting and flashing are only restricted, not forbidden. I think they simply can't do that legally.
 
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  • 109
    All Android users were or are wondering whether flashing their device will void the warranties of their devices.

    This concerns European customers (EU).

    In short :

    The FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe), has concluded that rooting and flashing our devices don't void their warranties. Manufacturers can't refuse to repair a device because modifying or changing system software is not a sufficient reason to void the "statutory warranty". The seller has to prove that the defect is caused by user's actions before completelly voiding the warranty. Unless that, the standard 2 years of the warranty is still valid. So the Directive 1999/44/CE dictates1 protects consummers even if they have rooted and flashed their system in order to use custom ROMs.

    • FSFE Legal team has analysed this issue and the answer, if the consumer bought it inside the EU, is no.
    • The consumer does not loose the obligatory 2-year warranty on the device just because the device is flashed.
    • "A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it to stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software".

    Full article :

    Directive 1999/44/CE dictates1 that any object meeting certain criteria (incl. telephones, computers, routers etc.) that is sold to a consumer2. inside the European Union, has to carry a warranty from the seller that the device will meet the quality that you would expect for such a device for a period of 2 years.

    A telephone is an example of such a device and is an object that comprises many parts, from the case to the screen to the radio, to a mini-computer, to the battery, to the software that runs it. If any of these parts3 stop working in those 2 years, the seller has to fix or replace them. What is more these repairs should not cost the consumer a single cent — the seller has to cover the expenses (Directive 1999/44/CE, §3). If the seller has any expenses for returning it to the manufacturer, this is not your problem as a consumer.

    If your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.

    If your device becomes defective after the first 6 months, but before 2 years run out, you are still covered. The difference is only that if the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device4. But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused5 the defect. It is generally recognised by courts that unless there is a sign of abuse of the device, the defect is there because the device was faulty from the beginning. That is just common sense, after all.

    So, we finally come to the question of rooting, flashing and changing the software. Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software, rooting your device or flashing it with some other OS or firmware was the cause for the defect, you are still covered for defects during those 2 years. A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software — e.g. overriding the speaker volume above the safe level could blow the speaker.

    Many manufacturers of consumer devices write into their warranties a paragraph that by changing the software or “rooting” your device, you void the warranty. You have to understand that in EU we have a “statutory warranty”, which is compulsory that the seller must offer by law (Directive 1999/44/CE, §7.1) and a “voluntary warranty” which the seller or manufacturer can, but does not need to, offer as an additional service to the consumer. Usually the “voluntary warranty” covers a longer period of time or additional accidents not covered by law6. If though the seller, the manufacturer or anyone else offers a “voluntary warranty”, he is bound to it as well!

    So, even if, by any chance your “voluntary warranty” got voided, by European law, you should still have the 2 year “compulsory warranty” as it is described in the Directive and which is the topic of this article.

    In case the seller refuses your right to repair or replace the device, you can sue him in a civil litigation and can report the incident to the national authority. In many European countries such action does not even require hiring a lawyer and is most of the time ensured by consumers associations.

    The warranty under this Directive is only applicable inside the European Union and only if you bought the device as a consumer.

    [1] EU member states must have by now imported the Directive 1999/44/CE into their national laws. So you should quote also your local law on that topic.

    [2] A consumer is a natural person who acts for their own private purposes and not as a professional. .

    [3] Batteries can be exempt of this and usually hold only 6 months warranty.

    [4] E.g. a defect power button could be caused by spreading marmalade in it or hooking it onto a robot that would continuously press the button every second 24/7 — of course that is not normal or intended use.

    [5] Note that correlation is not causation — the defect has to be proven to be caused by your action, not just correlate with it.

    [6] E.g. if a device manufacturer guarantees the phone is water- and shock-proof or a car manufacturer offers 7 years of warranty against rust.

    Source, article

    Reference : EUR-Lex
    7
    Regarding this directive, I thought, as I already spent the time googling this stuff, this complementary documentation might come in handy :

    Directive full texts in EU languages :

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/Result.do?...Affichage=sort_key&page=1&idReq=1&Submit22=GO (bottom list)

    Directive :

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/Notice.do?...,330258:cs,&pos=2&page=1&nbl=2&pgs=10&hwords=

    Reference to national law implementations :

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:71999L0044:EN:NOT

    As I read a few posts back someone stating the national law overrides EU directives, that is more or less accurate, in fact, directives have to be implemented into national law (member states have no choice and will be drawn to EU court if they don't), and until they are implemented, the old national law will indeed continue apply.

    On the other hand this directive is 14 years old, so all member states should have implemented it in the meantime.

    The last link being the most interesting as you can see in what texts this has been implemented to in the respective member states.

    Using those texts, you should have more power to compell the reseller to fulfill his duties.

    Just thought I would share...

    JP.
    3
    "Running any software on the device that we don't approve voids your warrenty." (And I'm pretty sure that will include rooting software)
    In most parts of the world such clauses were ruled invalid a long time ago.
    The manufacturer has to prove that you did something wrong and that these allegedly wrong actions actually bricked the device.

    The OP ist not entirely correct.

    You can only claim the compulsory warranty from the seller you bought the phone at.
    You are wrong. That's only true for a certain amount of time after which the manufacturer is held responsible.

    The manufacturer on the other hand still has the right to make up rules when warranty applies and when it does not.
    Bullsh*t!

    Your contract is not with the manufacturer but with your seller.
    You are wrong again, see above.
    2
    So if they refuse, should I print this and give it to them? :D
    2
    Technically it's also not allowed to lock the bootloader without giving a way of unlocking it since it restrict the software that the user can use on his phone, but theres still lots of phones with locked bootloaders with no way of unlocking it.

    Also it's really easy to tell someone bringing their phone into repair that their phone is broken because they did something while having root permissions if the person involved doesn't know electronics so well. It's still a step in a better direction.