The European Union guarantees that consumers will receive a minimum of a two-year warranty when purchasing new products, but Apple may have failed to advertise that right, the EU Justice Commissioner said in a recent letter to EU member countries.

"Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers' automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law," EU Justice Commissioner Vivane Reding said in a letter, Bloomberg reported Monday. "These are unacceptable marketing practices."

Apple's statutory warranty page says that the company provides "statutory warranty rights in addition to the coverage you receive from the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty and the optional AppleCare Protection Plan," and that even non-Apple branded products sold by Apple in the EU are protected by the EU laws. However, Apple's site also says that it provides repair or replacement for two years if "defects [are] present when customer takes delivery" and that it only provides a one-year limited warranty for "defects arising after customer takes delivery."

Apple clarifies the warranty further in small print at the bottom of its website:

In most EU member states, consumers may only claim for defects that were present on delivery. There are some exceptions including Czech Republic and Romania. The burden to prove that the defect (including latent defects) existed on delivery generally shifts to the consumer after the expiry of a period of six months from date of delivery. Examples of countries where the burden of proof does not shift include Czech Republic, Portugal and Romania.

[via Bloomberg]