Complaints can be brought to court up to six years after a sale in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (and five years after the time of the discovery of the problem in Scotland). After that time, the Limitation Act 1980 generally prevents court cases being brought.
Consumers are entitled to CLAIM for a period of up to six years (five in Scotland) that the goods they purchased were faulty at the time of the sale and therefor they are entitled to some form of compensation. This does not mean that goods have to perform fault free for six years, that they should not go wrong during this period; it is not a durability requirement.
A consumer could bring a case against a retailer, alleging non-conformity of contract, for up to six years after the sale. However, a consumer may find a court unsympathetic in the latter years for low cost items that it was reasonable to expect to perform for only a short period (a £15 toaster might not perform for as many years as a £200 toaster) or for consumables like batteries and bulbs which have a specified limited life span.
Similarly, when a remote control stops because a battery has come to the end of its life – assuming it had lasted a reasonable time – there are no grounds for complaint that the remote control is not conforming to contract.
The Two-Year Guarantee Myth
In the UK there is no legislation that says retailers must provide a two-year guarantee. This was legislation proposed by the European Commission but was never enacted into UK law.