Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Colonial Dodge, Inc. v. Miller case brief

Colonial Dodge, Inc. v. Miller case brief summary
362 N.W.2d 704 (1984)

Defendant car buyer appealed from the decision of the Court of Appeals (Michigan) that affirmed the judgment entered for plaintiff car dealership in its action to recover the purchase price of a car. The trial court had held that there was not substantial impairment in the value of the car purchased from the dealership sufficient to authorize the buyer to revoke his acceptance of the car.

When the car was delivered without a spare tire and the buyer was told that another tire was not immediately available, he cancelled payment and told the dealership to pick the car up from in front of his home. The car was towed when its 10-day registration sticker expired. The buyer argued that mere possession was insufficient to constitute acceptance under Mich. Comp. Laws § 440.2606 (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 19.26096). The dealership argued that the buyer accepted the car when he signed a title application and drove the car away from the dealership.


  • The court held that under the circumstances the failure to include the spare tire as ordered constituted a substantial impairment in value to the buyer and that the buyer could properly revoke his acceptance. 
  • A missing spare tire was not a trivial defect and substantially impaired the car's value to the buyer within the meaning of Mich. Comp. Laws § 440.2608(1) (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 19.2608(1)) in view of the safety concerns that arose from the extensive travel demanded by the buyer's occupation. 
  • The dealership received timely notice of revocation under the statute and the buyer's behavior did not prevent it from curing the nonconformity.

The decision that affirmed the judgment entered for the dealership in its action to recover the purchase price of a car from the buyer was reversed.

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