A Different Kind of “New Car Smell”

December 8th, 2011 by

A New Baltimore, Michigan woman is suing the car dealership she purchased her 2006 Ford Expedition from for the “human corpse smell” the car started emitting.  She purchased the car from a Ford dealership in March 2010 when the temperature in Michigan was still cold.  The rotting smell became evident as the weather got warmer and the summer months went on. 

The Michigan woman filed a complaint with State Farm over the foul-smelling odor, which she believed to be the result of a dead animal.  The insurance company hired a biohazard cleanup company to search the car and they determined the odor to be of human origin.  The insurance company also discovered that the car had been stolen three times before the woman purchased it, which the dealership failed to disclose.

The woman is suing the Michigan Ford dealership for $25,000 plus court fees.  It seems that the dealership failed to follow the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  Contracts impose this duty on each party as obligation for honesty while conducting a transaction.  This general presumption is applicable when two parties of a contract agree to deal with each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not destroy the right of the other party or parties to receive the benefits of the contract (i.e. in this case, a vehicle in good “smelling” condition).  Some can argue that the dealership did not deal in good faith because they failed to disclose the past history of the Ford Expedition prior to the purchase of the vehicle.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “A Different Kind of “New Car Smell””

  1. Motyka Johnson says:

    Whatever happened to the law Congress passed in 1992 that was supposed to establish a free national title database that would alert all states about a damaged car as soon at it was identified as damaged in one state? That would have helped both the dealership and the consumer because based on this article, there is a chance the dealership didn’t know about the car’s history if it was a recent acquisition (no smell in winter), and if the title had been cleaned at some point.

Leave a Comment