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Friday, December 8, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Car Dealer of the Year? Probably Not

PONTIAC, Mich. - Customers claim Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights concealed that its "special price reduction" for a 2006 Expedition was actually a price increase, and that the car "had been a prior daily rental, had been stolen and recovered, and had previously contained a decomposed human body."

The customers, two women, claim that within 3 months of purchase, "as the weather began getting warmer, plaintiffs noticed an intolerable odor emanating from the vehicle and had the vehicle towed to defendant dealer for diagnosis and repair."

They say the dealer kept the car for 3 weeks and then told them that it "believed the odor to be emanating from a 'dead animal' and instructed plaintiffs to contact their insurance carrier."

They did, and the insurer hired a hazmat company to inspect it, which "determined that the odor was of human origin and State Farm therefore denied the claim."

The insurer then provided the plaintiffs with the vehicle's history, which showed that it had been owned by an Avis affiliate, rented out by the day, and had been stolen and recovered, the complaint states.

The women demanded revocation of the purchase contract, and the dealer refused, "asserting that it had no prior knowledge of the vehicle's history or condition," according to the complaint in Oakland County Court.

The women add that despite the dealer's promise of a "special price reduction" Suburban Ford actually sold the car at an "excessive price ... in excess of the usually price charged for similar 2006 Ford Expeditions."

They seek rescission of contract and damages for fraud, breach of implied warranties, breach of faith, violation of Michigan consumer law, and liability under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. They are represented by Dani Liblang of Birmingham, Mich.

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