Woman cannot invalidate car purchase after learning of accident involving "new" car
Pamela Byrd was one of several defendants sued by a woman who was rear-ended in a car accident by a car being test-driven. It turned out that Byrd had purchased the car immediately afterward, and the prior collision had never been disclosed to her. She attempted to rescind the sale based on fraud. Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights and Ford Motor Company rejected her attempted rescission, arguing that because the car did not suffer damage equal to five percent of its value, the salesmen were not obligated to disclose the collision and could still sell the car as "new."
The car had only 22 miles on the odometer when Byrd purchased it. Testimony in the underlying car accident lawsuit was contradictory, with the police report indicating that the subject vehicle was "not drivable" and the alleged victim contending that the dealership came to retrieve it. The investigating officer suggested that his report was inaccurate and the salesman in the car claimed there was no damage to the car. Because Byrd could provide no proof that "actual verifiable damages" exceeded five percent of the $21,000.00 sale price, the Court upheld summary disposition of her claim. Her expert's opinion that the car was not worth the price Byrd paid for it was not considered because the expert's opinion "assumed" that some damage occurred in the collision.