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Exercise 12

Regulation of Trade Practices in the Sale of Motor Vehicles

Cyndi purchases a brand new Mini Cooper passenger car from Slim Shady Car Sales. Five months later and still under manufacture’s warranty, the speedometer on the Mini Cooper ceases to work. Cyndi takes the car into Slim Shady Car Sales and it determines that the speedometer unit is still functioning and it appears that the malfunction is the result of improper calibration of the speedometer at the factory. Under the warranty, Slim Shady Car Sales recalibrates the speedometer and it works properly for Cyndi for two weeks. Thereafter, it ceases to work once again. A very displeased Cyndi returns to Slim Shady Car Sales and insists her Mini Cooper be replaced. Slim Shady Car Sales instead wants to try replacing the speedometer unit altogether, having determined that its initial recalibration did not solve the problem. Cyndi remains steadfast in her insistence that she receive a replacement vehicle, and when she does not, she sues Slim Shady Car Sales.

How should the judge rule?

A. For Cyndi since Slim Shady failed in its warranty obligation to repair the Mini Cooper in order to bring the auto in conformance with its express warranties.
ANSWER "A" IS NOT CORRECT. Please try again.
B. For Slim Shady Car Sales since it was not allowed by Cyndi a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle before she filed suit.
ANSWER "B" IS CORRECT. Under Section 57-16A-3(B), the duty to replace or accept return of a vehicle only comes into play if, after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the manufacturer, agent or dealer is unable to conform the auto to its express warranties and the defect or condition substantially impairs the auto’s use and market value. Here, before the filing of her lawsuit, Cyndi did not provide Slim Shady with a reasonable number of attempts to repair the speedometer, given her refusal to allow Slim Shady even a second attempt at repair by replacing the speedometer unit altogether.