When buying a motor vehicle, many customers want that “new car smell.” But we’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that most car buyers don’t want something you’d refer to as “dead body smell.”
A woman in Michigan is suing the dealership where she purchased her 2006 Ford Expedition last March because, she alleges, the dealer didn’t disclose to her that the vehicle had been used as a rental… or that it had been stolen three times… or that a dead body had apparently been stowed inside at some point.
Not long after the Expedition’s new owner drove off the lot, she began noticing a rotting stench that hadn’t been noticeable when she made the purchase.
“They bought the car while it was still cold out in March,” her lawyer tells Detroit News. “The warmer it got, the worse the smell got.”
She went back to the dealer, where she was told that the stink must have been the result of a dead animal. Which is true, though imprecise.
When she filed a claim with State Farm over the odor, she claims that insurance investigators determined the scent came from a human.
The insurance company also told her that the car had been reported stolen three times.
None of this was disclosed to the customer before she bought the Expedition, but when she tried to return it, she was rebuffed.
And that is how we all end up in court, where she is suing the dealership for $25,000 plus court fees.
Since the dealership didn’t get its hands on the Expedition until December 2010, the woman’s lawyer admits it’s possible that the chilly Michigan weather that hid the smell from his client may also have disguised it at the dealer. But that’s no excuse for not disclosing the other information.
“It is possible the dealer didn’t know about the smell,” said the lawyer. “What’s not very credible or likely is that the dealer didn’t know it was a daily rental or had been stolen three times. That should’ve been fairly obvious from the title history.”