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Revocation of acceptance is possible only where the nonconformity substantially impairs the value of the goods to the buyer. For this purpose the test is not what the seller had reason to know at the time of contracting. The question is whether the nonconformity is such as will in fact cause a substantial impairment of value to the buyer though the seller had no advance knowledge as to the buyer's particular circumstances.
The car was delivered without a spare tire. The defendant buyer, Clarence Miller, was told that another tire was not immediately available. Consequently, defendant cancelled payment and told the plaintiff dealership to pick the car up from in front of his home. The car was towed when its 10-day registration sticker expired. Plaintiff sued defendant for the purchase price of the car. The trial court entered a judgment for plaintiff finding that defendant wrongfully revoked acceptance of the vehicle. According to the trial court, there was no substantial impairment in the value of the car purchased from the plaintiff sufficient to authorize the defendant to revoke his acceptance of the car. On appeal, the defendant argued that the mere possession was insufficient to constitute acceptance under Mich. Comp. Laws § 440.2606 (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 19.26096).
Was there a substantial impairment in the value of the car purchased from the plaintiff sufficient to authorize the defendant to revoke his acceptance of the car?
The court held that under the circumstances, the failure to include the spare tire as ordered constituted a substantial impairment in value to the defendant buyer and that the defendant buyer could properly revoke his acceptance. A missing spare tire was not a trivial defect and substantially impaired the car's value to the defendant buyer within the meaning of Mich. Comp. Laws § 440.2608(1) (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 19.2608(1)) in view of the safety concerns that arose from the extensive travel demanded by the buyer's occupation. The plaintiff dealership received timely notice of revocation under the statute and the defendant buyer's behavior did not prevent it from curing the nonconformity.