To the extent that a buyer can reject goods for any nonconformity, the New Jersey Uniform Commercial Code, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12A:1-101 et seq., retains the perfect tender rule. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12A:2-106 states that goods conform to a contract when they are in accordance with the obligations under the contract.
A buyer agreed to buy a camper van from a seller. The buyer sought the rescission of the sale for the van. The seller argued that the buyer had breached a contract for the sale of a camper van by rejecting the tender of the van because it had minor defects, and that the buyer was not entitled to rescind the contract. The trial court held that the buyer rightfully rejected tender of a defective van under New Jersey Uniform Commercial Code and awarded plaintiffs the fair market value of their trade-in. The case was appealed.
Can the buyer reject the seller's tender and cancel the contract due to minor defects under the perfect tender rule?
The court found that the New Jersey Uniform Commercial Code, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12A:1-101 et seq., retained a perfect tender rule, and that plaintiffs had properly rejected tender of the van within a reasonable time. The court noted that once plaintiff rejected the van, the burden shifted to defendant to prove that the defects had been cured. The court found that because defendant had not done so within a reasonable time, plaintiffs were entitled to rescind or cancel the contract. The court then found that the fair market value of their trade-in was the proper remedy rather than recovery of their trade-in, because the trade-in had been sold to an innocent third party.