Ford Motor Co. v. Olive

Decision Date27 April 1970
Docket NumberNo. 45750,45750
Citation234 So.2d 910
PartiesFORD MOTOR CO. v. Ray OLIVE.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Thomas, Alston, Davis & Coleman, Jackson, for appellant.

Jones & Patterson, Brookhaven, J. P. Patterson, Monticello, for appellee.

RODGERS, Justice:

This is a suit upon a manufacturer's written warranty for defects in an automobile. The suit was filed and tried in the Circuit Court of Covington County, Mississippi. The dispute arose under the following circumstances.

On January 31, 1967, appellee, Ray Olive, purchased from the defendant below, Buffington Ford Company, Inc., a 1967 Thunderbird eight-cylinder automobile, which had been manufactured by appellant, Ford Motor Company. Appellee paid Buffington Ford Company, Inc., $6,200, of which $500 was in cash, $1,000 was credited for the trade-in of appellee's old automobile, and the balance, $4,700, was financed by the Ford Motor Credit Company in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

This automobile had been used as a dealer demonstrator beginning November 10, 1966. Although the car had been used for about eighty days as a dealer's demonstrator, appellant, Ford Motor Company, gave appellee, the purchaser, its standard new car express warranty, the terms of which were as follows:

'There is no warranty, express or implied, made by either the Ford Motor Company or the selling dealer on new Ford vehicles, except the following direct company vehicle warranty:

'THIS IS YOUR U. S. NEW CAR WARRANTY.

'Ford Motor Company warrants to the owner, each part of this Ford vehicle to be free under normal use and service from defects in material and workmanship for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of delivery to the original retail purchaser or until it has been driven for 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. This warranty shall be fulfilled by the selling dealer * * * replacing or repairing at his place of business, free of charge, including related labor, any such defective part.

'This warranty is expressly IN LIEU of any other implied warranty, including any IMPLIED WARRANTY of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS and of any other obligation on the part of the Company or the selling dealer.'

Subsequent to appellee's purchase of this automobile, the appellee on at least nine occasions, the last of which was July 17, 1967, returned his automobile to various Ford dealers with different complaints concerning its performance. By appellee's own admission, Ford Motor Company, through its various dealers to whom the automobile had been brought, replaced or repaired every single part of which appellee complained.

Appellee had driven the car more than 24,000 miles within six months of its purchase. He defaulted in his financing payments and the automobile was delivered to the seller on or about September 29, 1967.

Appellee subsequently sued appellant and Buffington Ford Company, Inc. The trial was had exclusively upon the question of breach of the hereinabove related express warranty and the circuit judge granted a directed verdict for the defendant, Buffington Ford Company, Inc. However, the court permitted the question of liability of appellant to be determined by the jury. The jury returned a verdict for appellee against appellant in the amount of $3,000; whereupon the trial judge ordered a new trial on the question of damages only, subject to appellee's acceptance of an $800 remittitur. Appellee, plaintiff in the lower court, accepted the remittitur and the trial judge accordingly entered judgment against appellant, Ford Motor Company, in the amount of $2,200.

On appeal, appellant, Ford Motor Company, contends that it fully complied with its express warranty and that appellee was not damaged by the appellant.

There are two issues to be determined by this Court in this case. (1) Did the express warranty given to the purchaser of the automobile warrant only each part of the vehicle found to be defective and not the vehicle as a whole? Did the express warranty given to the purchaser of the automobile warrant the entire automobile or only such parts as are found to be defective? (2) In the event there was a breach of the manufacturer's express warranty in this case, how were the purchaser's damages to be determined?

The appellant, Ford Motor Company, contends that there was no breach of its warranty because, it is said, it furnished the parts and paid for the installation of each part found to be defective and reported to it.

The record in this case reveals an amazing statement of facts. The appellant, Ford Motor Company, sets out a list of twenty-eitht (28) repairs required because of defective material or workmanship, including replacement of motor and transmission. If the appellee is to be believed (the jury did), the automobile practically came apart, apparently nothing worked, and, as one defect was remedied, a new defect became evident. It became necessary to tow the automobile to the repair garage on several occasions. The automobile was in the garage seventy-eight (78) days and was 'down' approximately forty-five (45) to fifty (50) days during the period from January 31, 1967, to May 17, 1967. Nevertheless, the appellee drove the automobile more than 24,000 miles within six months after its purchase. There was evidence that the appellant had a 'hitch' on the automobile and that he usually pulled horse trailers. This was denied.

The appellant contends that since it had replaced each defective part and paid for the installation of the parts, it had done all that its warranty required. On the other hand, the appellee contends that the defective parts were so numerous that the entire automobile was a 'piece of junk,' and that he was entitled to recover in damages the difference between the value of the automobile on the date of its purchase and the value of the automobile on the date it was returned to the seller, less the value of the use occasioned by ordinary wear and tear.

The appellant cites Stribling Brothers Machinery Company v. Girod Company, 239 Miss. 488, 124 So.2d 289 (1960), wherein this Court held:

'This customer's order expressly provided that the seller, Stribling...

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4 cases
  • Chaurasia v. Gen. Motors Corp., 1 CA-CV 04-0264
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • 17. Oktober 2000
    ...expressed therein.We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial Court.Id. at 251 (citations omitted); accord Ford Motor Co. v. Olive, 234 So. 2d 910 (Miss. 1970) (finding in favor of the manufacturer because the dealer repaired the vehicle and the manufacturer furnished the parts and paid f......
  • Chaurasia v. General Motors Corp.
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • 3. Januar 2006
    ...expressed therein. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial Court. Id. at 251 (citations omitted); accord Ford Motor Co. v. Olive, 234 So.2d 910 (Miss.1970) (finding in favor of the manufacturer because the dealer repaired the vehicle and the manufacturer furnished the parts and paid f......
  • Maduro v. Ford Motor Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Virgin Islands
    • 22. März 1974
    ..."standard car warranty". See, e.g., Jacobs v. Metro Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 125 Ga. App. 462, 188 S.E.2d 250 (1972); Ford Motor Co. v. Olive, 234 So.2d 910 (Miss. 1970); General Motors Corp. v. Earnest, 184 So.2d 811 (Ala. 1966). And see Annotation 99 A.L.R.2d 1421, "Standard New Motor Veh......
  • Golembieski v. O'Rielly R.V. Center, Inc.
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • 11. Juli 1985
    ...appellants' allusion to earlier defects and problems which had been eliminated serve as a ground for rescission. See Ford Motor Co. v. Olive, 234 So.2d 910 (Miss.1970); MacLaren v. Dermody White Truck Company, 9 Mich.App. 402, 157 N.W.2d 459 Appellants have not shown that the trial court's ......

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