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Friday, May 24, 2013

Atlantis Blue v. Atlantic Blue: Substantial Impairment?

A (presumably U.S.) buyer (identified on the web only as "b-thumper") ordered a BMW M3 in "Atlantis Blue with Blue deviated stitching and the Individual Piano trim" and paid for European delivery.  "European delivery" allows the buyer to pick up the car at the BMW Museum in Germany and take it for a lap around the Nürburgring.

As recounted over at Jalopnik, the Internets displayed divided sympathy for b-thumper, who, upon arriving in Germany, discovered that the car BMW delivered was Atlantic blue and not Atlantis blue.  Seller offered to repaint but buyer wanted a substitute car in Atlantis blue with the customized interior.

Kuxlarge-1
Sorry b-thumper, but these are the type of fun facts contracts profs dream about!  Assuming we are applying the UCC, does the Atlantis shade of blue substantially impair the value of the BMW?  My colleague Jack Graves reminds me that the CISG doesn't apply unless the buyer was purchasing the car for a business purpose. What remedy would German law provide the buyer?

[Meredith R. Miller h/t Shawn Crincoli]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2013/05/atlantis-blue-v-atlantic-blue-substantial-impairment.html

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Comments

If the UCC applies and buyer rejects (not revokes acceptance) it's a perfect tender rule, not substantial impairment, unless one of the PT exceptions applies.
Cure under 508 theoretically might apply but I doubt that a repainted car would qualify as cure.
Good faith rejection? That theory isn't universally accepted but if it were the case might turn on how close were the two hues.

Posted by: not KNL | May 24, 2013 9:00:40 PM

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