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Published on March 29th, 2018

Revoking Acceptance under the Uniform Commercial Code and You

In practicing law throughout the State of Illinois for over 28 years I’ve represented some folks who’ve purchased cars, boats, and other durable goods on retail installment contracts. One couple I worked with bough a boat which had nearly every system repaired and/or replaced but only got 5 days of use out of it over a 2 year period. This case reminded me of the Uniform Commercial Code class I took in Law School. My professor taught us of the “shaken faith” doctrine where you can revoke acceptance of an item if it is so defective that it’s “non-conformity” substantially impairs its value to the buyer. In regular English there have been so many warranty repairs that you no longer trust the item and want to return the item for a refund.

The case the professor used to teach us of the doctrine was Blankenship v. Northtown Ford , 95 I11. App. 3d 303 (4th District 1981). This is a case which went to the Appellate Court in Springfield, IL out of Macon County, IL. The Blankenships purchased a “new vehicle” fro m the dealer in September 1978, the vehicle went back to the dealer or repairs for the first time less than two (2) weeks after receiving the vehicle. And there were ten (10) more occasions for repairs until the Blankenships returned the vehicle in January 1979. The types of problems were ones that shouldn’t have occurred: at 740 miles the shock absorber came loose, the drive shaft broke less than one (1) month after receiving the vehicle, and there were more problems ending with another broken drive shaft in January 1979.

The Appellate Court applied the Uniform Commercial Code Section found at Chapter 810 Illinois compiled Statutes Section 5/2-608 where the language about a non-conformity comes from The Stature also requires a revocation be in a reasonable time the problem was obvious. The Court found for the Blankenships and they got their money back. My clients with the boat also got their money back. My professor who I ran into at a 10 year reunion was pleased with the result.

So when you purchase cars, boats, and other durable goods on retail installment contracts and you are not getting the new item value you hoped for and need to get out of the deal; consulting an attorney is your best move.

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