It's a smart idea to do a background check on any used car you are planning to purchase, but those searches don't always reveal a vehicle's checkered past. One Michigan woman found that out the hard way and now is suing a Sterling Heights dealership for selling her a car the allegedly once contained a dead body.
Margarita Salais bought her 2006 Ford Explorer from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights last March, and was initially happy with her purchase. However, as spring turned to summer and the outside temperature started to rise, Salais immediately recognized there was a major problem with her new SUV.
Salais brought the Explorer back to Suburban Ford, complaining of a terrible odor. The dealership told her that the smell was caused by a dead animal, but Salais didn't buy that story.
Salais filed a claim with her insurance company, State Farm, and Elite Trauma Clean-up was hired to search and clean the vehicle. According to Dani Liblang, Salais' lawyer, the cleanup team determined that the odor was human in nature.
A representative for Elite Trauma Clean-up claims the odor was only found to be that of "rotten meat"ť and not necessarily human in nature, but Salais' lawsuit remains nonetheless. Salais filed the lawsuit after the dealership refused to buy back the Explorer.
Adding to her car troubles, State Farm has also informed Salais that her Explorer is an ex-rental car that has been stolen three times - something the dealership also omitted during her purchase.
"It is possible the dealer didn't know about the smell," Liblang said. "What's not very credible or likely is that the dealer didn't know it was a daily rental or had been stolen three times. That should've been fairly obvious from the title history.
Salais is suing for $25,000 plus court fees.
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