This wild case in Michigan will have you scratching your head. A court decision in the state has concluded that tightening lug nuts is not included in a tire rotation. Yep, you read that right. The important and basic procedure that literally keeps your wheels from falling off is no longer guaranteed during a tire rotation service.
The crazy ruling all started in 2013 when couple Samuel Anaya and Doris Myricks took their vehicle to a dealership in Grand Rapids for maintenance including a tire rotation. On the way home, the vehicle’s front driver-side wheel came off causing major damages to the vehicle.
The couple rightfully sued the dealership and won after the auto tech admitted to having failed to tighten the lugnuts. Samuel and Doris were awarded $40,000 for repairs and the jury made the dealership cover the couple’s $70,000 in court fees. The couple’s attorney had cited the 1974 Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MVSRA), a law meant to keep consumers safe from “unfair and deceptive practices” by mechanics.
Justice served, right? Well, for Samuel and Doris yes. But for the rest of Michigan, no.
The dealership later appealed the case and surprisingly won. The appeals court concluded that the company had not violated MVSRA after all.
Well, here’s where the legal mumbo jumbo comes in.
The amount of mental gymnastics that occurred next is honestly above me, but somehow, the judge decided that MVSRA only applies to completely “performed” repairs. According to the judge, legally speaking, rotating tires is merely the act of moving them from one side of the vehicle to the other and nothing else. No lugnut tightening, nothing else.
If it still doesn’t make sense to you you aren’t alone. Here are the exact words from the judge himself.
“We conclude, under the plain language of MCL257.1307a, that defendants ‘performed’ a tire rotation, albeit negligently…There is no support for the trial court’s determination that a tire rotation is not ‘performed’ if a service person fails to sufficiently tighten the lug nuts on one tire.”
Note to self, don’t get my tires serviced in Michigan.
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