Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors

Mr. Hennigsen purchased a new car from Bloomfield Motors. Ten days later, when Mrs. Hennigsen was driving, a defect in the steering mechanism caused the car to swerve out of control, Mrs. Hennigsen was injured in the resulting crash. There were only 468 miles on the car at the time of the crash.

The dealer (Bloomfield Motors) and the manufacturer (Chrysler) claimed that the following contractual provision shielded them from liability for Mrs. Hennigsen's injuries (numbers added):

There are no warranties . . . except as follows: (1) The manufacturer warrants each new motor vehicle . . . to be free from defects in material or workmanship under normal use and service. (2) Its obligation under this warranty being limited to making good at its factory any part or parts thereof which . . . its examination shall disclose to its satisfaction to have been thus defective; (3) this warranty being expressly in lieu of all other warranties expressed or implied, and all other obligations or liabilities on its part.

In regard to the defective steering mechanism and the injuries sustained by Mrs. Hennigsen, the only obligation the manufacturer has under this provision is to repair or replace the defective steering mechanism. It is under no obligation to compensate Mrs. Hennigsen for her injuries.