My son, an auto mechanic and an BMW enthusiast. just purchased a used BMW for 300 dollars from a customer who was frustrated with the car and not willing to pay any more to repair it. He regarded the purchase as great deal, but it was even a better deal than he thought. While he was checking out the car last night, be discovered that a spark plug had been misinstalled by the owner. When it was replaced, the engine sang like Beverley Sills.
My son said that he had suggested to the owner that he change the spark plugs, but had been told that this had recently been done. “He was nasty about it, too,” he said. “Would he have sold you the car for such a low price if the car was running the way it is now?” I asked.
“Never,” my son replied.
Your Ethics Quiz of the Day:
Is there an ethical duty to offer the car back to the original owner when it is discovered after the purchase that the vehicle was better and more valuable than the owner thought?
Secondary question: My son says that he might feel badly about the deal if the owner hadn’t been such a jackass throughout the transaction, and not only rejected his advice that would have revealed the car’s problem, but did so abusively.
Is that a valid and relevant ethical consideration?