Jonathan wishes to purchase a Porsche 944. He telephones Mr Mahlangu, a Porsche dealer, and orders a Porshe 911. Jonathan is prepared to accept payment by cheque on delivery. When the vehicle is delivered at Jonathan’s residence, he finds that it is indeed a Porsche 911, but that the shape differs completely from the one he had in mind. Jonathan was, in fact, thinking of the Porsche 944, when he ordered the vehicle. Comprehensively discuss ‘consensus’ and ‘mistake’ in the law of contract, and advise Jonathan whether or not he is bound by the contract in this case. (30)
All contracts are based on consensus between the two parties involved. Sometimes, the parties think they have reached a consensus when they have actually not, and the aggrieved party can opt out of the contract or claim relief from the other party. There are different types of mistakes in a contract which include, common mistake, unilateral mistake and a mistake of presumption. The type of mistake in this contract is unilateral mistake where one party is aware of the mistake in the agreement. Jonathan wanted to purchase a Porsche 944 but instead ordered a Porsche 911 which was delivered therefore, Jonathan is bound by the contract to purchase a Porsche 911.