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    Thread: Parents bought a car that had an unreported accident, long but please help.

    1. Member derekjl's Avatar
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      09-25-2012 10:13 PM #1
      I'm posting this for a family member, so please don't be too hard on me. My parents purchased a 2007 Lexus IS 250 from a small reputable dealership about an hour away. At the time of purchase, the price was fair, clean AutoCheck and clean CarFax, and it appeared to be in good cosmetic and mechanical shape. Keep in mind, it was winter time with freezing temperatures and snow on the ground. All the cars are in an outdoor lot, so inspecting the car with a fine toothed comb did not immediately come to mind. That added with the good reputation of the dealership made for an easy sale. Fast forward about 8 months to a couple weekends ago. We had a very professional detailer come to the house for a rather basic inside and out job with minor paint polishing. The detailer started out in auto body work and has years of experience in that field. He immediately noticed what he described as a very poor repair job on the car. It appeared that the front driver's side door was t-boned. Several seams don't match up perfectly, there is over spray on various parts of the car, etc. Whoever repaired the car either wanted to do it cheap, didn't know what they were doing, or both. To top it all off, every history report I can get my hands on states NOTHING about an accident. Looking at the car in detail it is rather clear that there was an accident at some point. If it were my personal purchase, I would have inspected the car from top to bottom before signing on the dotted line. So my questions are:

      - Isn't it illegal to NOT report an accident to insurance or at least the DMV?
      - Isn't it illegal for a dealership to take possession of and sell a car with a false history report?
      - If you were in this situation, what would you do? Too bad lesson learned, or delve into this deeper?

      I fully trust what the detailer reveled. I'm sure 90% of people wouldn't have noticed this unless they knew what they were looking for. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      EDIT: A total of 4 dealerships had this car in their possession before the sale. I'm guessing we will be hard-pressed to play the blame game on any one of them.
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    2. Member derekjl's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 03:45 PM #2
      71 views and no responses? Bump.
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    3. 09-26-2012 04:02 PM #3
      Not illegal, buyer beware, and carfax is not God.

      These rules haven't changed 1 bit since the inception of carfax.

    4. Member derekjl's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 04:42 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by gsprobe View Post
      Not illegal, buyer beware, and carfax is not God.

      These rules haven't changed 1 bit since the inception of carfax.
      That's kind of what I expected. But, what would be the purpose of the CarFax "buy back guarantee" if their report wasn't more/less iron clad? My guess is this accident happened while the car was in the dealer's possession. It was quickly fixed and then sold at auction, where nothing had to be disclosed about what happened.
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    5. 09-26-2012 05:02 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by derekjl View Post
      That's kind of what I expected. But, what would be the purpose of the CarFax "buy back guarantee" if their report wasn't more/less iron clad? My guess is this accident happened while the car was in the dealer's possession. It was quickly fixed and then sold at auction, where nothing had to be disclosed about what happened.
      i'd check the carfax/autocheck for any out of state registrations....an accident in one state might not be recorded if its "washed" and registered in another state.

      there was a car i looked atNY, NJ,NY ... there was a discrepancy in the maintenance history, so i assumed that happened. (or it could've just been to a NJ owner, but it was a dealer, so i suspected "wasH)

      wasn't there a member with a similar issue with an audi TT ?

      i'd get a detailed mechanics report that wuld confirm acccident, then proceed to small claims court (if you can find which dealer had possession when the accident occured )

    6. Member fixmy59bug's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 03:54 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by derekjl View Post
      - Isn't it illegal to NOT report an accident to insurance or at least the DMV?
      - Isn't it illegal for a dealership to take possession of and sell a car with a false history report?
      - If you were in this situation, what would you do? Too bad lesson learned, or delve into this deeper?
      - an accident does not need to be reported if there are no injuries or if the damages don't exceed a certain dollar amount. For example, in Ca I believe the threshold is $5,000. And with salvage yards, aftermarket parts, and shady businesses, they can keep costs low.

      - not illegal to accept a car with a forged history. If there is no info on car fax, title is clean, and owner signs it is clean, how can the dealer prove otherwise? If the previous owner swore it was clean and the dealership has all the paperwork showing everything clean, they will skate in court. If you go that far.

      - I have been there. That is why I know this. I bought a 2 year old Jetta some time ago from a car dealership that had some work on the rear bumper and trunk. It was not obvious until a few weeks later when I saw the masking/overspray line on the trunk, and the clear coat flaking on the bumper. I went back to the dealership and they showed me all the paperwork stating it was "All Clear". I even pulled my own carfax on it and it was indeed clear. I even got into two accidents in that car (neither very serious, but claimed to insurance) that never showed up on Carfax. Then again, Carfax is only as accurate as the information they are given by body shops, dealerships, law enforcement, whomever.

      I have absolutely 0 faith in anything that company says.

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      09-28-2012 05:13 PM #7
      Carfax and the like are useful if they show something that you can apply extra suspicion to.

      But a "clean" report does not necessarily mean that nothing happened, since many things are not necessarily reported where they can find them -- normal suspicion should apply to any used car purchase.

    8. 09-28-2012 06:45 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by derekjl View Post
      - Isn't it illegal to NOT report an accident to insurance or at least the DMV?
      - Isn't it illegal for a dealership to take possession of and sell a car with a false history report?
      - If you were in this situation, what would you do? Too bad lesson learned, or delve into this deeper?

      I fully trust what the detailer reveled. I'm sure 90% of people wouldn't have noticed this unless they knew what they were looking for. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      EDIT: A total of 4 dealerships had this car in their possession before the sale. I'm guessing we will be hard-pressed to play the blame game on any one of them.
      its possible that the car was not in a accident but was scratched from a parking lot or something and they just got it fixed on their own without dealing with insurance. would you report a $500 fender bender to insurance if your deductible was $500? probably not and its not illegal. i would only be mad if the dealer told me the car was never painted and tell them to fix the paint job if it was really that bad. cars get painted ALL the time. its almost impossible to have a car in perfect condition. honestly i wouldnt worry about it, its not a big deal. you shouldnt loose sleep over it.

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      10-21-2012 03:51 PM #9
      read this i went threw something similar not to long ago..

      hope it helps..

      few thing about my car there was still clearly structural damage.. so have the car looked at.. structural damage is really the only thing there dealer would have to buy the car back for regardless if he knew about it or not its a federal law..

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ght-my-car-lol..

      carfax buy back only applies to carfax certified cars.. there is a diffrence in a carfax report and a carfax certified car..

      - Isn't it illegal to NOT report an accident to insurance or at least the DMV?
      NO not illegal.. its done everyday.. 2 people crash depending on there deductible and damage they may wish to just pay it out of pocket..

      - Isn't it illegal for a dealership to take possession of and sell a car with a false history report?
      depend on the state.. but its a moral that for the dealer at that point who is trying to get every car as cheap as they can to profit as much as they car.. common practic for some dealer to buy car with damage cheaply and fit for profit alot of small unbranded dealers do it..

      - If you were in this situation, what would you do? Too bad lesson learned, or delve into this deeper?
      look into it as much as possible but as you stated it went threw the hands of many dealers so blame will be very hard to put on any of them..
      Last edited by onequickg60; 10-21-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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    10. Member apizzaparty's Avatar
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      10-21-2012 06:02 PM #10
      carfax will actually buy the car back if not as described. says their website
      @apizzaparty

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      10-21-2012 07:49 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by drunkvader View Post
      carfax will actually buy the car back if not as described. says their website
      carfax has a nice loop hole that gets them out of buying it back..

      for 1 if you search there page good you will see you have to register the car with them and it is only good for 1 year..

      http://www.carfax.com/manifest/bbg/r...cfx?source=CFX

      and 2 they will tell you that it can take up to 90 day for carfax to update its records and if it is something not reported to them dmv, ect.. there not responsible..

      thats why i just got a lawyer and went for the dealer.. but the PO will only have a case if the car has structural damage.. then he has to prove the dealer knew about the damage.. luckly for me the 2nd car fax stated the dealer sign paperwork at auction he knew he was buy a car with structural damage so it was easy to prove he knew..

      check your state laws federal law is you have to be notified the car has structural damage.. but some states have law that repair work over a certain dollar amount has to be reported.. but if it was shade tree style you will never know.. and if it was done like that it will be hard to prove when it was done and who is responsible..

      sadly you might be SOL if you cant prove the dealer did it..
      2011 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Long Horn Edition Stock for now.. just bought 4/23/12 new leftover 2011 Kawasaki ninja zx6r stock for now.. Just bought 5/19/12 Blue GLX cabrio for wifey.. Using torque software with andoid so far loving it..

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