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Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles



  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    You can only get a Cerified anything at the manufacturers dealership.
    so, a Certified Honda only comes from a Honda dealer.

    The idea of offering certified used cars is so the buyer has the peace of mind in knowing that the car was fully reconditioned and backed by both the dealer AND manufacturer.

    It is better to geta CPO car, if you can.
    Especially if you plan to keep it for a prolonged period of time.
    CPO cars generally cost more, but they come w/a comprehensive warranty and there is usually some special financing available.
  • 58motor58motor Posts: 11
    We do want this car for a long time and I will stop looking at odysseys at the other dealers.
  • prithisprithis Posts: 13
    I have scoured the forums for someone who has been in the same situation as me, but could not find a single similar post.

    In mid 2004 I purchased a 2003 Certified Used Toyota Corolla LE from a major Toyota dealership with 7,000 miles on it. Before the purchase I checked the Carfax report, which turned out to be clean. There was only one prior owner, and there was no mention of any accident. The salesman mentioned that this car had "just come in". I bought the car after test driving it and doing my due dilligence. The car was great, and I have been maintaining it properly ever since the purchase at the same dealership.

    A few months back, when I took in the car to the same dealership for the 35,000 mile scheduled maintenance, I mentioned to the service agent that the left headlight flickers ocassionally while I drive on a plain road. I asked him to check for anything loose in the headlamp.

    While I was waiting in the waiting area, the service agent came up to me with an estimate for the service. He asked me a question which completely caught me by surprise. He asked me if the car was involved in an accident. When I truthfully denied that he said that the car had signs of being in an accident. He said that the front bumper had been re-painted and re-installed on the car, and the headlamp assembly had signs of damage. When I refused to believe him, he ended up taking me to the shop floor where the car was raised up. An engineer showed me where the headlamp assembly had some damage.

    I was flabbergasted. I mentioned to them that I had bought the car from their dealership as a certified used vehicle, the car was supposed to be accident-free, have a clean history when I bought it, and I certainly have not damaged the car myself. They just shrugged, saying that it is now too late - several years have passed now before I brought this up with them, and for all that they knew I could have caused the damage myself.

    The car should have been checked thoroughly as part of their certified program, and I cannot believe that the damaged light and repainted bumper was not seen by them. Could it be that the previous owner had damaged the car, took it to a roadside garage to have the bumper fixed and repainted, and avoided any report on Carfax?

    I would like to know now if I have any recourse at all. Should I now check the Carfax report to see if anything was reported immediately after I purchased the vehicle? I have all the purchase documentation for the car. The problem is that I had bought the car in August 2004, and now it is 2009. But I noticed the problem with the headlight just in 2009, since it started flickering. Do I have anything to try other than just accept my fate?

    By the way - the damage to the headlight is not evident from the front. Once the car is raised, you can see the damage by poking your head behind the headlight assembly.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    I would check carfax again if you are planning on reselling it, but other than that, there is nothing you can do, in my opinion, nor should you worry about it very much. It is what it is. Many many accidents slip through the carfax cracks.

    Then again, if it DOES show up on carfax as happening prior to your purchase, MAYBE you have a leg to stand on. However, being it was so long ago, how do you prove they didn't tell you about the accident? I'm not sure if Toyota's CPO program doesn't allow cars that have had minor damage. That may be something to inquire about.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Honestly, a bumper that was re-painted is hardly catastrophic.
    Certified cars are not guaranteed to be free from ANY bodywork, only MAJOR bodywork.
    Toyota's are actually easy to check because they put VIN stickers on all the OEM bodypanels.
    If those stickers are missing, then you have had major work done.

    I'd just relax and enjoy your truck.
  • namelessnameless Posts: 5
    I hope this question hasn't been asked already, but I'm new at buying a used car (have generally purchased new cars), and needed some advice.

    I am in the market for a used Acura MDX, 2004/2005. This will serve as a primary car for the next year, but will eventually be a second car. I have been searching around and came across a 2005 with 56K miles, Touring, and Navi for $19,500 (non-CPO). However, the lowest CPO that I found is around $24K-$25K. You will probably know my question, but is it worth the extra $5K-$6K for a CPO, or should I just save the money and just go with a used?

    This might also be a stupid question, but if I buy a non-CPO from a dealer/private seller, can I take it to a Acura dealer to have it inspected and get it CPO?

    Thanks for the help!
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    First question, do the CPO cars have the same miles?

    Next, you can't generally have a dealer certify a car the dealer didn't buy.
    You may be able to buy a warranty for it though.
  • ny14337ny14337 Posts: 16
    I purchased a CPO 2001 Lexus RX300 a number of years ago for my wife. At the time I purchased it, I ran a Carfax check which came back clean and the dealer told me the vehicle had never been in an accident. Today I went to another dealer to purchase a new car. I was using the RX300 as a trade in. Imagine my shock when I was told that the vehicle had obviously been damaged at some point because there was a significant amount of repainting on the entire body. They offered me about 1/2 of what the retail value of the car is because their policy is that they don't sell cars that were in accidents so there is no resale potential for them. When I told them that it was a CPO vehicle from a Lexus dealership, they were shocked that it had been certified.

    When I got home, I called Lexus customer service to find out how a vehicle that had obviously had some significant body work done on it could have passed their certification process. They told me that a vehicle could be certified as long as there was no frame damage. I have to admit that I was stunned. Their own website says that they will often not certify a vehicle if it has a strange odor, and now they tell me that as long as there is no frame damage its ok. Lord knows if there is frame damage. I didnt know there was anything wrong with the car before today.

    Now I'm stuck with a vehicle that may be worth only half of what I originally thought. I wish I would have known this 6 months ago before my in-laws purchased a 2008 RX-400 and a 2008 ES-350 for cash. Any ideas on what recourses I have?

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    About the only recourse you may have is with CarFax. they advertise some sort of guarantee that may be worth investigating. Other than this, I don't think you have any recourse.
  • ny14337ny14337 Posts: 16
    I'm not even sure if I could pursue anything through CarFax. I'm guessing that whoever the prior owner was decided to do the repair without going through the insurance company. Plus I think the CarFax guarantee is more related to issues such as total loss accidents, fire/flood damage, mileage issues, lemon law problems, etc... But thanks anyway. Now I need to bring it in to an independent bodyshop to see if there is any other problems with it.
  • Your best course of action might just be to trade it in or sell it to another Lexus dealer. My wife and I had a similar surprise when I tried to sell her old car to an independent used car dealer. It was a 1 year-old used Ford Escort hatchback that her parents bought her from a Ford dealership while she was in college. After we moved and got new insurance on the car, the insurance lady mentioned something about her car having been previously totaled (this was before Carfax was prevalent).

    I tried to sell it to an independent dealer, thinking that would be the easiest way to get a decent deal on the vehicle. The guy on the lot pointed out signs of repair from what looked to have been a significant accident. He told me that he couldn't buy the car because of the liability he might have to absorb at some point, and he couldn't afford that as a small independent shop. He then suggested for me to take it to a Ford dealer, saying that they would be big enough to not share his liability concerns.

    So I took the car to a Ford dealership and asked them what they would give me for it. I didn't mention anything about the repair work that the other guy showed me. I felt it was fair since the dealer that sold the vehicle to my father-in-law never mentioned anything about it either. Fair dealership trade-in pricing for that car in good shape was around $4,200-4,800 at the time. They looked over the car for a few minutes and offered me around $4,500.

    Since it sounds as though you are in a similar predicament, I would recommend that you do something similar. I'd be sure to play up the part about how you purchased it CPO. That way, I would think, they should give you a pretty fair deal.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    The only problem is the accident is showing up on Carfax. I guarantee they will check Carfax (or whatever database dealers use) before taking a trade in this environment.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Lexus isn't alone w/ this provision.
    Remember that CPO warranties cover the mechanical aspects of the car, not the cosmetic.
    Some dealers won't certify a car with obvious paintwork, others will.
  • ny14337ny14337 Posts: 16
    Well it seems that I have sort of gotten to the bottom of what the issue was. I spoke to someone from Lexus Customer Service who asked that I bring the vehicle in to one of their service centers so they could take a look at it. I agreed but before I did that I decided to go back to the dealer who told me that repairs had been done on my car. I asked them to show me what they had noticed. I was told that when they appraise a vehicle, they use some sort of device that measures the thickness of paint on the body. When they used it on my car, the thickness of the paint on all of the doors was more than double of what it should be. This meant to them that the vehicle had some type of work done it. After thinking about it, I believe what happend was that the vehicle was not in an accident. When I initially looked at the vehicle 4 years ago, there were some scratches, chips, etc... on the doors. I mentioned that to the salesman and he said that they could all be buffed out and compounded out by their detailing guys. What happend in actuality is that they probably brought it to a body shop and laid another coat of paint on all the doors. It looked great, you couldnt see a mark on it and my wife was happy. I explained this to the dealer I was trying to trade the car into and he said that while that it was a likely explanation as to why there was all the extra paint, it still did not change his valuation of the car. He said that especially in luxury cars, which he places the Lexus in, any type of repair to the body, even simply repainting the door, will devalue the vehicle. Even if that were true, I'm still not sure why it would decrease the wholesale value by almost half. They use Galves in NY and the wholesale value of my vehicle should be approx. $11,500. Dealerships in my area are selling cars with similar mileage and options for anywhere from $15,500 to $16,250. The dealership I wanted to trade it into offered me $6,500. Thats almost a $10,000 swing. I guess I'll be selling it on my own.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The dealer is correct that paintwork on a lux car will devalue that car.
    However, it is an 01 and the devaluing shouldn't be that much. A competent dealer can tell if the work was just cosmetic or structural.

    As for what dealers are ASKING for similar cars, asking isn't getting.
    Unless you have seen actual buyers orders, you don't know what dealers are getting for similar cars. The tendency when selling used cars is to ask the moon for them, it allows for big discount to impress the buyers.

    The big lesson learned here is, if you buy a used car with some chips or scratches LET THEM BE. You didn't buy a new car, you saved money and went used. Used cars aren't perfect, they are used. Painting a car is NEVER a good idea.
  • I recently bought a used car at honda dealership. Upon leaving, when the sales person handed me the keys, I remembered, they're supposed to give me 2 instead of one, so I asked him for the other one he said he couldn't find the other one right now, but if i come back on saturday, he should have it for me...

    um, and then i just looked at the driver manual today and it said im suppoed to have recieve a key code tag along with the keys (and i didn't get it that day either) the manual specifically said i would require the tag in order to get a copy of another key in case if i lose it in the future...

    uhh, my question is, since this is a used (second hand car). When I ask the dealer for those key code tag, would they make an excuse about the previous driver didn't give them one? and then they try to charge me for new key code tag??

    Do do you guys think/.?? im so cluless
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    Its a used car. Its got what its got.
    You can ask for things, but they are under no obligation to provide them.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Come back on Saturday??? Sounds like good customer service... not.

    He promised the extra set, so they are owed to you. You should have gotten it in writing before you left. Stay on them until they find or make you another set.

    I would think the dealership would be able to pull the numbers from the vin # if no key code tag.
  • hey thanks for your replies.

    well, is there anything else i can do? i mean, what if they refuse or something?
    or they try to make me pay for the extra set?

    some friends told me said i should ask to speak to the manager if they give me a hard time?

    oh, does anyone know the rules of selling a certified used car? like, if they are required to give out 2 sets of keys instead of 1? some sort of law to protect the buyer?
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,005
    " there anything else i can do?..."

    Go back on Saturday and ask for the key and the tag. If they don't give you what they promised, pull your car up so close to the front door that it prevents any customers from getting in or out of the building. Then take a cab home.

    When they call in a panic demanding that you move your car tell them they can move it with the new key they promised, otherwise you'll come back NEXT Saturday to move it for them, maybe. ;)

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

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