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Watching out for Fraud



  • jwilliams2jwilliams2 Posts: 855
    edited September 2010
    Well, if the car was purchased at an Acura dealer, I'm not sure what Mercedes-Benz corporate can do. You might be better off insisting that they take the car back and return your money so you can buy a correct vehicle.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    edited September 2010
    Mercedes won't do anyting. Why should they?

    He bought it from an Acura dealer as a USED car.

    You have to be very careful selling those cars! They "appear" to have a NAVI screen but it's not! Some even have a NAVI button that may cause someone to assume the car has NAVI when it doesn't!

    This means the car is "prepped" to have NAVI installed. I didn't think it was anywhere near that much money though.

    My guess is that the inexperienced dealer saw the NAVI button and assumed it had it. Making a dumb assumption will bite you every time. I doubt that fraud was involved just ignorance.

    I would ask them to unwind the deal or refund whatever you think is fair.

    BTW, the Mercedes NAVI systems weren't that great. For under 300.00 you can buy a nice Garmin or other system and getting a Bluetooth adapter is no big deal either.
  • Yes its over a year old, but this is just plain wrong.

    Sure the most valuable thing in an scrapped car is the engine / transmission, and yes most cars are scrapped because of an accident, but your logic on everything else is non-existent. I don't know what you are seeing , but what I've seen is a lot different. The seats and interior panels can all be removed very easily as can the dashboard and all interior electronics. I've pretty much taken my convertibles apart more than once to clean / repair / replace. Exterior parts - except for the accident area are usually all usable as well. Sure some cars are trashed - usually the 12-25 year old ones. Newer ones have a lot of usable items in them. If the wheels weren't trashed, some of these factory chrome wheels are worth $500 EACH. I know my ElDorado's wheels were worth that much, when it got hit.

    But car dealers don't want to have any part of this - it's the salvage / recycle (aka junkyards) that are doing this and they are making money - and not soley off engines & transmissions!

    So yes scrap value to the dealer is usually less than $500.
  • nice! :blush: Now I remember, when I was just a kid and my father use to spend time working on his new car, I would stayed by his side all day long starring at him, from then on I develop my interest in cars.
  • Background: purchased a "new" 2005 RX-8 in 2006. Ran into engine problems (car was stalling on me while driving on several occasions) and after paying for several fixes that didn't work (throttle body cleans, spark plugs, etc.) Mazda finally replaced the engine in 2008 at around 35,000 miles. This past week, several years later after moving to another part of the country, my new local Mazda service tech advises me that my engine has been replaced twice, to which I am surprised and tell him that it was only replaced once. The service tech further advises me that the original Mazda dealer that had the car for sale replaced the engine at the dealership with 11 miles on the odometer. It was then sold/traded to another Mazda dealer from whom it was sold to me as "new."

    After having to pay for several fixes that fixed nothing and breaking down in traffic several times, I requested that they purchase my car back. Both Mazda North America and the dealer from whom I purchases the car advised me that the '04 & '05 RX-8s with the engine problems were not having any further problems on their 2nd engines, gave me a new engine (after trying to make me accept a "new" remanufactured engine), and gave me an extended warranty after catching Mazda North America lying about no "new" non-reman engines existing or otherwise being available.

    I do not do my own auto work, but I always took the advice of the manual and service techs with regards to warming up and not shutting down the rotary engine cold, revving it, and keeping the oil at a good level. Still, I was afraid to drive my car a lot after the engine problems, am only at 62,000 miles now, as I predominantly drove my wife's car after getting married. I am now in need of a family car due to the arrival of our first child, and I took my car into the Mazda service dept to have them fix anything that might be wrong to maximize my resale or trade-in value (one dealership, when offering me a lower-than-expected trade-in value, said my car had a history of engine problems and this prompted me to go to the Mazda service dept).

    My question then is what would you do if you were me? I have a pretty short window to find a more family friendly car and will be trading it in. But I want to know whether Mazda North America and either of the two Mazda dealerships (both of which are no longer operating, but both auto groups still own other brand dealerships) were in the wrong in: (1) selling me a car as "new" that already had major value repairs done and without that disclosure, and (2) persuading me that a 2nd engine would be placed in my car and that 2nd engines weren't having problems (when my car unbeknownst to me already had 2 engines that failed)? My nose is bent out of shape at this point, and part of me wants remedy for what in my mind is fraud, and if nothing else would like to get the story out.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,232
    It isn't uncommon for cars to be damaged while in transit from the factory to the dealer. Generally such body damage is fixed/replaced by the dealer (probably with an insurance reimbursement by the transport company) before the car goes on sale. The car's warranty and ability to be sold as "new" are not impacted since the car was never titled.

    While it is hard to imagine the engine being damaged while in transit, if Mazda determined there was a problem and proactively replaced the engine before it went on sale or if the dealer found the engine to be DOA then it would have been replaced before being made available for sale. Again, warranty and status as new aren't impacted.

    Consider the relatively recent recall where, IIRC, Nissan had to stop selling some cars so they could be repaired due to a safety defect that was uncovered. Is it really a different scenario? Cars had parts replaced by the dealer before being put on the lot.

    Your repair was perhaps greater in scope but I don't see that it matters. And since the car is coming with a full warranty there's not much for Mazda or the dealer to disclose. I'm sure if you had come in and mentioned you were aware of a problem they'd immediately state it's already been taken care of, but no salesman for any brand is going to proactively admit the car has already needed some service department TLC.

    BTW I had a '93 MX-3. The AT went at 38K miles and again at 76K. The first was replaced under warranty; the second under extended warranty. I got rid of it before the next multiple of 38K rolled around.

    Others can tell you if the engine work impacts resale or not; I'm just saying that having work done pre-sale is par for the course.

    Congrats on getting married and on your child.
  • Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I forgot to mention that the '04 & '05 RX-8s were acknowledged by Mazda as having engine defects for those model years. And I probably didn't word it the best, but I made a written request to Mazda corporate to buy back my vehicle after several failed engine repairs, leading up to their proposed "new" reman engine. When they told me that they would give me an actual new engine when I objected to the reman, they advised me that 2nd engines were not failing. Two problems here: it was actually a 3rd engine they were proposing to provide and not a 2nd (they lied about the amount of engines replaced in my car), and, 2nd, 3rd, etc. engines have been failing in these cars. Had I both known that it would have been the 3rd new engine, and that subsequent engines had been failing, I could have sought a better remedy at the time, i.e. seeking a buy back of my car. But for the fraudulent statements from Mazda I relied upon, I would not have agreed to a 3rd engine as the repair. And I sure as heck would not have paid the price I paid for my "new" car had I known it already had a failed engine on the dealer lot.

    On a quick caselaw search, I found some cases supporting the notion that not disclosing this amount of repair work on a "new" car as being fraud. In one case in which BMW got hammered for a more inexpensive repaint, the dicta in the case stated: "BMW acknowledged that it followed a nationwide policy of not advising its dealers, and hence their customers, of predelivery damage to new cars when the cost of repair did not exceed 3 percent of the car's suggested retail price." And the trial court in that case held that it was still fraud not to reveal work done when it was below that 3% benchmark. My situation is more egregious in several ways: scope of the work was more than 3% of the car's price, engine failure is a lot more serious than paint damage, and the work was done after delivery of the vehicle (so both the dealer and Mazda corporate knew about it as Mazda reimbursed the dealer for making the repairs).
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,739
    IMHO, you are going to spend too much energy and get nothing back.

    It sounds like the car is running fine now. Go buy a new car, trade this one in and move on.
  • If this is the wrong place for this question, please direct me to the right place :)

    I'm looking for a used car and saw this one:

    Its actually a small dealer:

    I've found 2-3 bad reviews (including 2 on BBB website which gave it an F rating). That sample size is small, however.

    So I'm not sure if its dangerous to try to buy a car from here? I'm worried I'll have a mechanic check it out, they won't find much, but later on I'll find out the engine will be just be 'bad' or similar? Should I move on?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    All used cars are kind of a crapshoot. If you really like the car - and it doesn't appear that it's a common vehicle - I'd definitely take it to a mechanic. It's a $3,000 car, so it won't be perfect in all likelihood, but at that point, you're talking about relying on the mechanic rather than the dealership. It's not likely that the dealership knows a lot about the car's mechanical condition, regardless of what they say.

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  • Hello,

    I have a friend who got duped into buying a used car that is worth around 13K with a financing plan that will add up to 30K. Considering how ridiculous the loan is, what are her options? Is this a matter for the small claim court? Should she be contacting a lawyer right away? Should she tell the dealer to renegotiate the contract? I don't know how much money she already put into it, but assuming it's not a lot, should she just stop paying and have them take the car back? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    Well, we would really need more details about the transaction to give you advice - specifically, how was she duped? I mean, if, in ignorance, she just overpaid for the car and signed a really bad finance contract, there's not a lot she can do, and no attorney will take the case as there's nothing to recover. Bad judgment does not have any legal recourse available. However, if there's more to the story, people here may be able to offer feedback.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    Yep. not enough info for any of us to venture a guess.

    She is probably out of luck since the deal has been done.

    There may be more to this story. She could have horrible credit and/or she may have traded in a car she was badly upside down in.

    Who knows?
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