Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Bimmerfest - BMW Forums (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/index.php)
-   X5 E70 (2007 - 2013) (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=159)
-   -   I learned my lesson the hard way, hoping others will learn from my mistake (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666688)

whiteface 12-28-2012 09:33 PM

I learned my lesson the hard way, hoping others will learn from my mistake
 
This is a long post. In short, never never trust Carfax and Autocheck.

If you have other advise for potential used car buyers, please share.

Here is my story --

I was very happy 3 weeks ago. I found a "perfect" X5 with the right color and the right packages on eBay. The car is in TX. The seller is a small dealer. The seller and I agreed on a price, $46k. I thought it was a good deal considering the packages that it has. I did all the due diligence that I could think of, Carfax, Autocheck, googling on the seller, etc. Everything came out clean. I flew down a few days later. While picking up the car, I did the test drive and visual inspections. I am not a mechanics, but thought of myself as mechanically competent and pretty good with cars. I crawled in and out of the car, checking the gaps around doors and hood to see if the gap are even. The car ran fine, no unsual noises. There were a few mishaps. The seller listed the car as having a cold weather package, but I found that it really only had the heated steering wheel. It was a bummer, but I thought that I can live without the cold weather package. It was missing a second key also. Given all that, the seller agreed to take another $500 off the price. We then went to the bank and I got a cashier's check. Back to the car dealer, we did the usual paper work, such as the no-warranty thing, then off I started my long drive home. In all these excitement (and lack of sleep), I completely forgot about the title (yes, stupid me). About 80 miles out, I remember about the title. I had only thought that they forgot to give it to me because before I flew down, I confirmed with the seller that he has the title in hand. I called the seller, at that point he told me that I would need to wait 2-weeks for the title to released from bank. I didn't feel comfortable with it, and thought about returning the car to them (which he said that he can take it back if I don't feel comfortable leaving without the title). Since I had waited for a long time for the right X5 to come along, at the back of my mind I hate to lose it, so I decided to trust him. A week and many phone calls later, the title showed up at mydoor. I thought my trouble would end there. I started frequent these forums and ordering accessories for the X5. I went to the dealer to get the 2nd key and did the pulley recall thing. No problem there. I then found out that the rear entertainment system remote doesn't work, so I went to the dealer to fix it. At the visit, the dealer informed me that they couldn't fix the remote, and suspect that the car was wrecked before. I told them no way since carfax and autocheck said they were clean. In any case, the dealer refused to fix the remote until I agree to pay if they find the failure is due to an accident. They also showed me why they think it was wrecked. My heart sank. Today I took it to carfax for an appriasal, they confirmed that it was wrecked before and has frame damage and only offered me $34k. In anycase, I will get rid of it soon as I can't let my wife drive my kids around in a damaged un-safe car. Lesson learned here, don't trust Carfax and Autocheck, what they say is just a little more than what is on the toilet paper.

If you have other advise for potential used car buyers, please share.

tonka858 12-28-2012 09:53 PM

Bummer:(
You should of had the car inspected by someone who knows what to look for.

and confirm they have a paint meter.That right there would of saved you.

did the car have a clean title or was it salvage?

twizzleraddict 12-28-2012 10:00 PM

Why wouldn't Carfax show the accidented incident previously? If the car was in an accident and it wasn't reported to the insurance company, fixed by a garage and then back on the street, is this the only route to omitting a major problem like this? (Sorry for my ignorance here.)

I'm curious since I recently took ownership of an X5 and the Carfax was fairly clean, CPO and a lease return to the BMW dealership I got it from. I would think even dealers are capable of these types of shenanigans.

And I hear you about not wanting the wife and kids in an unsafe car. Sorry for your hassles.

whiteface 12-28-2012 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonka858 (Post 7276812)
Bummer:(
You should of had the car inspected by someone who knows what to look for.

and confirm they have a paint meter.That right there would of saved you.

did the car have a clean title or was it salvage?

clean title

ard 12-28-2012 11:22 PM

Really, really sorry to hear.

I often tell people to 'get a PPI', and folks think I am nuts....

Was this a place in houston? I recall a real sketychy fly by night place there with a late model X5...

You may have a fraud claim here. The problem is proving it. Not impossible....

What precisely is the damage?? Why is this related to the remote? WHat makes it unsafe? Is the dealer just being a dick?

Read up on the warranties offered by carfax and autocheck. I use them to rule cars out, not in.

A

gresch 12-29-2012 04:33 AM

My adviCe is to contact an attorney, carfax and autocheck, tell them the situation and see what they adviSe, then move on from there. This could be a clean case of caveat emptor or you might just have fraud case on your hands.

To add to your adviCe, I always adviSe friends to ask for a statement in writing from the seller when buying any used/new car that it has not been salvaged, flooded, frame damage, wrecked etc etc just as a dealer will make you sign a similar statement when trading in a car (at least here in NY and NJ they do)

Good luck.

dcharnet 12-29-2012 05:25 AM

If the car is really unsafe--why?---that will give you leverage here. If it is, I would put strong pressure on the dealer to take the car back. And does the state of TX regulate dealers in any way, so you could complain up the chain? Some of this obviously depends on TX law and on what your purchase docs said, but you may have implied warranties which can give you some breach of warranty leverage. These apply to "sellers in the business."

The fraud issue is interesting. The Texas attorney general may have a consumer fraud division which possibly could be of some help, but, obviously, fraud is needed. In general, that would be intentional misrepresentation of some kind, or possibly a failure to disclose information; although that would typically require knowledge on the seller's part and a defect which could not have been discovered by you with reasonable due diligence. Obviously the prior damage issue was discoverable.

GoHawks63 12-29-2012 05:29 AM

I just learned recently that if an owner fixes the car out of his own pocket, then it is possible that it will not show up on Carfax, but considering we are talking about a BMW here, repairs would quickly escalate. Even a minor fender bender would be a couple of thousand dollars.

My point is that let's say someone had a $1000 deductible, I could see them paying out of pocket for a $1400 repair so as not to make a claim (and it subsequently wouldn't show up on Carfax), but any damage that involved frame repair would have been extremely expensive to pay out of pocket. If you don't use insurance for that, then I have to question why you are even carrying insurance (aside from the obvious that it is required by the lienholder).

I don't see how a remote not working could have anything to do with an accident. Does the rear entertainment system work without the remote? In our old Land Cruiser the DVD player was mounted in the right rear quarter panel, so if it ever took a hard hit there I could see the unit getting damaged, but I don't think that's where it's mounted in the X5 (I don't have a RSES). Doesn't the RSES in the X5 sit behind the center console? If so, how could an impact affect it (without nearly totaling it). It makes no sense to me and it sounds a bit suspicious.

Did you get a second opinion on the frame damage? Could this other dealer be trying to scare you to drive down the value of your trade? Between the whole remote thing this second dealer is sounding a bit sleazy.

Another point, as someone else asked, why do you feel it is not safe? There are many cars that are wrecked that require frame repair. If done right, the car is no less safe than it was before. You may consider it "damaged goods", and being a bit anal myself about my cars I get that, but I think it's premature to think it's unsafe until you have a third party inspect the car. I bought a used Mustang once that had a clean Carfax and passed a CPO, but you could tell that the car had a quarter panel painted. Upon closer inspection the quarter panel was still the original so that ruled out a major hit, and there was no damage underneath. Most likely just a minor repair paid out of pocket. I used it as a negotiation on the price. Just because a car was repaired doesn't mean it was affected structurally. I have paid for a repair or two out of pocket to keep my insurance costs down, and each was nothing more than maybe a bumper cover, a light assembly and paint. Anything more and it became cost prohibitive to pay out of pocket.

If the car had a salvaged title that would be another thing. While you said the title was clean, laundering salvaged titles by unscrupulous dealers is not unheard of. Again, have a third party evaluate the car.

Like someone else said, I too use Carfax to rule out a car, not rule it in. As for CPOs, my understanding is that the car has to pass a comprehensive inspection for it to qualify as a CPO in order to have the manufacturer stand behind it with a warranty. It cannot qualify if it was in a major wreck. Now if the dealer fudged the CPO inspection, I would think you could get the manufacturer after them and that dealer might even risk their own franchise. Could it happen? I guess anything is possible, but I would think it would be unlikely. I usually like to go CPO when buying used. It's just another level of assurance.

vavet5308 12-29-2012 05:51 AM

I'm also curious why you think the car is unsafe.
What did the dealer show you that indicates that car was previously wrecked?

z51vette 12-29-2012 06:30 AM

Did you talk to the dealer you bought it from? What does he say? I have two paint meters, one for steel and one for aliminum and steel. Best money i ever spent. Comes in useful when colorsanding a car too

kmorgan_260 12-29-2012 06:52 AM

My experience with Carfax is that is is very trustworthy with what it reports. On the other hand they can't report what was not properly reported to them. Therefore you can make no assumptions based on what is not reported. Any car you buy could have had things done to it that are not on the Carfax.

Hope you can work things out for the best.

smyles 12-29-2012 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twizzleraddict (Post 7276822)
Why wouldn't Carfax show the accidented incident previously? If the car was in an accident and it wasn't reported to the insurance company, fixed by a garage and then back on the street, is this the only route to omitting a major problem like this?

Yes. Carfax just aggregates reported info from various sources; it's not like they have spy satellites that capture every single accident, service or roll-back...

whiteface 12-29-2012 08:37 AM

Thanks all for you replies. The place was in Dallas. Just more info for the curious, the BMW dealer that was fixing the remote initially tried to re-programmed the remote, but was not sucessful. They then ordered a new remote. They couldn't get that to work either. They started to take things apart and traced why the remote signal was not received by the car, that's when they found out the electrical in the front was not done in a "BMW" manner (as they put it). I took it to carmax, they said there are frame damage on the passenger side frame rail. This is why I said it's unsafe. God forbids if the car is involved in another accident, I am afraid the frame does not have the strength as a car that doesn't have frame damage.

I am also puzzled by why someone would fix the car out of their own pocket instead of going through insurace for such extensive damage. The title is clean, meaning that the repair must have done out of the person own pocket. If an insurance company paid for it, it would have shown on carfax.

Carfax and autocheck guarantee only guarantee cases that are reported to them but not shown on their report, which is almost never, so their guarantee is useless. Also proving that is almot impossbile.

I understand how carfax and autocheck operate now after what I went through, so I am just posting here to warn other people who rely on them to rule out damaged cars while doing used car shopping. Bottome line is they don't rule out damaged cars out.

What I learned here today is that looks like paint meter is useful. I will use that next time if I buy a used car again (if again). Another thing I thought of last night is to take the car you are interested in to carmax and have tem appraise.

ard 12-29-2012 09:26 AM

You should try to find the prior/original owner. They might be the 'information linchpin' you need....

What happened; who fixed it; was insurance involved; was it reported to the state/carfax; did the dealer know it was damaged?

Could have been wrecked, purchased and fixed by the dealer- without any insurnace. BUT they could be liable if TX law has any disclosre requiremnets.

But I agree 100%: Carfax and autocheck try to paint a picture that "clean carfax" is some kind of guarantee, and it is absolutely not.

A

Chucktown 12-29-2012 09:40 AM

I had a new 2011 Audi A6 that was t-boned within the first 8 months of owning it. The dealer that I bought the car from had a certified collision center and fixed the car. Other party's insurance paid around $4000 to have it fixed, and cut me a check for $1500 diminished value. I sold it back to the dealer for standard trade-in value, and leased a 2012 A6. I pulled the carfax a few weeks ago (wrecked in September 2011) and the accident still doesn't show up. There was no frame damage, but the rear door had to be replaced along with major sculpting of the rear quarter panel as it is integrated to the frame. It should have been on the carfax, and I suspect the fact that the same dealer that repaired it bought it, had something to do with that. In the end, I got nailed with some extra charges on my new A6, and I have totally lost confidence in this dealer. I will not be going back. Sucks for them, as I will buy/lease many more new cars as I'm only 35.

As far as why someone would fix it on their own, it's probably because they don't want the increased insurance rates that go along with having an accident. They could also have been doing something illegal (hit and run) and didn't want the red flags. There are countless reasons, none of them settling. I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. Good luck.

tonka858 12-29-2012 09:57 AM

Repair shops don't have to report to carfax.
Look at carfax history see if the dealer bought it at auction,You could then contact them with the VIN to ask if the car was sold wrecked.they might even have pictures.

ard 12-29-2012 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonka858 (Post 7277390)
Repair shops don't have to report to carfax.
Look at carfax history see if the dealer bought it at auction,You could then contact them with the VIN to ask if the car was sold wrecked.they might even have pictures.

OP could find someone with access to auctions, I think they can look up past auctions via VIN. Find seller, buyer, and any disclosures the buyer received.

AutoUnion 12-29-2012 11:05 AM

As always, there is zero substitute for a PPI, especially since the car was not local to you.

I wish you good luck in all this crap OP. Stuff like this is exactly why I won't buy a used luxury car ever.

ard 12-29-2012 03:35 PM

From http://usedcarinspections.org/update.htm


Quote:

One industry insider, who spoke with MSNBC.com on condition of anonymity, said that while dealers typically claim to have been fooled by a clean vehicle history report when buyers come back with evidence that it was involved in a serious accident, such explanations don't wash.

"When they buy those cars at auction, they can see an overspray (indicating major body work) from a mile away," the source said. "I don't think any legitimate car dealer could stay in business if that was the extent of their knowledge."

Auto P. I. Used Car Inspections is currently working with local reporters on their stories about used car buyers purchasing wrecked vehicles with a clean Carfax report. Auto P. I. is also serving at technical advisors for Remar Sutton, President and co-founder with Ralph Nader, of the "Consumer Task Force for Automobile Issues" about Carfax and their deceptive advertising and reports.

A recent investigation identified 100 used cars in Texas with previous accident damage and/or frame damage. A Carfax report was then obtained from their web site for each of the 100 vehicles. Not one of the 100 Carfax reports showed any previous accident damage.


tribecaX5 12-29-2012 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutoUnion (Post 7277526)
As always, there is zero substitute for a PPI, especially since the car was not local to you.

I wish you good luck in all this crap OP. Stuff like this is exactly why I won't buy a used luxury car ever.

Oh man, don't ruin my day now. I just picked up a used 2011 X5 35d yesterday from a Mercedes Dealer in Virginia. But this car is just awesome. Drove it about 300 miles and loved it. It still smells new and it's under warranty.

I mean, look, not all used cars are bad. I feel bad for the OP but he should have known to always use caution when dealing with small time dealers. I think when you buy directly from big dealers such as BMW and Mercedes, you're pretty safe there buying a used car because they would not just accept garbage trade-ins.

Another thing, since the OP spent $46K on this car, the minute the dealer said that there is no warranty (assuming that this car had less than 50K miles) then that should have been a hint that there is something up with the car because any car 2009 and up with less than 50K miles should still be covered by the BMW. I'd still sue this dealer's ass.

AutoUnion 12-29-2012 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tribecaX5 (Post 7278111)

I mean, look, not all used cars are bad. I feel bad for the OP but he should have known to always use caution when dealing with small time dealers. I think when you buy directly from big dealers such as BMW and Mercedes, you're pretty safe there buying a used car because they would not just accept garbage trade-ins. .

First of all, congrats on the new car! Post pics!


But I'm not sure I agree with you 100%. I'm sure they have standards, so they don't accept every pile of crap that comes in, but there have been countless cases on here, MBworld, Audiworld, etc where the dealer CPO cars have turned out to be complete wrecks or just crap in general. They're still dealers and will screw people over for the money. The fact that a larger dealer can push large volumes of cars every month probably means that there has to be a bad apple in there somewhere. Of course, not every dealer out there is scum. :angel:

I'm secretly lusting after a used 997.2 Turbo S PDK. :)

BeamerandBimmer 12-29-2012 05:04 PM

Don't make the assumption that when you buy from a BMW or Mercedes authorized dealer that you won't get screwed. My first BMW that I purchased was a Certified Pre Owned 1997 540ia. I purchased the car from VOB BMW in Rockville, MD. As I was approaching the end of the CPO warranty I had Passport BMW inspect the car to check for anything that I need to have fixed before the end of the warranty. At this point it was pointed out to me that the car had suffered major damage from a rear end collision and was told that it should never have passed the CPO inspection. After many calls and letters to BMW they agreed to help with the trade in(diminished value). At that point BMWNA revoked VOB's ability to sell CPO cars for some time. It's a shame for VOB but good for BMW doing the right thing because I have since spent close to $500k on BMW cars and bikes.

Rickm5X3 12-29-2012 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutoUnion (Post 7277526)
Stuff like this is exactly why I won't buy a used luxury car ever.

I'm happy to see views like this. Allows guys like me to buy well-researched and documented history CPO cars like my old E39 M5 for a fraction of what a run of the mill new diesel X5 rattle trap commands. Thanks much.

Chucktown 12-29-2012 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rickm5X3 (Post 7278327)
I'm happy to see views like this. Allows guys like me to buy well-researched and documented history CPO cars like my old E39 M5 for a fraction of what a run of the mill new diesel X5 rattle trap commands. Thanks much.

Rattling right past that gas station...

Rickm5X3 12-29-2012 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chucktown (Post 7278420)
Rattling right past that gas station...

LOL, rattle-bait taken!


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:43 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms