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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a lease-return 2012 335i convertible that I was ready to buy as a CPO car with 25K miles. The CarFax was clean and we negotiated a price.

Then I checked AutoCheck and found an accident reported. [Thanks for nothing CarFax]

I called the BMW dealer and they said they would investigate but have no record of any accidents.

If it's just a replaced rear bumper, no big deal. I'll ask them to document it and let it go. Anything more serious and I'll probably walk.

Has anyone else had a similar situation? I negotiated a price before discovering the accident. Any thoughts about negotiating diminished value?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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I negotiated a price before discovering the accident. Any thoughts about negotiating diminished value?
Diminished value is a seller's problem, not a buyer's. It is an amount added to the strictly physical damage amount of an insurance claim, to compensate for the eventual possibility that a potential buyer will react exactly as you have: By being unwilling to offer full book value for a car that has been in an accident, no matter how perfectly repaired.

As a buyer, you can't negotiate "diminished value" per se--just change your offer to what you believe the car is worth to you, knowing its accident history. The fact that you are willing to pay less is evidence of the diminished value of the car...to you. Another buyer might not care and the seller of course has the option to hold the line.

Bottom line, you are still in negotiations--so negotiate! :thumbup:
 

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Assistant Hobo
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You may be able to get an idea what occurred by looking closely at the car. Start with the door, hood, trunk and convertible top gaps. Are all the gaps even and to the standard of other cars without an accident history? Look at the fasteners for the fenders, hood, doors, trunk etc. You can tell if they have been touched by the paint condition on the fastener and affected parts. Also, look at the seam sealant and the paint condition on the sealant.

If it's a lease return CPO car and the dealer has no record of the accident I would take it to a body shop prior to purchasing it for them to look over. It's not impossible to spot a good respray but it's a lot easier for them to do it under their lights.

By the way, mine was hit before I bought it. The passenger side fender was replaced and the bumper covered resprayed. I looked it over and had a friend look at it as well. Then I took it to a body shop and they reported the same items we found. Last, I got it on a lift and we pulled the covers check the suspension bits etc.

Bought it for a little below the auction price of similar un-hit cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both of your replies. This looks like a great forum.

I have more background information now and it appears to be a replacement rear bumper cover. I'm also asking for a written confirmation from the dealer that they inspected the chassis and there is no damage.

I'll inspect it myself once it is detailed and ready to pick up. I won't sign or pay anything until that happens.

I expect to change Mein Auto by the end of the week to read: '12 335i Convert and I'll post pix as soon as they are available. :beerchug:

Dave
 

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Good luck with everything! Hopefully, all will be OK and you will have the best spring and summer since you were 18 or so :D
 

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Thanks for both of your replies. This looks like a great forum.

I have more background information now and it appears to be a replacement rear bumper cover. I'm also asking for a written confirmation from the dealer that they inspected the chassis and there is no damage.

I'll inspect it myself once it is detailed and ready to pick up. I won't sign or pay anything until that happens.

I expect to change Mein Auto by the end of the week to read: '12 335i Convert and I'll post pix as soon as they are available. :beerchug:

Dave
well that is what bumpers are for, A sacrificial piece, as long as it was an OEM bumper and no Hidden damage you should be ok to go
 

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Assistant Hobo
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Why would this AutoCheck service (I've never heard of it) have something reported over CarFax?
Not that unusual for there to be variances among the reports. There may be omissions from one or both reports. The same incident may have different descriptions and dates a year or more apart. I know of a car with a salvage title and a clean carfax. You always need to do your due diligence and look carefully at what your buying.

Carmax typically has the AutoCheck reports included in their listings. If you want to see an example that would be a good place to look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Mark and Hondo. I just need to do the paperwork today and I'll be a happy camper. :drive:

tiefblau, it seems that CarFax gets most of their information from state auto records. AutoCheck uses public records, auction records and has access to insurance information. So in this case the bumper damage did not result in a police report so there was no state record. But the insurance company paid a claim so AutoCheck was able to track it. Most states require auto body shops to report repairs over a certain dollar amount but it's not strongly enforced.

As Pest said, either service could miss important information. If the dealer provides one report I suggest going online and buying the other one.

Dave
 

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My E93 was rear-ended when it was 2 weeks old. Damage was just bumper skin but it shows up on CARFAX as an accident. Have the car inspected by an independent body shop that you trust and have them confirm the extent of the damage. This is especially critical in an E93.

They have a paint thickness tool which would indicate the amount of respray. If it was only a minor hit to the bumper skin, you should see no variation in the paint thickness on the trunk and rear fenders. Also, make sure the top operates smoothly and check for water leaks in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BostonB6, thanks for sharing your ideas. I have a call into a body shop I know to see if they will do a paid inspection.

Dave

Have the car inspected by an independent body shop that you trust and have them confirm the extent of the damage. This is especially critical in an E93.

They have a paint thickness tool which would indicate the amount of respray. If it was only a minor hit to the bumper skin, you should see no variation in the paint thickness on the trunk and rear fenders. Also, make sure the top operates smoothly and check for water leaks in the trunk.
 

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Thanks for both of your replies. This looks like a great forum.

I have more background information now and it appears to be a replacement rear bumper cover. I'm also asking for a written confirmation from the dealer that they inspected the chassis and there is no damage.

I'll inspect it myself once it is detailed and ready to pick up. I won't sign or pay anything until that happens.

I expect to change Mein Auto by the end of the week to read: '12 335i Convert and I'll post pix as soon as they are available. :beerchug:

Dave
I've been rear ended twice and the second time got the other insurance company to pay me diminished value since it was more damage. I took it to BMW to repair and it looks and runs like new ever since. They completely tore it down, put it on a special BMW jig for frame alignment, and repaired. The first times was just a bumper and trunk replacement. Didn't really affect anything else. BMW has very strict repair standards. Find out where they had it repaired. These cars are built relatively tough.
 

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my e93 was rear-ended when it was 2 weeks old. Damage was just bumper skin but it shows up on carfax as an accident. Have the car inspected by an independent body shop that you trust and have them confirm the extent of the damage. This is especially critical in an e93.they have a paint thickness tool which would indicate the amount of respray. If it was only a minor hit to the bumper skin, you should see no variation in the paint thickness on the trunk and rear fenders. Also, make sure the top operates smoothly and check for water leaks in the trunk.
+1
 

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CarFax, Auto Check, etc. get their records from public information. They also get it from people like me who own repair and/or body shops. We SELL or trade this information to the agencies. In return they give us information when we need it from other databases.
Let me make this perfectly clear:
1. What happens to your car at a repair shop or a body shop is your private information. This includes body repairs. Before a shop gives that information to anyone without a legal right to know, they must have your written permission. Is that clear?
2. If you don't want anyone to know your car had collision repairs then make sure that your information isn't given to CarFax, Auto Check, etc.
3. Insurance comapanies generally do not give information to those agencies. It is not in their best interests to do that, wouldn't you agree? The information came from the people doing the repairs.
4. Both CarFax (who I use) and Auto Check have mealy mouth CYA paragraphs in every report saying they don't know everything. Why? Because they don't. Why? Because no one is required to tell them and if I don't have a customer's permission I can't do it. If I did a customer would have recourse against me.

So caveat emptor. A CarFax or Auto Check report rarely tells the whole story, because they don't have access to the whole story.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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CarFax, Auto Check, etc. get their records from public information. They also get it from people like me who own repair and/or body shops. We SELL or trade this information to the agencies. In return they give us information when we need it from other databases.
Let me make this perfectly clear:
1. What happens to your car at a repair shop or a body shop is your private information. This includes body repairs. Before a shop gives that information to anyone without a legal right to know, they must have your written permission. Is that clear?
2. If you don't want anyone to know your car had collision repairs then make sure that your information isn't given to CarFax, Auto Check, etc.
3. Insurance comapanies generally do not give information to those agencies. It is not in their best interests to do that, wouldn't you agree? The information came from the people doing the repairs.
4. Both CarFax (who I use) and Auto Check have mealy mouth CYA paragraphs in every report saying they don't know everything. Why? Because they don't. Why? Because no one is required to tell them and if I don't have a customer's permission I can't do it. If I did a customer would have recourse against me.
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+1

In my case, the State Police gave accident info to CarFax. Not sure there's any recourse there, as I'm assuming the police report is a public record.

However, in reviewing my CarFax report, a local BMW dealer reported specific maintenance work they performed when my indy subbed some work out to them. I'd love to know why they do that without asking.
 

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Bimmerdex 7.4!
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+1

In my case, the State Police gave accident info to CarFax. Not sure there's any recourse there, as I'm assuming the police report is a public record.

However, in reviewing my CarFax report, a local BMW dealer reported specific maintenance work they performed when my indy subbed some work out to them. I'd love to know why they do that without asking.
If a car has an accident and the police respond then it's a matter of public record. What then happens to that car isn't, unless it is totaled in which case the VIN is retired.

Check with your BMW dealer about reported repairs. There is probably a sentence in very fine print on the work order on which you authorized repairs that tells you they are going to report to CarFax. If not, I assure you that MA law would support a claim against them. Whether it would be worth pursuing is another matter.

I'll bet you a beer that your SA has no idea what you are talking about or where the source of the report lies. I'd believe him. It's programmed into his work order software and requires an 'opt-out' override.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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Check with your BMW dealer about reported repairs. There is probably a sentence in very fine print on the work order on which you authorized repairs that tells you they are going to report to CarFax. If not, I assure you that MA law would support a claim against them. Whether it would be worth pursuing is another matter.
In my case, no harm / no foul. The CarFax entries from the BMW dealer were reasonably innocuous (they reported an the annual state inspection and some warranty brake work), and the person who bought my car never asked to see the CarFax. In any case, I was upfront with him about the accident, damage, and resulting repair. Now, had the BMW dealer reported that they had reset the restraint system (which they did do as well), I'd have been torqued, because a report like that may have affected the listing selling price I set.

I'll bet you a beer that your SA has no idea what you are talking about or where the source of the report lies. I'd believe him. It's programmed into his work order software and requires an 'opt-out' override.
Oh, I wouldn't take that bet on a bet. I'm sure they're clueless. However, he wouldn't be "my" CA. The indy doing some work on my car subbed the tasks out to them. They may or may not have had permission from him, but they certainly didn't from me. But, again, I can't see how the limited information they released could have done me any harm. I just don't like that they did it.

Now, if my not liking something ever becomes a valid cause for action, damn, I'm retiring soon and living large!
 

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I have a problem with the whole idea of "diminished value" when it comes to anything less than a major collision.

Cars are mechanical assemblies, not glass works of art. Frankly, BMW and Audi drivers are well known to be OCD fanatics when it comes to any damage on cars, and the discussion around this on various forums tends to bear out this reputation. It's a car. Cars get bent, they get fixed.

I don't care about fender benders or similar stuff as long as the repair has been done well. Dings and dents happen, they get fixed, go on with life. No change to the car's value as far as I'm concerned.

If the car has been in a near-total situation, I'd like to know that, but mainly so that I can have the affected areas checked by a good mechanic. Regardless, if I'm satisfied that the car is in great shape and I get the all-clear on previous repairs, I'm a buyer.

I just sold a nice Nissan Murano that was hit in the LR corner to the tune of about $6K three years ago. That paid for a new hatch, new bumper cover, misc bumper parts and a taillight, some floor pan straightening and a really nice paint job. But the alignment was fine, no suspension damage, etc. Basically a fender bender. For some reason it didn't show up on the Carfax and I didn't disclose it, because IMO it was irrelevant to the car's value.

I just bought my 2008 E91 328xi wagon, and if it had similar damage in the past, I don't care. It's tight and right and drives fantastic. I had it thoroughly inspected and found nothing that gave me concern. And since it was a six-speed manual in really nice shape, that was one helluva lot more important to me than if it's had a fender or two replaced in the past.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
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I have a problem with the whole idea of "diminished value" when it comes to anything less than a major collision.

If the car has been in a near-total situation, I'd like to know that, but mainly so that I can have the affected areas checked by a good mechanic. Regardless, if I'm satisfied that the car is in great shape and I get the all-clear on previous repairs, I'm a buyer.
I was caught from behind in a multi-car sandwich, to the tune of something North of $12,000 in repairs. The repair was done perfectly, all BMW parts, and I had 3 years and 50,000 miles of problem free driving after that. Still, I'm sure that was enough to wave off the "It will never be right again!" crowd, even through it was demonstrably fine.

But, yeah, the "putting a paint thickness tester every 6" along the body line" people do strike me as being out there a good ways.
 

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If a car has an accident and the police respond then it's a matter of public record. What then happens to that car isn't, unless it is totaled in which case the VIN is retired.

Check with your BMW dealer about reported repairs. There is probably a sentence in very fine print on the work order on which you authorized repairs that tells you they are going to report to CarFax. If not, I assure you that MA law would support a claim against them. Whether it would be worth pursuing is another matter.

I'll bet you a beer that your SA has no idea what you are talking about or where the source of the report lies. I'd believe him. It's programmed into his work order software and requires an 'opt-out' override.
At the same time in case of selling, car owner has an obligation to disclose accidents (if asked) ?
 
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