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Discussion Starter #1
I'd rather not get into details but if anyone could refer me to a lawyer regarding crash structure damage that occurred prior to the purchase of a used car, please PM me.

I'm not sure what my rights are since it's used so I need some advise. Thanks!
 

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Uh Oh. That blows.
 

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Sorry to hear that. :( How did you find the damage, and how bad is it?

IANAL, but I'm guessing that the dealers will point to the "as is" clause, and unless you have any way to prove that the damage was pre-existing to your sale, it may be a tough case.

Have you also filed a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair? A shady backyard mechanic shop held my '95 z28 camaro hostage back when I was in college (they quoted me $x, told me it would cost $x+$2400 when I arrived to pick it up). I filed a complaint with the BAR, and 3 days later I had my car back for the original quoted amount.

Please do keep us in the loop!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sorry to hear that. :( How did you find the damage, and how bad is it?

IANAL, but I'm guessing that the dealers will point to the "as is" clause, and unless you have any way to prove that the damage was pre-existing to your sale, it may be a tough case.

Have you also filed a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair? A shady backyard mechanic shop held my '95 z28 camaro hostage back when I was in college (they quoted me $x, told me it would cost $x+$2400 when I arrived to pick it up). I filed a complaint with the BAR, and 3 days later I had my car back for the original quoted amount.

Please do keep us in the loop!

Damage was found hidden and only apparent after a fender was removed. Of course the dealership is claiming that I did the damage after I bought the car since the carfax report was clean. Damage is bad enough to the point where I've been told that the car isn't safe for the road......
 

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Did the dealer claiming you did it carry out a pre-purchase inspection inspection before you bought it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did the dealer claiming you did it carry out a pre-purchase inspection inspection before you bought it?
Yes they are hiding behind the fact that they did a safety inspection and that the CarFax came up clean. All I have to say is don't take CarFax as being 100% accurate. They are only able to get their info from the DMV (I mean really, how else can they get accident reports). If someone takes their car to a body shop and pays cash for the repairs it will never show up. If the frame is straight, the brakes are in working condition and the tires have tread, I'm sure that the dealership doesn't make any additional attempt to look for problems. My only recourse might be to go after the original owner who traded the car in because he did so under false pretenses.
 

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Yes they are hiding behind the fact that they did a safety inspection and that the CarFax came up clean. All I have to say is don't take CarFax as being 100% accurate. They are only able to get their info from the DMV (I mean really, how else can they get accident reports). If someone takes their car to a body shop and pays cash for the repairs it will never show up. If the frame is straight, the brakes are in working condition and the tires have tread, I'm sure that the dealership doesn't make any additional attempt to look for problems. My only recourse might be to go after the original owner who traded the car in because he did so under false pretenses.
Thats not gonna work because dealers inspect the trade in themselves and dont ask about damage so the previous owner cant be held liable. It would be on the dealer to find the damage before taking it in.
 

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Yes they are hiding behind the fact that they did a safety inspection and that the CarFax came up clean. All I have to say is don't take CarFax as being 100% accurate. They are only able to get their info from the DMV (I mean really, how else can they get accident reports). If someone takes their car to a body shop and pays cash for the repairs it will never show up. If the frame is straight, the brakes are in working condition and the tires have tread, I'm sure that the dealership doesn't make any additional attempt to look for problems. My only recourse might be to go after the original owner who traded the car in because he did so under false pretenses.
Hard for them to admit they missed a potentially major safety issue in their safety inspection :rolleyes:
I suspect you cannot go after the original owner as the dealer inspection should have moved the liability to the dealer (as ItsThaMonsta suggests). I'm not familiar with legalities of US trade practices but I suspect your action is going to be against the dealer for selling a faulty vehicle. Sorry can't help further :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah there's more to it that I remember now. It's going to be hard for them to stick behind their "safety inspection". I had to call them back the next day to inform them that one of the headlights was burned out and that the 2 back tires were at the wear marks. They of course resolved both but those are 2 things that were missed on their safety inspection.....
 

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Yeah there's more to it that I remember now. It's going to be hard for them to stick behind their "safety inspection". I had to call them back the next day to inform them that one of the headlights was burned out and that the 2 back tires were at the wear marks. They of course resolved both but those are 2 things that were missed on their safety inspection.....
A good lawyer will know this, but there is a Lemon law in Cali for just this issue as this used to happen A LOT with used car dealers. Good luck.

Darin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So here's an update: It was my Lotus that was damaged and I just to play it safe (for possible legal reasons), I stated otherwise.

At any rate, the car was in a significant front end collision prior to my purchasing the vehicle. Either the owner paid cash for the repair, they didn't file the paperwork they should have with the DMV or it didn't get into the DMVs system. CarFax came up clean and this is why I've said, don't take CarFax for being 100% accurate. Porsche/Audi of Downtown Los Angeles refused to take full responsibility for the condition of the car that they sold me. I provided them will more then enough info to prove that the car wasn't in an accident after I purchased it. They gave me the run around for close to 3 weeks before agreeing to buying a crash structure for me. I had the chance to get a lawyer but at this point I just want my car back. All I can say is I don't recommend buying a car from Porsche/Audi of Downtown LA. The safety inspection that should have caught this didn't and it missed several other things that I spotted at time of purchase (ie bald rear tires and a burned out headlight).

The repair work that was done was just enough to make it look as if nothing ever happened. The front in collision that I got into in April cause the clam to crack in the same location as the repair. Another reason why I preach that clams should be replaced and not repaired. Remember, the clams are injection molded and aren't your typical fiberglass part. Unless your body shop can cut the cracked portion off, please don't have it patched. The cracks will eventually walk at some point and you'll be right back where you started. The clam, as delicate as it is, will absorb some of the impact of a front end collision with the remainder of it being absorbed by the crash structure. This brings me to my second point: Do not ever repair the crash structure, have it replaced if it's damaged. Lotus says the same thing. The integrity of the crash structure is a vital part of what little safety we have in these cars. When the integrity of that part is compromised, you're gambling with your own safety.

So how could this damage have been caught? Well knowing what I do know, in my case it would have been visible by simpling looking in the front grill. I think that this is something more people should do when buying one of these cars. It take 2 seconds to do and could save you the headache that I went through.

There were some other telltale sign, that after being on LT for close to 7 months, that should have made me think. Any future owners:

1) if any of the front grill work isn't stock, question why. If there aren't any visible mount points and it looks like it's been done from the inside, the clam as been off. Ask why. There might be a reason but please ask.

2) If there's a portion of starshield missing, ask why. The starshield on the lower portion of my bumper wasn't there. I didn't realize that there should have been until several months later

3) look under the car. The clam has 2 bolts connecting it to the under tray. If those mount points on the clam are cracked or missing, ask why

4) take a look at the fitting of the clam in relationship to the fenders and the doors. The body shop immediately noticed that it wasn't lined up properly. Yes, it won't always be perfect because these cars are hand built, but if something stands out. You guessed it, ask why.

Now, these might only apply to me in my case but these are things to think of. It's take a lot for me to swallow my pride to admit that I missed some red flags because I didn't know enough about these cars. If 1 person learns from this and doesn't buy a car from a shady dealership/private party, then it's been worth it.

Anyone have anything to add (good or bad, my ego can take it at this point). At some point, I'll link this to the used car buying thread but I want to get some pictures up so that others know what I'm talking about.
 
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