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Old 02-05-2011, 01:30 AM   #1

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Carfax or your Dealer may be lying to you!

ConsumerWatch: ‘Certified’ Car May Not Be Accident-Free

February 4, 2011 5:53 PM
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Cars on the lot at Hiltop Toyota in Richmond

RICHMOND (CBS 5) – Buying a certified car and checking Carfax is supposed to give consumers a peace of mind. But when Angielen Pina purchased a 2009 certified Toyota Corolla she discovered the car had been in an accident.
“When I saw the car fax everything looked,” she said. But during a service visit Pina said she was told the car had been in a front end collision.
“The service guy, he was like ‘oh your bottle water for the fluid is cracked,’” she said. “’It looks like it’s been in an accident.’”
Rosemary Shahan with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety doesn’t find it surprising.
“This happens very often where consumers buy certified cars that are actually wrecks,” she said.
Still, under state law, dealers are required to disclose whether a car has been in an accident said Shahan.
“If they don’t, it’s usually considered fraud,” she said.
In Pina’s case she said the dealer said they knew nothing about the car accident until she took it back.
“They’re like ‘oh you’re right. It has been in an accident,’” Pina said.
That’s when she emailed ConsumerWatch where our producer Jessica Ayala called the dealership and was told the car passed their 160 point inspection as well as a DMV Report and Carfax.
Then the dealer questioned if Pina had gotten into an accident. We then took the car to an independent Toyota dealer who confirmed Pina’s worst fear - The car had been in an accident and four major panels were replaced. One part came directly from Marin Toyota in 2009.
“I didn’t know any of this,” Pina said. ConsumerWatch then called Hanlees Hilltop Nissan and the managers said they were not aware even though Hanlees Hilltop Toyota performed the initial 160 point inspection.
A manager at Hanlees Hilltop Toyota said a misdiagnosis is rare, but still admitted to no wrong doing. In the end they did agree to swap Pina’s car for a 2010 certified Toyota Corolla.
Experts still suggest before purchasing a new car having the vehicle inspected by a trusted technician. In Pina’s case, it’s likely that the previous owner never filed a claim, or the insurance company never reported the accident.
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:12 AM   #2
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I have been trying to tell folks that for a few years now but no one is the states cares.

Canada did a big show on them a few back and proved how its all a scam to help sell cars, as you can find other services that are always accurate but the general public has been goated into thinking carfax is the rule of the land, their word is golden. But they are in cahoots with the dealers. As they scratch each others back.

Carfax knows it takes years sometimes to get any data sent in indexed and they only index data sent to them, they do not go looking for it, compounded by that many states don’t require said data to be sent in [Ohio]

Depending on carfax when you buy a car is a false safety net.
You might as well flip a coin, youll get better odds.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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I bought a very low mileage used car about 6 or 7 years ago and asked for a CarFax when we were looking at it. Of course, it was spotless. When I went to trade it in a few years ago they gave me a ridiculously low offer and said it had been in a wreck. I told them that when I bought the car it only had a few thousand miles on it, the CarFax was clean, and I had not been in an accident. The sales manager brought out the current CarFax and it indicated that the car had been in a rear end collision that was bad enough the car had to be taken away on a flat bed. I never had any issues with the car but, needless to say, I was pissed. Buyer beware.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:33 AM   #4
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I would say that in some cases a "Certified" vehicle is nothing more than a sticker saying so. This does not surprise me at all. Whether it be the dealership saying just slap a sticker on it or the mechanic saying "I'm not checking all these 160 points", and slaps a sticker on it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:42 AM   #5
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I had a similar issue a few years back. Bought a used '02 Explorer in '03 from a Ford Dealer In Nashville, TN. I went there because I didn't like the "take it or leave it" attitude of the dealers around Fort Campbell, KY. I was told the Explorer was a dealer loaner. I was actually offered the CarFax by the dealer before even asking, got a good deal so I bought it.

Fast forward about 4 years, decided I wanted a new '07 Tahoe for the growing family. I was stationed in Virginia at the time and found a reputable dealer in Maryland. Anyway, when they were inspecting my Explorer for trade, they found paint overspray under the vehicle and replacement parts including the fender. The Chevy dealer asked me about the "accident" involving the right front fender. I told them I had never been in an accident since I owned it and even showed them the original CarFax from when I bought it. They pulled the CarFax again and lo and behold, there was a minor accident reported AFTER I had bought it but it was dated from BEFORE I bought it. Needless to say, the guy at the Chevy dealer pointed out how Ford had hosed me.

I took a little hit on what they offered me for the Explorer, but it was already paid off when I was trading for my Tahoe.

I don't think that was a CarFax issue or mistake....but definitly a shady dealer.

Agree with Apex Chase....Buyer Beware!
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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If you see the CBC special you would see it is a carfax problem, other similar services go after the info and will get a report updated within weeks, where some reason carfax won't look or ask for any info, only if you send it, will they index years later.

Mysteriously just in time to unload it and be free and clear by time anyone finds out.

Which is no mystery on why carfax is the industry standard.
All they sell a false sense of security.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #7

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Another thing about Carfax, they only show accidents in which there is a police report for. Most officers won't fill out an accident report on private property or parking lots so if it was in an accident in one of these locations, Carfax won't report it even if there is an insurance claim.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:02 AM   #8

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I sold a car I had wrecked and had repaired at a local one man garage. I was pumping gas and there it pulled up, I said, "that looks like my old car, where did you get it?" Sure enough, it was mine, I could tell by the door ding and where the hood didnt quite match up to the headlight area on the drivers side. I told the guy it was in a wreck and damaged the hood, headlight, and fender. He told me the Carfax the dealer showed him was clean. I pointed out the replacement bulb and the hood, and told him it didn't get reported to my insurance so carfax would know nothing about it. Have a nice day, lmao
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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Gee, how did we get by before CarFax?

In all seriousness, that's how you have to approach buying a used car. CarFax is an aid in determining the car's history. Do a proper pre-purchase inspection; consider the CarFax, but don't call it "case-closed" based on a CarFax or AutoCheck.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #10
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I am not useless, I can still be used as a bad example!
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