My new car was punched! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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My new car was punched!


This is a long story, so I'll keep it really short.

Bought a new 2007 CLK63 AMG at the end of June 2008. After 6 months I discovered that the car had been "punched" in January 2008 and so the car warranty was already 6 months old when I bought the car. The dealer "can't" reset the warranty to my purchase date, so has given me a "Base CPO Warranty" to cover me for the final 6 months (and the promise that they will cover warranty items in the 6 month period as needed). They admit that the sales people should have told me, but otherwise have done nothing.


1. Is it normal/legal for cars to be "punched"? - seems it's got something to do with manufacturer incentives.
2. Does anyone know what the Base CPO Warranty does NOT cover?
3. Anyone else had a similar problem that got resolved somehow?

I'm going to visit the dealership owner tomorrow to grade him an "D" on sales and service (I won't go into the long long list of things I've had to have fixed on this vehicle).

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 10:33 PM
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Hi, Simon.

I've not heard of that, I wonder if it was part of a sale that fell through before the car was titled or something moronic like that.

At any rate I'd ask for the contact information for the regional rep and discuss the various issues with him/her, including your dissatisfaction with the service at the dealer.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

Take care and enjoy the ride,

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Update after dealer visit

Well, I sat down with the owner of the dealership (nice office) and it was all very cordial but ultimately acheived very little (other than an offer to arrange a visit to the AMG factory next time I'm in Germany).

There was a vague promise of trying to find a replacement vehicle, but since the CLK63 is not longer in production, that gets less feasible as time goes by. In addition, my vehicle becomes less attractive to the dealer for a 'recall' because the miles keep on climbing on it (I'm at 10,000 miles now).

All round, this should be a lesson for all of us. If you're purchasing a vehicle that is purported to be "new" but is not a current year model, you should demand to see the vehicle history and ensure that the vehicle was not returned by a previous owner or, as in my case, was "punched" in order to improve the reportable sales figures and gain revenue for the dealership.

By the way, I think I know how "punching" works (just in case someone else encounters this)... It would appear that there are factory incentives for dealerships to sell some particular models. Given that the dealership owns the vehicles that it sells, it's not hard for that dealership to mark the car as "sold" without actually having to process any DMV records (I did a CarFAX check on my vehicle and can confirm that I was the 'first' owner). This would mean that the MB dealership would receive a check for their 'sale' - the only downside is that the warranty on the vehicle needs to be started at the time of the 'sale', including kicking off the service clock in the vehicle itself - which is how I got to find out about this situation. According to the dealership owner, the sales people are supposed to inform a prospective buyer of this fact but of course (as was my case) they did not because that might endanger the sale (I would not have bought this vehicle if I had known). So if anyone knows how much a dealer incentive in this sort of situation might be (for a CLK63), that would be interesting.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 12:20 PM
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That's what Lawyers are for.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 02:01 PM
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They do that a lot over here to get volume bonuses for selling x-hundreds of cars. In our case though, the cars are registered to the dealer and registration plates issued by our equivalent of the DMV. That way you know that the car is 'pre-registered' and negotiate the relevent discount.

I'm sorry you're having hassle with the car, hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 02:40 PM
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Given that the dealership owns the vehicles that it sells
This is RARELY true. New Car dealers almost NEVER own the vehicles that they sell. They are financed on what is called the "floor policy". For most dealerships, it is not feasible to tie up in excess of $1-5 million in vehicles. When the end of the model year comes and they are unable to sell certain vehicles, the dealer will often "purchase" the said vehicle(s) off of their floor policy and continue to offer the vehicle(s) for sale as a new vehicle. The vehicle(s) show up in the computer system with Mercedes as being sold, thus the warranty starts. This is a way dealers pump up their sales numbers. Purchasing a 'leftover' 07 nearly half way though 08 should have been a big red flag. You missed that one. If a dealer has a car for nearly 6 months after the end of the model year, that means it was an undesirable/overpriced vehicle and they are almost all of these cars are owned by the dealer selling it. It sounds like you didn't read your paperwork before you signed for the car. I'm sure its clearly stated in the paperwork that the warranty started on XX/XX and ends on XX/XX. Anything the dealer can do for you is simply good will. They don't owe you anything.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:06 PM
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I don't know if I had a "Base CPO Warranty" but I bought my E320 as a CPO, paid to extend it from 12/100000 (probably what they are calling base) to 24/100,000. and the warranty covered everything I needed. The only thing I discovered it did not cover (new car warranty at least used to) was if you break down over XX miles from home paying for food and lodging while your car is in the shop.

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