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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Buyer Beware

Just want to post a note that it happened.

My wife wanted to purchase a Pre-Certified Used E320 Mercedes with 9,000 miles in late 2004 from a MERCEDES DEALER and one of our requirements was NO PRIOR ACCIDENTS. She was assured that the reason she was buying the Certified car for TOP DOLLAR was because it was a beautiful car with NO ACCIDENTS. It came off a lease and the "dealership did all the work on it so they know". So she purchased the car ... $45,000.00

Yesterday her insurance company has inquired concerning (2) prior losses before she bought the car due to a pending unrelated diminished value claim being pursued - ( a car driven by a 16 year old backed into her car while it was parked 2009 ).

Called the body shop TODAY at the Dealership and they confirmed (2) accidents previous to her purchasing the car which were relatively minor - about $2300 repairs total in 2003-2004 ... Accident #1 (Scrape on side rear fender buffed out and brake light cover replacement) ... Accident #2 (replaced fender front, new wheel, and alignment) They're now on the CARFAX report.

Moral of this story ...........................

DON'T TRUST A DEALER when they tell you - MERCEDES or OTHERWISE the car they are trying to sell you was NEVER IN AN ACCIDENT. Don't rely on a CARFAX being accurate.

DO get a second opinion from a knowledgeable mechanic BEFORE you buy and spend lots of $$$$$$$ as to condition and any prior vehicle damage.

We are now faced with having 2 additional losses being reported on CARFAX.
We still love the car but selling it without losing 2-3 grand probably means we're keeping it till it dies, or we do, which ever comes first.

Anybody have a similar situation and what did you do about it? Thinking about a call to a lawyer.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 02:47 PM
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Date registered: May 2005
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CPO requirements are available for anybody to read.

Fixing a minor scrape usually does not disqualify the car from CPO status.

Minor scrapes are meaningless in terms of the integrity of the car. In these cases it's instead the quality of the associated repaint.

The real moral is--if you care about repairs of minor scrapes--to ask if there have been any. I suspect if you say "accident" it won't be interpreted that you care about minor scrapes.

Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
'07 GL320CDI
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
CPO requirements are available for anybody to read.

Fixing a minor scrape usually does not disqualify the car from CPO status.

Minor scrapes are meaningless in terms of the integrity of the car. In these cases it's instead the quality of the associated repaint.

The real moral is--if you care about repairs of minor scrapes--to ask if there have been any. I suspect if you say "accident" it won't be interpreted that you care about minor scrapes.



I agree about repairs of minor scrapes too. And believe me there wasn't a scratch on the car when it was purchased.

To clarify a little more, they were asked if the car was ever hit, received any body damage, etc. Not just the accident question.

Do you know ??? Does the fact that it was involved in an accident which required $1900 to fix in 2004 disqualify it from CPO status? ( Left front fender replacement, wheel replacement, alignment?) I just read in another thread the answer is yes. No collisions of any kind?

Thanks.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 04:24 PM
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And why exactly didn't you get an independent pre-purchase inspection done on the vehicle before you purchased it? This would have caught the damage.
I hope that this is an old story.... because $45k for an 04 E320 is WAY, WAY overpriced.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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And why exactly didn't you get an independent pre-purchase inspection done on the vehicle before you purchased it? This would have caught the damage.
I hope that this is an old story.... because $45k for an 04 E320 is WAY, WAY overpriced.


If you read, it was in 2004 and car had 9000 miles on it.

And no, our trust in the Dealership wasn't enough.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 05:37 PM
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Wait a minute.
From what I understand CPO guarantee the car with no accident.
Since the reports surfaced later, the dealer has obligation to take the car back?
Than we are talking 2004 car purchase and report surfacing in 2010?
What am I missing?
I agree with OP, that after paying few thousand for CPO guarantee -hiring independent inspection on pretty new car is overkill.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 06:16 PM
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I also thought CPO means no body damage, other than possibly paintless dent removal. I agree that if the MB CPO inspection is done properly and above board, you should not need a 2nd opinion.

As far as CarFax, I bought a used MB from a dealer that had a clean report. I discovered later that it had been in a front end collision with hood and fender damage. There are too many body shops not reporting to CF so those are not trustworthy.

Unfortunately in your case it has been too long to legally go after that dealer. Yes they were dishonest with you but your likelihood of any financial restitution is somewhere between slim and none. I think you'd be throwing good money after bad.

Mercedes Benz - Das beste oder nichts!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Musikmann View Post
I think you'd be throwing good money after bad.
Love the expression
But from what I got the OP didn't even talk to the selling dealer about the issue?
I would at least expect a coupon towards another CPS, or free service for a life.
Is the Internet rant the first thing that pops into mind?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
Love the expression
But from what I got the OP didn't even talk to the selling dealer about the issue? I would at least expect a coupon towards another CPS, or free service for a life. Is the Internet rant the first thing that pops into mind?
Thank you Kajtek1, it is a common one around here and I like it too. From what I read you are correct. The place I would start is with the selling dealer. If the OP is polite, but firm and to the point, they are likely to make some sort of amends. He might even get a free capuccino and a car wash! Free service for life would be nice but I think only in the dreams!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 06:54 PM
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If you read, it was in 2004 and car had 9000 miles on it.

And no, our trust in the Dealership wasn't enough.
Ok, I thought you were saying that you purchased a 2004 E320. This makes a little bit more sense now.

But, then the question of why this took 6 YEARS to discover comes into play. If you had just purchased this car last week then you might have some type of a case, but 6 years ago? The dealer is going to laugh in your face and tell you to get off their property. I would check the statute of limitations before wasting a lawyers time. You may be over by at least one year and have absolutely no case. Any and every used car should be checked by an independent source before being purchased. I have seen cases of brand new cars being severely damaged (like dropped off the car carrier) in transport and then being partly repainted/major parts replaced and sold as 100% new. I've also seen demo cars that have gotten into severe accidents, repaired using internal dealership funds with an in-house body shop, and then resold as 'New' or CPO. This type of stuff never ends up on any VIN report and most buyers never check the car out. Bottom line, check the car before you purchase it and don't wait 6 years!
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