I recently purchased a 2003 BMW 5 series from Autos Direct Online because the car appeared to be in excellent cosmetic condition and had low mileage.
Before I was able to test drive the vehicle, the car wouldnt start because the battery was dead. This is understandable if the
vehicle has been sitting for a while. After someone from the dealership jump started the car, during the test drive, I noticed the ride became very bumpy at highway speeds (55-65 mph). I was concerned that this might be a mechanical
problem, but the dealer, Juan, insisted that the tires just needed to be balanced. He said that the battery would definitely need to be replaced too, because he didnt want me to become stranded when I drove car back home and he would pay for both services. I asked what kind of battery he would use, because I prefer OEM parts as opposed to aftermarket ones. He said that he would supply a battery that fits, one from Advance Auto Parts, for example, because A battery is a battery, whether its Duracell or Energizer. Because he offered to fix these two issues, I decided to go ahead and purchase the vehicle.
At that point, I tried to negotiate the price, but he said, Cmon, we are throwing in a new battery and tire balancing for free and that he only made like $2000 per car. I still accepted the offer and drove the car home a few hundred miles with no problems.
A few days later, the car wouldnt start; the battery was completely dead. I opened the trunk to check the battery and was surprised to find the white, Exide OEM BMW battery. At this point, I thought, maybe there was a misunderstanding and maybe the dealer or mechanic forgot to replace the battery. I contacted the dealer via email and called him the next day. He said he would reply to my email later that day and look into this. That email never came.
I tried calling him, but he wouldnt answer my calls or voicemails. He wouldnt respond to my second email, with photographic evidence showing the original battery and the reading that it was bad. I even tried contacted Autos Direct Online through their online chat feature. As soon as I brought up the issue I was having, the representative with whom I was chatting with did not respond.
I would also like to add that their website is filled with inaccurate statements. For example, their About Us page says all their vehicles are stored in a climate-controlled and secure 10,000 square-foot warehouse until sold. This is completely false; I found all their vehicles in an outdoor parking lot covered under half a foot of snow. The website claims that they
include an accurate, forthright representation of that particular vehicle in our descriptions, including any defects or flaws. The car I purchased had a defective trunk latch (unable to open trunk from inside the vehicle or using the key
fob). It says all their vehicles are inspected by an independent, certified technician. If this were true, then the technician did not run a battery test or certainly would have caught this issue before the car were sold. Finally, the website states that all vehicles are driven by Autos Direct Online as a quality control measure. Either no one bothered to test drive the vehicle on
the highway or the standards for test driving the vehicle dont include highway speeds.
The bottom line is that this is a dishonest dealer that only cares about profit margin (he said it himself when he said they only make like $2000 per car). There were multiple instances in which the dealer assured me that the battery had been replaced, but he cannot even confirm this with a work order or invoice, and in addition, refuses to respond to my inquiries. I know
the dealership is probably going to respond with a statement saying something along the lines of we satisfy X amount of customers per month and cant satisfy everyone. This does not excuse them from mistreating a few select customers. I
can understand quirks of buying a used vehicle (the dealer said Youre getting a used car, bro, in response to me having to replace the wiper blades), but when the dealer flat out lies in front of my face, this is truly unacceptable.
I dont know any kind of business where this would be an acceptable business practice.
P.S. It took them almost four weeks to mail me the title to the vehicle, which was barely enough time to register it in my state before the temporary plate expired.