Because I could fill several pages regarding my recent car purchase from this dealer, I will do my best to give you the most important bullet points/summary of experience. I was contacted via my autotrader site search regarding a specific model of car I have been looking for, for many, many months. The actual vehicle I was looking for had been sold while I was starting my research BUT I was told they had another one in stock, just in a different color. I looked at the dealer's site, the car's pictures, and started emailing the sales manager, Tom.
After several emails back and forth, I made him an offer. This offer was also based on the fact that his statement showed that this particular car had in fact undergone a "122 point vehicle inspection" and that they "don't sell crap here". I have all the emails to back up my statements. I asked for a Car Fax because I am located at over a 4 hour drive from their location. After looking at all the FACTS and statements from this sales person, I closed my business down on a Monday, grabbed my wife and headed out. When we arrived at the lot, I wanted to turn around.
As someone who expects more from myself because of the type of business I own, and the fact I was going to purchase a luxury vehicle, I should have seen the writing on the wall... However, we had given up a lot for the day and we might as well take a look. The car was brought around and the first thing that was noticed was missing fog lights and a trim piece on the bumper. When I asked about these items, I was told they "were stolen the night before from our other lot in Burien". While I thought this might be a little far fetched, given the neighborhood I was standing in, all things might have been possible.
Not knowing what these parts cost for this type of vehicle, I called an actual dealer in my home area for the cost to replace and was told "around $300.00". We then took a test drive. On top of the brakes grinding (we were told the brakes, rotors, and tie rods had been replaced and that the grinding was from "special lube they put on" after replacing these types of items). The temp. sensor did not work, the cup holders were broken, there were some minor rips in the leather, the airbag light was on, the check engine light was on (the on site mechanic said "Oh, it's just an O2 sensor"), the front passenger seat did not work properly (the seat lifts up and to the side when you try to simply move it forward using the electric button), the front passenger sun visor had been ripped off (there were fragments sticking out of the headliner), the car shook when reaching 45 miles per hour, the cig. lighter did not work, and the pixels on the radio were out.
Given all of this, and the fact that we were still negotiating, I asked the mechanic what it would take to fix everything. He stated "on top of needing a general tune up, not much more than $1,500.00". Now, most all of you reading this would say "Run buddy, run!!!". All I can say is that prob. because I had owned this type of vehicle in the past for over 8 years, I KNOW that they do require some maint. The car LOOKED fantastic. No major scratches or dents. The paint shone!! I figured, after negotiating the price down the $1500.00 to fix all the major stuff, the rest I could handle a little at a time. BOY, was I WRONG!!! We walked away "kinda happy".
The first thing I noticed while making the 4 1/2 hour trip home was that the headlights were not lighting the road properly. I had to drive home with the BRIGHTS on to see! And yes, the car shook like a banshee. My thoughts were to take it into my mechanic (who kept my other baby in good health) the next day. Next day comes, I start the car. It sounded like the motor was going to come off the housing and shoot straight up through the garage roof! I shut it off, took a look under the hood and noticed OIL EVERYWHERE!! I did what I could, which was nothing, and managed to limp it to the mechanic.
After he went through the car, for almost 2 days, he comes back with a laundry list of problems. $1500 would get maybe half done. While I won't list all the problems here (on top of the ones already listed) it's time to tell how the dealer reacted. They didn't!!! I got ONE phone call back from one of the sales guys who's only involvement was going on the test drive while the person I had been dealing with stayed back at the dealership to get the paperwork going. He (part time sales guy) acted as if my problems I had emailed and left messages about, during the prior week, was a surprise. He said they would do everything in their power to make me happy. They have done absolutely nothing!
I was told by this guy that the "owner is a family man" and that he would never let this kind of thing happen to one of his customers. It sounds to me that this is a common statement to make people feel better about getting screwed! When my CERTIFIED mechanic comes back with things like "There is a new front end on this car because it has been wrecked", and "It appears that this vehicle MAY have been involved in a flood", that says I HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF! I don't know why Carfax did not report these issues but the report did come from the salesman... I did not do my own Carfax report, so who knows.
The thing that REALLY concerns me and should concern you as a consumer?... My mechanic says that the bushings are bad and that is one reason the car shakes. The rotors were never replaced and the tie rods are shot. He says you might want to also look into new tires. I asked the sales guy about the tires but never got a reply. When I took the car to Les Schwab, the tire guy comes in where I was sitting and asks me to follow him. He shows me the tires. EVERY tire was split on the inside of the tire!!! What would have happened if one or all would have blown while going 70 miles per hour on the drive home after I purchased it??
Also, one of the actual wheels was bent when he put it on his machine to check for balance issues. The other thing I hate myself for, is, I realized later that there were no pictures of the FRONT of the car. They took the pictures to include every shot BUT the exact front end of the vehicle. Pretty sneaky.... On top of stating things on their site about this car like "back up sensors" and there is not one sensor on the car, it is no surprise I got shafted on this deal. Yes, all of this, 100%, is MY fault for trusting another human being and taking them for their word. I do this again and again in life but I just can't see going around hating everyone and everything. If all of this would have ended with me even spending $2K to get the worst fixed, I would have been ok.
Not real happy, but ok. And, I would not even think of needing to go to this type of extreme. But, I have spent almost $4K total and we still need about $1800 done to get it to the point where it's even re-sell able. However, I can't imagine how the heck ANYONE would want to purchase this vehicle with it's hidden history. There is absolutely no way I could feel comfortable handing this problem off to someone like it happened to me. Even if it's all fixed. Who wants to mess with a car that has been wrecked and possibly flooded? When you see this dealers ad's, PLEASE for the LOVE OF GOD, RUN!! Don't walk friends, simply RUN with all your might!!