On August 13, 2006 I found a what looked like a gorgeous 1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Convertible listed for auction on eBay by Hannah Import USA. The car was listed as "one of a kind, well kept, low miles"...It is Navy Blue, one owner car with a mere 59,000 miles on it. Further, the listing included an insertion of Kelly Blue Book's retail value for the car: $23,000 +.
In an effort to learn more about the car, I contacted the dealer's salesman, Shawn Yazdani, by telephone. Shawn was delightful over the phone. He described the car as being in excellent condition. I asked numerous question including whether or not the car was in anyway modified. He said that the car was completely stock except for the AMG 18" wheels.
He went on to say that he had recently driven the car and that it was a beautiful example of the E320 convertibles. He assured me that the car was every bit as perfect as the listing on eBay stated and, that I should feel completely confident in buying the car as it was being sold by a "licensed dealer" that sells more than 300 cars each month.
Persuaded by his claims, the eBay listing, and the positive eBay feedback and Hannah Import USA's stated committment to customer satisfaction, I elected to purchase the car over the phone and did so, providing Shawn with my credit card information. I later sent the balance of the amount due via a cashiers check. Total with shipping: $21,000.
Two weeks later, the car arrived in CT from Florida. It was immediately clear to me that the car was not as described by Shawn or in the eBay listing. While the paint looked good, the interior had many broken and cracked parts and had been repainted (badly) with overspray on buttons. As well, the soft-top went down but refused to go up. And, numerous other problems were immediately apparent.
The most severe of which was that the car was not safe to drive. Upon reaching 30 - 35 miles per hour the car's front end began to vibrate violently. During braking, the car would swerve from side to side. It was terrifying and very upsetting. I immediately took the car to my local repair shop for diagnosis and repair. They immediately determined that the suspension had been modified (lowered) and that the tie-rods were dangerously worn. Additionally, they noted fluid leaks and a series of other cosmetic and mechanical problems. Their prelimary estimate for repairs: $6,000.
I called Shawn Yazdani immediately and explained the situation and my extreme shock and dismay. He expressed surprise at first and then began to make excuses. I said that we would simply like to return the car. He stated that he would speak with the owner of the company. I never heard back from him. I called him repeatedly and while he was always pleasant and claimed he'd see what he could do, he never did a thing.
I next took the car to the local Mercedes Dealer for a complete diagnosis. They were stunned by the poor mechanical condition of the car and suggested it be returned to the seller. Their estimate for repairs totalled $12,000 not including other repairs that might be diagnosed following the first round of repairs.
Again, I attempted to contact Shawn Yazdani and his company's owner, Saeid Nikpour both by phone, via fax and via email. They have yet to respond.
The listing on eBay was entirely misleading and fraudulent.Inserting Kelly Blue Book's value as they did, they employed the quality standards of a nationally respected 3rd party to define the term "excellent"..According to KBB:
"Excellent" means that the vehicle looks new, is in excellent mechanical condition and needs no reconditioning. This vehicle has never had any paint or body work and is free of rust. The vehicle has a clean title history and will pass a smog and safety inspection. The engine compartment is clean, with no fluid leaks and is free of any wear or visible defects. This vehicle also has complete and verifiable service records...
Clearly, I was led to believe that the "as-is" condition of this car was Excellent as described above. It is not even close.
Shawn blatantly lied to me, selling me a car that has severe defects and requires repairs that will cost 60 rto 70% of what was paid for the car. Shawn Yazdani, Saeid Nikpour and the companies that they operate under are perpetrating fraud and, quite possibly, placing lives at risk by selling dangerous and defective cars.
Adding insult to injury, I have not yet received the title. I am stuck. I can't presently repair, sell or use the car.
Please, buyer beware. My experience of these people and companies is that they are not honorable or honest.
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