I just wanted to share my recent experience with the House of Imports in Buena Park, California. If you are considering a purchase at this dealer, new or pre-owned, I would caution that you pay close attention to the details.
I have purchased a vehicle from the House of Imports in the past, resulting in a very good experience. Unfortunately, this last experience proved to be the opposite.
The initial test drive and inspection of the vehicle was a good experience. They provided us with a vehicle history report and the clean Carfax. We didn't initially agree on the selling price, but the sales manager was very courteous and up front with us about pricing. He gave us the trade-in cost of the vehicle and the amount of money the dealer had to incur for repairs (tires, brakes, maintenance, etc). Since we didn't initially agree on the purchase price, the sales manager offered to call us back in the future when they adjust their selling price if the car does not sell. [continued below]....
..... We agreed and left the dealer satisfied.
One week later, we receive a call from the House of Imports. They counter-offered a deal which we accepted. After carefully looking at the vehicle history report and the "supposed" repairs the dealer completed on the vehicle, we requested them to include servicing the supercharger clutch bearing. They could not honor that request as they said they have already incurred over $3500 in repairs and maintenance. One of those maintenance issues included the motor mounts, as well as a brand new battery. Before completing the sale, we also requested the dealer to resolve the warning lamps noted in the dash. It mentioned a bulb/lamp faiure. The dealer said they would take care of the issue.
After taking the vehicle home and allowing it to sit in the garage for 2 days, the car did not start. It required a jump start, not only once, but every time thereafter. Since the car was purchased out of warranty, we took it to a certified independent mechanic. He found out that the battery was never replaced and that the motor mounts were not new. This has been our trusted mechanic for over 20 years, so we knew he was not pulling a fast one on us. We kept those parts to prove that these items were never replaced. We brought it to the attention of the dealer, and they said that the vehicle history report is "For internal use only." However, they used this report as part of the sales tactics to assure us the vehicle was in great mechanical condition, and as a way of telling us that they had very little margin in turning a profit due to the costs of the maintenance items.
This misrepresentation was considered fraudulent, and we should have immediately reported this to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc. However, we gave the House of Imports the opportunity to resolve the issue by reimbursing us for the cost of the repair as well as replacing what we found out to be "aftermarket" high intensity discharge headlights which caused the warning light "failure". After waiting for the dealer to resolve the issue, they did not get back to us, so we contacted Mercedes Benz of North America and informed them of their fraudulent sales tactics. MBUSA mentioned that each dealer operates independently, but advised us they will make an attempt to resolve the issue. Needless to say, the House of Imports never offered a resolution to the issue.
I just wanted to share this experience for those of you considering a purchase at the House of Imports. I'm sure others have had very good experiences with this dealer as we have in the past, but unfortunately our last experience was very disappointing. Our family, my sister, and my brother intend to purchase other MB cars in the future as we have owned about 9 between the three of us families, but never again are we going to purchase from the House of Imports in Buena Park, California.
Approximately 2 months later, with the help of Mercedes Benz, USA, we were advised the House of Imports would contact us to resolve the issue. Needless to say the House of Imports did not contact us. We advised MBUSA that we are not expecting a resolution to the issue and thanked MBUSA for attempting to resolve the issue with the House of Imports.
A few weeks later, we received a check in the amount of $600 for the "items that required replacement". However, the invoice cost of these items were more than the $600. At no time did we receive an apology or acknowledgment of their fraudulent tactics. Once the dealer discovered that we have proved their fraudulent activity, we were no longer contacted by the House of Imports. The House of Imports did not expect a customer to follow-up with a reliable outside mechanic to confirm that these repairs were done. Most customers expect that a reliable and well known dealer would not be performing this kind of fraudulent activity. The items that were stated as brand new and replaced by the dealer has been saved to prove that these items were not replaced as stated by their vehicle history report.