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  • avatar igozoomzoom 01/15/11 8:24 pm PST

    Most states require new car dealers to disclose any damages that have been repaired before the sales transaction takes place. What state do you live in? And is the dealer also in the same state?

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  • igozoomzoom 01/15/11 8:24 pm PST

    Most states require new car dealers to disclose any damages that have been repaired before the sales transaction takes place. What state do you live in? And is the dealer also in the same state?

  • Stever@Edmunds 01/15/11 10:17 pm PST

    My understanding is that many states do not require a dealer to disclose damage done to a new car prior to sale, unless perhaps it exceeds a certain dollar amount. Some manufacturers have their own policy about how much damage can be repaired without notice to the consumer.

    I'd check with your local attorney general's office or consumer protection agency.

    There's a famous Alabama case on this - BMW v Gore.

  • samsweet 01/15/11 10:45 pm PST

    I want to add to my question that I live in San Diego, CA. and the car that I am speaking about is a 2009 MazdaSpeed3.

  • igozoomzoom 01/16/11 4:47 am PST

    First of all, was the damage repaired before you bought the car limited to just the rear bumper?

    If you rear ended in your recent accident and the rear bumper was damaged at all, the proper procedure would be to replace the rear bumper cover (at minimum). The bumper cover is the part you see of the rear bumper, starting behind the rear wheel, extending across the back of the car around the the back edge of the wheel well on the other side. Damaged bumper covers can't be properly repaired, so I would demand replacement!

    There are two main parts underneath the bumper cover that may have also been damaged. The 'Reinforcement' is actually the part that is bolted onto the car and supports the bumper structure. In between the 'Reinforcement' and Bumper Cover is a part called the 'Energy Absorber'. Depending on the speed and angle of the hit, any or all of these components may be damaged and require replacement.

    A new bumper cover lists for about $404, Energy Absorber is $118 and Reinforcement is $201, for Genuine Mazda Parts. The bumper cover has to be painted to match the vehicle.

    I would contact the General Manager (usually the top-level manager at the dealership) and let him know the situation. Explain that you were NOT pleased to learn that your car had been damaged prior to being sold to you, but it was not disclosed. You spent $23-25k+ on a car and you were purchasing a brand new car in brand new condition. Between the at-fault driver's insurance company and the body shop at his dealership, you expect the problem to be corrected when you pick it up from the shop!

    Be sure to tell him that his own body shop employee as well as another body shop professional has verified that there was prior damage to the vehicle. If you get no response, tell them you will be contacting an attorney to explore your legal options.

    I hope this helps! Good luck! BTW, after this is over, don't EVER go back to that dealership again!!! I love my Mazda ('06 Mazda6 5-door) but I have had several bad experiences with Mazda dealers....

  • ramit1 01/16/11 8:55 am PST

    Your car may have been repaired before it even got to the dealership, If they are damaged in transport than they are usually repaired and painted before delivery to the dealer, the dealer should know of the repairs. Ethically they should tell you especially if you confront them but do they really want to tell you your "new" car was repaired? Would you have bought it or wanted another "new" one?

  • samsweet 01/17/11 9:07 am PST

    Thank you Igozoomzoom and ramit1 for your responses. Once I found out that damage had been done previous to my purchase I went directly to the New Car Manager (which when I bought the car had a very bad experience with and that was before I bought the car which I should have known then that was not the dealer to buy a car from). Both the assistant manager and new car manager looked at the car and said that they have seen enough cars to know that thier was no previous damage to the car. Which they then called the man who gave me the estimate and told me it had been damaged before. He didn't give them the answer they wanted so they called the Body Shop manager over to look at the car. He said he couldn't say for sure one way or the other whether it had been damaged before or not. The estimate I recieved from the dealer does have them replacing the bumper cover and the lower valance which is unique to the Mazdaspeed3. But the main issue I have is what other damage could have occured when the bumper was damaged. They checked thier records by the VIN and found no previous damage had been done before they recieved the car. All in all, the whole experience was so negative and I don't believe a single word that came out of any of thier mouths except the original body shop man that gave me the estimate and told me of the previous damage. I now have Mazda corporate customer care involved to look into the matter and am waiting for the division manager to call me so he can look at the car. The main feeling I get is he will lie thru his teeth just as much as the other two managers did. The fact that I got another estimate done and they also said that thier was previous damage done and showed me why is enough for me to know that for a fact the car had been damaged in route from Japan or the dealer is lieing thru there teeth about the matter.
    I will let you know of the outcome but I feel a fight coming on that will be not be pretty for them. I will not allow them to take me for a foul!!!!!

  • isellhondas 01/17/11 12:33 pm PST

    it's very possible the damage was fixed at the Port of Entry. Happens all of the time.

    I guess my question is, if the second body shop fixes everything properly, what difference would it possibly make?

    It couldn't have been TOO bad or you would have noticed something. Also know that Body shops have a tendency to knock the work done by others.

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