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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    173

    Default What Are Your Rights if a New Car Was Damaged Prior to Sale

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California

    I bought a "new" car from a dealership 27 months ago. I say "new" because it actually had about 40 miles on it, and the salesperson said they had gotten it from another dealership. I've always thought the passenger door's paint looked a little wavy but I could only see it under certain conditions and couldn't convince myself it was there. Yesterday I noticed the front of the door panel doesn't line up with the back of the fender. On it's own it's not terrible, but I compared it to the left side and now there's no doubt in my mind.

    So I've convinced myself now that there's probably been dealer damage to the car. According to what I could find online, in CA they would have no obligation to report damage to me unless the repairs were more than 3% of MSRP, but what if I'm unsatisfied with the repairs? Is it too late for me to do anything?

    If I go to the dealership and ask for them to tell me what if any repairs have been done to the car, are they obligated to tell me?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,646

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    27 months in and you just noticed the issue? Forget about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    I think its getting worse. Like the paint is getting wavier somehow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,078

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    Which does not change the fact that more than two years in, it is too late to take any action with regards to the dealership.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,150

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    Quote Quoting RandallCS
    View Post
    I think its getting worse. Like the paint is getting wavier somehow.
    27 months?

    Carefully and thoroughly read your factory 36 month warranty.

    Might be covered.

    Take it in and insist that it be fixed. For what you probably paid for the car, I'd be raising hell all the way up to the dealer owner and the manufacturer before I'd "forget about it."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,646

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    27 months?

    Carefully and thoroughly read your factory 36 month warranty.
    Assuming OP hasn't exceeded the ever-present mileage limitation on the warranty.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Take it in and insist that it be fixed. For what you probably paid for the car, I'd be raising hell all the way up to the dealer owner and the manufacturer before I'd "forget about it."
    It can't hurt to ask but OP should have brought this up when they bought the car. The dealer and/or manufacturer may take the stance that there was nothing wrong with the paint job and something OP did caused the issue. OP would then have to prove they didn't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    I'm only at 22k miles, and I paid extra for 5yr 50k bumper to bumper , so I'll see whats in the paperwork. I was hoping California would force them to tell me about any repairs they were aware of, and to know that going into the face-to-face.

    Nobody has ever noticed and mentioned it to me, and its really hard to see, but now that I know it's there, I think someone with really good eyes looking for mismatched panels could spot it. So I can envision a time where I go to sell the car and someone points it out to me and I don't have a clue what to say.

    It looks like they hit the mirror and the door folded a little all the way down the door panel. I would see that sometimes then not be able to find it again, then think to myself...there would be a lot more damage I must be imagining things. I realize it's been a long time; I sort of decided I didn't care because nobody can see it and it still drives real nice. I also didn't realize the dealership was allowed to fix damaged cars and sell them new without telling you. Experience is a great teacher.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,078

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    YOU'VE decided that there was damage at the dealership. You have no evidence that this is the case.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    You really need to read your warranty. It would not be uncommon for the body/paint to be excluded from coverage due to the high likelihood of damage resulting from others, or the owners, carelessness.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Is It Too Late to Do Anything About a New Car That Had Been Repaired at the Deale

    That's true. Not saying I didn't make a mistake. Just wondering if there's anything I can do about it. Thanks for the really helpful fresh perspective!!

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