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Old 06-12-2020, 11:19 AM   #1
clyde
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WWYD?

I know what I'm going to do, but what would you do?

Used car is listed on a dealer website with 36,792 miles. All the Carvana/Autotrader sites list it with the same 36,792 figure.

Most recent Carfax report entry shows the car being offered for sale by that dealer with 36,792 miles.

Dealer sends you photos showing 26,793 miles on odometer.
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyde View Post
I know what I'm going to do, but what would you do?

Used car is listed on a dealer website with 36,792 miles. All the Carvana/Autotrader sites list it with the same 36,792 figure.

Most recent Carfax report entry shows the car being offered for sale by that dealer with 36,792 miles.

Dealer sends you photos showing 26,793 miles on odometer.
Well, someone probably fat-fingered the initial entry and nobody bothered to double-check. I'd ask to confirm the car+VIN perhaps.

The question is, are there entries in the history of the car above 27k miles?
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
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I'd probably be an honest shmo and mention it. You'd think they'd have some controls built into their processes to prevent that from going all the way through to the sale anyway.
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:33 AM   #4
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I'd probably be an honest shmo and mention it. You'd think they'd have some controls built into their processes to prevent that from going all the way through to the sale anyway.
Agreed.
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC View Post
Well, someone probably fat-fingered the initial entry and nobody bothered to double-check. I'd ask to confirm the car+VIN perhaps.

The question is, are there entries in the history of the car above 27k miles?
Yes, fat-fingering sounds likely.

I'm not sure what clyde is asking, exactly--is the question "does the dealer think the car has 10K more miles than it does and the price is therefore too low, and should I mention it?"

I would think that the pain in the ass of having an inaccurate Carfax will be worth a lot more than whatever discount you get. I would note to them that as part of the transaction you want them to make sure that the Carfax is corrected. If they come back and say "we need to charge more for the car," I'd remind them of what the advertised price is and try and get them to honor it.

Unless it was a really unique car, if they were a pain in the ass about any of that I'd walk, because who has the time for this shit.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC View Post
someone probably fat-fingered the initial entry
Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
Yes, fat-fingering sounds likely.
I am as close to certain as I possibly can be that it was an innocent fat finger with absolutely no ill intent.

Quote:
I'm not sure what clyde is asking, exactly
The question I'm asking boils down to, "Everything else being equal, pursue it or walk?"

A used Camaro listed at a dealer yesterday that looked potentially promising. The odometer issue came up during a couple emails last night. A photo they sent me last night to show me something I asked about also happened to show 26,793 miles on the odometer. Everything I'd seen to that point suggested 36k miles (website, ads, Carfax).

Again, I'm pretty sure the 36k was a typo, but assuming the mistake happened on the odometer declaration and/or title transfer and makes its way to everything else...how does that get fixed? Can it get fixed?

When I realized what was going on, this scenario played out in my head over the next second and a half:
  • I buy the car in FL
  • all the paperwork to sell/purchase/title show the higher mileage
  • I bring the car for MD inspection
  • inspection report includes odometer mileage (9k less than the paperwork)
  • engine blows up on the way home
  • tow to local Chevy dealer for warranty work
  • Chevy says, "Ha ha!" in a Nelson voice, "Your odometer shows 9k miles less than when you bought it from a Chevy dealer last week. Nope! $20k for a new motor or have a nice day!"
  • Get letter from MD MVA "your application for title was rejected for odometer fraud - you may reapply with 'odometer does not represent actual mileage' box checked"
  • I say, "fuck this" and list car for sale
  • Every buyer that visits asks me why the Carfax report flags the car for odometer fraud, listens to my story, says, "Uh-huh. let me think about" and I never hear from them again
  • Carvana won't give me an offer because the mileage discrepancy
  • Carmax and other dealers offer 50% of what they would otherwise...if they make offers at all
  • I buy a cheap POS to drive every day and mod the fuck out of the car

Even if the mileage issue wasn't there, I knew I didn't want the car. No PDR, mileage over 18k, car sits 950 miles away, not a preferred color, and limo tint I'd need to remove. Any of those things are fine, maybe even a couple at the right price, but not all of them.

The odometer issue seemed like an interesting mental exercise, so I was interested in the thoughts of others here.

I also talked to a buddy this morning that worked at Carfax for a number of years managing dealer relationship to get his thoughts. Sounded like the dealer can fix the upfront part with Carfax pretty easily, but it would be a royal PITA for the consumer to do it.

The bigger question is which mileage figure was recorded on the forms sent to the state. The info we have suggests it's all incorrect, but that's not necessarily so. If all the info the state has/gets is correct, then that part will be fine and if the dealer fixes the initial incorrect entry with Carfax, that will be fine, too. There should not be any future issues.

If the wrong info went to the state, it gets a lot more complicated. The dealer may get the initial error fixed in Carfax, but since the state has the wrong info, that may work its way back into Carfax at a future date. That's in addition to potentially causing actual title issues, which, in turn, would also go into Carfax. Once that gets into Carfax, game over.

If it was the right car otherwise, would it be worth the chance it's fixable? Would it be worth it at a significant discount? If so, how much would it take?

Or is it just hard pass no matter what?

My buddy's implied recommendation was to run away unless the dealer can show that everything with both the state and Carfax are correct.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyde View Post
I am as close to certain as I possibly can be that it was an innocent fat finger with absolutely no ill intent.



The question I'm asking boils down to, "Everything else being equal, pursue it or walk?"

A used Camaro listed at a dealer yesterday that looked potentially promising. The odometer issue came up during a couple emails last night. A photo they sent me last night to show me something I asked about also happened to show 26,793 miles on the odometer. Everything I'd seen to that point suggested 36k miles (website, ads, Carfax).

Again, I'm pretty sure the 36k was a typo, but assuming the mistake happened on the odometer declaration and/or title transfer and makes its way to everything else...how does that get fixed? Can it get fixed?

When I realized what was going on, this scenario played out in my head over the next second and a half:
  • I buy the car in FL
  • all the paperwork to sell/purchase/title show the higher mileage
  • I bring the car for MD inspection
  • inspection report includes odometer mileage (9k less than the paperwork)
  • engine blows up on the way home
  • tow to local Chevy dealer for warranty work
  • Chevy says, "Ha ha!" in a Nelson voice, "Your odometer shows 9k miles less than when you bought it from a Chevy dealer last week. Nope! $20k for a new motor or have a nice day!"
  • Get letter from MD MVA "your application for title was rejected for odometer fraud - you may reapply with 'odometer does not represent actual mileage' box checked"
  • I say, "fuck this" and list car for sale
  • Every buyer that visits asks me why the Carfax report flags the car for odometer fraud, listens to my story, says, "Uh-huh. let me think about" and I never hear from them again
  • Carvana won't give me an offer because the mileage discrepancy
  • Carmax and other dealers offer 50% of what they would otherwise...if they make offers at all
  • I buy a cheap POS to drive every day and mod the fuck out of the car

Even if the mileage issue wasn't there, I knew I didn't want the car. No PDR, mileage over 18k, car sits 950 miles away, not a preferred color, and limo tint I'd need to remove. Any of those things are fine, maybe even a couple at the right price, but not all of them.

The odometer issue seemed like an interesting mental exercise, so I was interested in the thoughts of others here.

I also talked to a buddy this morning that worked at Carfax for a number of years managing dealer relationship to get his thoughts. Sounded like the dealer can fix the upfront part with Carfax pretty easily, but it would be a royal PITA for the consumer to do it.

The bigger question is which mileage figure was recorded on the forms sent to the state. The info we have suggests it's all incorrect, but that's not necessarily so. If all the info the state has/gets is correct, then that part will be fine and if the dealer fixes the initial incorrect entry with Carfax, that will be fine, too. There should not be any future issues.

If the wrong info went to the state, it gets a lot more complicated. The dealer may get the initial error fixed in Carfax, but since the state has the wrong info, that may work its way back into Carfax at a future date. That's in addition to potentially causing actual title issues, which, in turn, would also go into Carfax. Once that gets into Carfax, game over.

If it was the right car otherwise, would it be worth the chance it's fixable? Would it be worth it at a significant discount? If so, how much would it take?

Or is it just hard pass no matter what?

My buddy's implied recommendation was to run away unless the dealer can show that everything with both the state and Carfax are correct.
It wouldn't be a hard pass for the right car, but I agree I'd want to see evidence it was corrected (and not in other docs) before I signed.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:29 PM   #8
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This sounds very complicated so quick story ... the 2019 Cayman I bought had 1200 miles, the carfax showed 1500 miles one day after a 1200 mile entry, I asked the dealer how many miles are on the car and how did the car have 300 miles put on it in one day, they said the car only has 1200 miles, I went and saw the car and it indeed had 1200 miles ...

Bought the car, the carfax was corrected by the dealer within a few days and I had the new carfax showing the correct miles.

I know there was no foul play, who cares about a car with that little miles having 1200 or 1500 either would have been fine with me ...

So in other word carfax can be wrong
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:39 PM   #9
clyde
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Originally Posted by JST View Post
It wouldn't be a hard pass for the right car, but I agree I'd want to see evidence it was corrected (and not in other docs) before I signed.
I can see a few potential exceptions in extreme circumstances, but, I'd be a hard pass on any regular car (like a Camaro 1SS 1LE) until after seeing everything everywhere is correct. No way I'd take their word that they'd fix it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:40 PM   #10
Nick M3
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Pass. Branded carfax isn't worth it. No, it won't get fixed.
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