I found a Mercedes G550 for sale online at PostOak Motor Cars. I checked reviews and contacted Jake Willard in sales. Because this is a so called High End dealership, I thought that I might be dealing with a reputable person and dealer.
I explained to Jake that I was interested in this car (she does not like the new model) for my Wife’s Christmas or Birthday present in late December. Because this was a used car and we live on the island of Maui, Hi, I would pay hundreds of dollars for Profession Inspection of this $83k vehicle before (Trust but Verify per Pres. Reagan) purchasing. Jake assured me that the Post Oak Service department had thoroughly checked it out and serviced the car and everything was working and good condition. Because there were only a few, low quality photos online, I had some concerns. I asked Jake to send more photos, including photos of the underside to check for damage or rust. Jake said that he would send photos, but did not.
Online, this looks like a fancy high end dealership, which gave me some hope.
Prior to the Inspection, I asked Jake to double check the car prior to the inspection.
Jake again reassured me that everything was working perfectly.
I made arrangements for shipping to Hawaii.
But after the inspection, I spoke with the inspector, who was not very impressed by PostOak Motor Cars. Within seconds, he saw that ALL of the vehicle wheel Lug Bolts were rusted. Minutes later he discovered that the drivers side seat, Heat/Cool function was inoperable. He also noted damage to the interior and took photos. None of these easy to see issues were mentioned by Jake or shown in the Dealership photos. The inspection also revealed that the Front End was out of alignment.
But RED Flags waved when he found that some type of Undercoating had been “recently” applied to the undercarriage. While he did not dig deep, he said that it could easily be wiped off with a rag. The inspector asked me, “Who undercoats a car just before they trade it in ?” So did the previous owner, or Post Oak or the good fairy undercoat the car? And Why?
I was very disappointed that the car was not in the good condition as Jake described. I lost trust in Jake and Post Oak Motors.
I told Jake that if PostOak made the needed repairs, and because I could not depend on him or the PostOak Service Dept, only if a Certified Mercedes Dealer checked out the car, finding that the mysterious Undercoating was not hiding problems, would we have a Deal, and at the asking price.
Jake replied that he would check with his manager, but saw no problems in getting it done. He later replied that the seat was fixed (loose connection) and that the front end and lug bolts would soon be fixed. He made no mention of the undercoating issue or the Mercedes dealer inspection. That was the last I heard from him.
I checked the PostOak website and the car was no longer listed.
The inspection photos also showed a filthy, non detailed engine bay, something that I had not seen for decades at reputable high end dealer. It appears that upon trade in, this car was run simply run thru a car wash and listed for sale.
A fancy showroom, lots of bling and expensive cars apparently have no connection to integrity and honesty.
Still looking for a G550 for Valentines Day, after successfully buying seven cars online from honest and truthful dealers or private parties.