"Was it just coincidence, an honest mistake or something else"
I guess they say hindsight is 20/20, what a year for that phrase. Also, if its too good to be true, it probably is, yup that’s for sure. Trust but verify is another good one, but who needs trust when you have used car salesman that are the most upstanding honest creatures on this earth?
I really don’t enjoy having to write this all out and broadcasting, but if the sales folks are asking for my review, then all I can do is be honest.
I was an out of town buyer and so I asked a ton of questions and asked for additional pictures over text and email over several days because I wanted to do my due diligence because I’ve been burned on deals before. The vehicle was a few hours away, so I clearly needed to do my homework to justify the time and gas money. In the end, I trusted the information I was given because this wasn’t some fly by night dealership, I figured they knew their stuff and weren’t in the habit of misleading people, because I couldn’t imagine a Toyota dealer employing such people.
Also, even though the vehicle was listed “as is no warranty” I knew I was incurring a certain level of risk, but hey if someone says they have a one owner Toyota with roughly 100k miles that’s been serviced at their dealership most of its life and is really clean with no mechanical issues, then why not? Never mind that its has some accident history from a few years ago, the airbags didn’t deploy so it wasn’t a big deal, right? Come to find out there was MAJOR structural damage, as in a significant part of the frame was replaced. Somehow that detail didn’t come up over phone, email, text, and in person, what a coincidence.
Then there’s the conversation about verifying the wet matter I could see near the power steering pump on the passenger side of the engine after the test drive. Some major power steering repairs were done, could we have service check that out a minute? The ensuing response, its too late on a Friday for that, we don’t have a service guy available, besides it just got out of detail so I think there’s just some water still on there. Unfortunately I trusted them too much at that point because I had been blinded by their false assurances. That should have been a clear signal and I should have driven home right then, but I didn’t. I figured the service guys had checked things over enough times because they spend a few thousand in service so why push the issue?
Speaking of service, allegedly there was a pre-sales multi-point inspection that was performed by their service department, as of this writing they haven’t produced it even though it is supposed to be available online (somehow its just missing!). I requested the documents a few times and the best I was provided was the service order for the few thousands in repair they put in, so I figured since they repaired those items, they must have hit the high points and anything else outstanding would be minor, wrong!
Turns out that when I brought the then purchased vehicle to my local Toyota dealership, after paying them to perform a multipoint inspection, they found that the alleged power steering wetness was engine oil and the entire back side of the engine was covered in oil! I wonder where that came from? Side note, it only took a few days for the local dealer’s inspection to show up online. It seems at this point the pre-sale inspection report has gone missing...stay tuned I guess?
I did my best to escalate my concerns with the sales manager and unfortunately I got the “as is” cold shoulder. In the past week, I’ve spoken the most with the service manager who has been really helpful and seems genuinely stumped by the situation.
I can’t imagine this situation recreating itself at any major dealer, but this shows its possible, so my advice to anyone out there is to just be careful and follow those old sayings I started with.