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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, July 03rd I was involved in a wreck which I will freely admit was my fault and thankfully no one was injured. However my truck sustained damage with repairs right at $15,000. I actually just took possession back after 9 weeks in the shop. Luckily no bent frame or engine damage just all front end components and labor costs. It drives perfectly as if it hadn't even been there amazingly enough!
Now, after talking to others with either bravado or sage advice in there voice, all are recommending I trade via the dealership NOW and beat the inevitable report that will find its way on carfax in due time (how long that takes in NC I just don't know-Heck I'm not even sure if I have to disclose it I've never been asked in the past?)
So my question is do I take a bath when it does come time to trade my 06 probably a year from now or do I beat the carfax report and save $$$ on the trade right now with the inevitable wreck report being added to the history in due time??
What would you do??
 

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Trade it. I had a 2002 honda civic that I did all of the recommened servicing on and at 38K the transmission quit on me. Honda fixed it but I had to pay the labor I was PO'd because they knew there were problems with the 02 tranny. Anyway I traded that SOB in within a month of getting it back and never mentioned the problem/fix and my 2004 maxima is still running strong.
 

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I say declare it. It something ever did happen to the next owner it could come back to haunt you. Keep the truck till the wheels fall off and you wont take a bath. Dont you sign a affidavit when you trde it in saying to your knowledge it has no major mechanical problems or has been in a serious accident? You could be legally liable too. Just not worth it in my book to try and lie and rip somebody off. What if you had bought this truck unknowingly or one of your kids did" You would be pissed. Do what you and your pocket book can live with if something ever did come up. Just my .02.
 

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The only thing I've ever had to sign was that the vehicle never has had frame damage. Call carfax and ask them how soon it appears after a repair.
Why wasn't your truck totalled? Play it like you're looking at a local car and want to be sure it's current on the info. They (ins. company) took a big risk that more damage didn't appear later putting the cost over the top. The truck conveniently needed a rod knock to put it over the top. Go talk to some customer just after they closed a deal and ask them what questions they were asked.

Clint
 

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BritGuy said:
So, July 03rd I was involved in a wreck which I will freely admit was my fault and thankfully no one was injured. However my truck sustained damage with repairs right at $15,000. I actually just took possession back after 9 weeks in the shop. Luckily no bent frame or engine damage just all front end components and labor costs. It drives perfectly as if it hadn't even been there amazingly enough!
Now, after talking to others with either bravado or sage advice in there voice, all are recommending I trade via the dealership NOW and beat the inevitable report that will find its way on carfax in due time (how long that takes in NC I just don't know-Heck I'm not even sure if I have to disclose it I've never been asked in the past?)
So my question is do I take a bath when it does come time to trade my 06 probably a year from now or do I beat the carfax report and save $$$ on the trade right now with the inevitable wreck report being added to the history in due time??
What would you do??
Make sure you find out the laws in your state first! Here in NY, by law...you MUST disclose any damage over $600 to the state or it WILL come back to bite you in the butt! If no law exists?....I'd trade or sell it, but only it there's a need to. If it rides and drives fine, just keep it.
 

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From my experience, if the dealership does a proper appraisal of your trade, they will definitely be able to tell that your vehicle has been in an accident and repaired. Either from the appearance of the components that were replaced, paint match, nuts/bolts clean, etc. I traded a Honda Accord once that I had bought used, the previous owner did not disclose the repair to me, and the dealership was able to tell that it had been in a front-end collision before.
 

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In NC they ask at the dealership if there has ever been any damage amounting to 25% of the value and you sign a paper about it. That's what I've had to do anyway.
 

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If you're happy with it now, keep it and drive it. There are always "friends" who will counsel you to do something less than honest...but be careful of any business dealings you have with those "friends" in the future.
 

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Every state may have different laws, but in my 5 yrs selling vehicles, I have never come across any law saying the person trading a car in MUST disclose any amount. Now, dealerships are required to disclose damage to any NEW car and new cars only if the reapir exceeds $500.00. It's just like your SS number, no law exist saying you must give it to people who ask. Granted it will slow anything down, like jobs, loans etc.. ifyou don't use it.

Also putting your faith in Carfax is like saying U.S. Border Security is working well. No one (individual, repair shops, dealerships) is required to contact Carfax. It is a business and is setup for profit, not to protect consumers. When you get a Carfax report all they do is compile public records, that you hae free acces to anyway. Autobody repairs are not public records, and I would venture to guess with todays privacy laws, less and less business's are giving out any information at all. I doubt that your vehicle ever shows up anyway.

That said any decent apprasier would be able to tell your trucks been repaired. If you do want to "hide" that from the dealership, you can try not washing it for a week or two before you trade it, not mud boggin dirty, just road grime, Also take it in when it's raining and at night, preferable right before closing. If they ask about damage, just shake your head left to right, if they interpt that as an no, thats on them. If they do find the repair, play dumb, act like it was their when you got it.
 

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hoojs12840 said:
Every state may have different laws, but in my 5 yrs selling vehicles, I have never come across any law saying the person trading a car in MUST disclose any amount. Now, dealerships are required to disclose damage to any NEW car and new cars only if the reapir exceeds $500.00. It's just like your SS number, no law exist saying you must give it to people who ask. Granted it will slow anything down, like jobs, loans etc.. ifyou don't use it.

Also putting your faith in Carfax is like saying U.S. Border Security is working well. No one (individual, repair shops, dealerships) is required to contact Carfax. It is a business and is setup for profit, not to protect consumers. When you get a Carfax report all they do is compile public records, that you hae free acces to anyway. Autobody repairs are not public records, and I would venture to guess with todays privacy laws, less and less business's are giving out any information at all. I doubt that your vehicle ever shows up anyway.

That said any decent apprasier would be able to tell your trucks been repaired. If you do want to "hide" that from the dealership, you can try not washing it for a week or two before you trade it, not mud boggin dirty, just road grime, Also take it in when it's raining and at night, preferable right before closing. If they ask about damage, just shake your head left to right, if they interpt that as an no, thats on them. If they do find the repair, play dumb, act like it was their when you got it.
Most, if not all, accidents over a specifed amount are reported by the insurance companies or repair shops already. So in this reguard, he's ok. And yes, when asked, you MUST disclose any damage..repaired or not to the buyer, be it private or a dealer, or they can sue you if a problem arises. Being a salesman, I'd expect you knew that. Every state has disclosure laws. If you're not asked?..well then, that's another story...I think. If you something tht shows this to be untrue, please share it.
 

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If everything is ok with it, why not just keep it? Unless your way ahead on payments you might take a pretty good bath by being upside down.
 

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consumeraffairs.com did a story on CARFAX. One of their findings was that "CARFAX does not receive any records from perhaps the biggest source of information about wrecked vehicles: insurance companies."

My wife is the unlucky one in our family...has been rear-ended in one vehicle for just over $2k in damage to the rear bumper, quarter-panels, and liftback and another vehicle where she was hit on the side and had $12k of damage including frame damage. Both times we traded the vehicles, we pulled CARFAX prior to trading so we'd know what to expect. Neither accident was in the reports. We told our salesman both times. Each time, they pulled a CARFAX report, saw clean histories and never deducted anything from what I considered a fair trade price.

I guess that's one of the reasons we buy new cars now.

BTW...CARFAX was sued recently by 9 people in a class action suit for alleged misrepresenation of their buy back guarantee. The settlement gave anyone who pulled a CARFAX report before a certain date....wait for it...here it comes...two free CARFAX reports.

To get back to your question...do the right thing. In this market for used trucks, it's probably not worth trying to ditch it to beat any potential CARFAX hit that may never show up. Good luck.
 

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get rid of it.
 

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The 'term de jour' for what you're describing is 'diminished value' - A buddy of mine is a career body shop worker/manager and knows a bunch about it. He has dabled in starting a business doing appraisals for this exact thing. I thing since it was your fault you don't have a claim against your insurance company but if you were the 'victim' it's a case you can make against the other side.

Your vehicle has been fixed but there is a 'diminished value' because of the wreck. Probably the best thing you can do at this point is get the repair inspected/evaluated by an impartial third party. It may cost you a couple hundered bucks but could be worth it in the long run. The body shop you had the repair done at should stand behind their work and if someone else can document a bunch of problems with their work you have the right to have it fixed. That is what your insurance premiums are for... restoring the car to pre-accident condition.

As for liability down the road.... as far as you know it was fixed. You're not a body expert. You took it to the shop, it was repaired and you got it back. Your liability ends there (in theory).... this is where my earlier recommendation comes in. Get the repair looked at, maybe by two other places, so you know what to expect someday when you trade in or sell. The bottom line is you want to be sure the truck was fixed right. The place that fixed it is the absolute last place you should listen to... they did the work, of course they say it was done right... what really matters is the opinion of someone else. You put the odds the most in your favor by having those 'someone elses' look over the truck while the first guy (one who did the repair) is still on the hook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the replies guys.
On reflection I'll probably hang onto it till I decide to trade at my somewhat normal period of about 2 years of ownership.
I don't have payments on it so I think that makes life easier, down the road I'll just hand the repair invoice to the dealership if they question the accident from carfax(if it appears). The invoice is itemized right down to the last nut and bolt with included labor and thankfully doesn't include engine or frame damage.
Here is a picture of my truck probably 3 minutes after the accident occured. I know it looks lop sided however this is due to the camber on the on ramp to the highway.
 

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I sold cars in North Carolina from 2002-2004. You are asked when trading in if any damage occured and you do have to sign a document that the vehicle has never incurred damage totaling more than 25% of vehicle worth. I have seen 2 car deals fall apart when the person traded the vehicle in and did not disclose this info. They had to pony up the extra cash difference between trade in value originally estimated and then the revamped value. the other person couldn't afford the difference and had to bring the new car back.

mtofell is exactly right about "diminshed value" clause with insurance companies. But only the "victim" in the accident is eligible for that (read you have to have been hit by someone else).
 

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HudsonValleyTitan said:
Most, if not all, accidents over a specifed amount are reported by the insurance companies or repair shops already. So in this reguard, he's ok. And yes, when asked, you MUST disclose any damage..repaired or not to the buyer, be it private or a dealer, or they can sue you if a problem arises. Being a salesman, I'd expect you knew that. Every state has disclosure laws. If you're not asked?..well then, that's another story...I think. If you something tht shows this to be untrue, please share it.

Here's what I know for sure. The indivdual person could not be sued for "diminshed value" of the vehicle, because the vehicle was restored to factory specification's by a seperate party. Now if the repair shop doesn't fix something right and something happens because of their work, they could possiable be held accountable for that.

I will call a friend still in the business and see if he can get me something in writing, for each state, so we can all know what the law's are. So many things we are told are the law aren't and so many should be law. Of course a goos lawyer could argue either way.
 

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I'm not sure about your state, but Alaska state law requires you to fill out a pre-owned automobile disclosure form, where you have to state not only collisions or mechanical damage but also any modifications you have made to the vehicle. If you don't fill it out truthfully the next owner can come after you and the dealer is absolved of all responsibilty.

If I were you I'd privatly sell the truck...
 

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The disclosure law was meant to prevent fraud but had nothing to do with resale value. Carfax and other companies have led consumers to believe that any bodypart replacement means the car isn't drivable/safe.

When Hurricane Floyd arrived in NC, lots of vehicles were flooded and sold as salvage. Some states allow cars to be retitled and sold as if there was nothing wrong with them...

As long as the vehicle is repaired to OEM specifications, there's nothing wrong with it and if you're happy with it, then keep it. If you're thinking of getting some extra $$ by selling it now, I would say that would be hard to do-not because your vehicle was in a wreck but because of the market in general.

Test out the market by posting an add to sell your truck if your concerned to see how people feel about it...
 

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When I bought mine a month ago, I pulled a Carfax and it came back clean. A few days after buying it, I got it on the freeway and heard a pretty bad whistle coming from the driver's window frame. A day later, it rained for the first time since buying it AND IT WAS LEAKING WATER from the same window. Long story short, it had been in an accident and repaired REALLY crappy. The driver's door was tweaked and couldn't be repaired. The dealer (NOT a Nissan dealer!) wanted to throw some extra weatherstripping in there to "fix" the issues.:wtf: I insisted on having it fixed correctly. (new door!)
Lessons learned...don't trust Carfax AND test drive it on the freeway BEFORE you buy it.
 
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