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Been Ripped Off ? We Have Too

Its ironic to have an article about getting ripped off by Car dealers by a Car dealer. But this article is to show how important trust is between and buyer and a seller and how highly we value integrity and honesty.

My first story happened when I was about 12 years old with my Dad we travelled to Nelson where we went looking at cars and he found the bargain of the century , a 1971 Toyota Crown with all the mod cons. And the price it was just too good to believe. And it was. On the return trip a noise from the engine got louder until a piston departed from a con rod. We found the engine had no oil pressure – and the oil light wasn’t working – strangely enough it was disconnected (the salesman said maybe it was a blown oil light – really!!!). The car yard was sympathetic until the matter of compensation was raised – then it was so sorry sir we didn’t know of the problem and you did purchase it, just really bad luck etc etc but its your problem. After a bit of legal persuasion the car yard stumped up for repairs, but it took a fair bit of legal pressure.
Would we ever go back to that car yard again – never. So what went wrong the price it was way too cheap – it screamed of something dodgy and it was.

After that experience when the time came for me to buy a car I wasn’t going to buy some cheap piece of junk – no way I learnt the family lesson – you get what you pay for, right – well not necessarily so. For me I was after a low mileage Jap import and I came across a 1986 Nissan Maxima v6 turbo, with only 30,000 ks in a Christchurch car yard. Dubious as ever I checked odometer alignment and was pretty certain odometer was right the engine sounded and ran just perfect,  I was paying about 2 thousand extra for peace of mind. So after a quick run in the car everything checked out ok – power steering a bit light but that was normal apparently – just had to be a bit careful. So after getting home I was gratified that I had a bargain I got a lot of car for my money.
Actually that was a very true statement – but not the way I understood it.
After a few months I noticed that the car was leaking around the rear window, so I took it to a repair centre – later that day I received a phone call,  I had better meet the repairers. I will never forget how pale the face of the repairer was – he showed me where my car had been cut and another rear had been rewelded on – he also showed me that my wheels were miles out of alignment (Light power steering – my foot), he said the car was a death trap.
When I rang the car yard – sorry sir but you have had that car for 7 months now and its not our problem.
I later did some digging to find that the vehicle was involved in a big rear ended accident in Japan and was bought in as a damaged vehicle and was rebuilt and then sold to the car dealer by one of his mates, who  gave it a warrant and banged it on the yard. It cost me $2000 to get it straightened and to get the wheel alignment right, and I changed the shocks. When I sold it at least I knew it was roadworthy and safe (the car dealer I sold it to commented it was the best handling Maxima he had ever driven).

So whats the point?

A cheap car can be junk – an expensive car can be junk.

It all comes down to who you buy it from and their ethics.

I like my sleep – and I know what it is like to be ripped off – I couldn’t sleep if I had knowingly sold a car that was mechanically unsound or damaged and had a quick fix up job done – just to make a quick buck.

Koru Key Checklist is designed to pick up mechanical flaws so we can address them before the car gets delivered to you.

For your Peace of Mind and Mine