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09-01-2011 11:49 AM #1
Undisclosed Accident, Impact on Resale Value?
Just a few months ago, I bought a pre-owned 2009 528i from my local BMW dealer for my wife. It only had 20,000 miles and looked and drove beautifully. I was assured that the car had always been in the dealer's loaner fleet and had never been in an accident. I was even presented with a Carfax report to back that up. Well...you know where this is going, right? The other day, as I'm washing it, I notice a strange bubble in the paint on the front pillar, so I take it to the dealer where I bought it and asked my service advisor what he thought it was. He looked up my car on his computer and reported that it must be a flaw in the paint job from when they put a new front fender on the driver's side. What? Excuse me? What new front fender? Turns out, surprise, surprise, the car had been in an accident a year before they sold it to me. The repair work had all been done by a body shop which also happens to be owned by the same people who own the BMW dealer. Could that explain why none of this was reported to Carfax? Hmmm? Anyway, through the body shop I learned that the car's whole front left side had been repainted including the hood, the new front left fender and surrounding areas "for better blending." All this on a car that supposedly never had an accident. The car also has a noticeable vibration when waiting at a light which I now wonder could be related to this accident. Naturally, I'm working with my dealer to resolve this mess, but my question is how much would an accident like this reduce the resale value of the car. $2,000, $5,000 or no impact at all if the work was done right? I'd love to hear your opinions on that. Also, never trust Carfax. Apparently, they aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Thanks.
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