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Auto Insurance Claims/Problem with purchase of car from out of state


QUESTION: Hi.  I purchased a car from out of state from a dealer.  The car is a 2009 and was purchased as an "as is" warranty.  I was unable to go see the car prior to the purchase, but I did check the numerous pictures carefully, had the verbal assurance from the salesman and manager that it was perfect and without problems, and they had an A+ BBB rating.

The car was dropped off at 8 PM.  Myself and 3 buddies looked at it carefully and couldn't see anything wrong.  By the next day, there were a few problems. The roof wouldn't retract (it's a convertible) and there was a 9 inch scratch, admittedly hard to see, in the left front fender.  There were also numerous tiny rock chips in the windshield.

The seller indicated that everything worked fine at his location, that the scratch was not reported on the transport document, and that the windshield was "normal wear and tear" and regardless he's not paying for any repairs.  He suggested I get the windshield repaired by one of the companies that do that.  Well, I checked with several of those companies and several dealers and all have recommended that the windshield be replaced.  The dealer will take the car back, but refuses to fix anything.

Any suggestions?  I really don't want to send the car back as it is otherwise great and I realize I was taking a chance by not actually seeing the vehicle.

ANSWER: Take it back!

Seriously, if the dealer will take it back, do it.  Anything else that goes wrong with it is going to come out of your pocket, and the windshield is gonna cost you, too.  The response of the dealer to refuse fixing anything tells you what to do.  Get your money back and look for another car.  This one doesn't seem to be a deal.

When you buy a car, you know that you must be very careful.  It is advisable to have a professional appraiser accompany you on vehicle inspections if you can afford it, and if you can't, always go over the vehicle very carefully, drive it, and look at any and everything you can think of before you agree to purchase "as is".  The used vehicle market is volatile and there are a lot of "dealers" who buy unsafely repaired vehicles that have been "faced up" which should not really be sold to anybody, even though they look shiny and new, they have hidden issues that may present an unsafe response in any future crash.  

Take it back and get a certified pre-owned from somewhere that has at least a limited warranty with it.

I hope this helps.  Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the advice.  You're probably right.  The roof cost $325 to fix by replacing 2 relays.  The dealer indicated it worked fine at his place and it was probably just the "accessory battery" and it didn't need the relays replaced.  I checked with some independent dealerships that handle this car and asked them what was the more likely problem.  Since all of the other accessories that work off the accessory battery worked fine and there was no accessory battery warning light on the dash, their opinion was that the relays were probably bad and it wasn't the accessory battery that caused the problem.

Transportation cost from the dealer to here was $1500 and I presume it will be the same to return it.  What is the standard in the industry and what is reasonable regarding transportation costs if I want to return the vehicle?  Am I responsible for the cost for both sending it here and returning it?  The cost for fixing these problems may be less than the cost of transporting the vehicle at this point.  I've had the vehicle carefully inspected here and there are no more problems other than what was noted.  By the way, the original dealer had an "A+" BBB rating and no complaints listed which is why I took the chance in the first place.

If the roof is fixed, then great, that was a pretty cheap fix considering it's a convertible top which are known to be precarious.  

As far as transportation costs and what is standard. . . . no such thing.  If you call 10 transporters you'll get 10 different quotes, is a shop around market, and volatile as well.  If you transport the vehicle, you run the risk that the transporter damages it and then you have more problems.  

I make the assumption the vehicle is a "specialty" vehicle since you opted to by it online from far away, otherwise, that doesn't seem to make much sense (because of the transport costs).  

The BBB is a joke, in my opinion, just saying.  The dealer may be very good, but it doesn't seem you are having the same experience.  If he's really good, he has the ability to eat a little bit to make customers happy, and if he's not willing to make this right for you (at least paying for the cost to repair things he said didn't exist), then would you give him an A+?

I hope this helps.  It seems now, it may be more economical for you to keep it, especially if you can't find a deal on transporting it back.  Sorry I don't have a magic answer for you, you need one.


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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

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State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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