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Used Cars/Dealership did not disclose accident on vehicle


Dear Rodger,
I read your 3/3/1010 response to a reader on this topic and found it very helpful. I was selling my car to CarMax and they pointed out front end damage that had not been disclosed to me by Beaverton/Infiniti Honda where I bought my car used 4 years ago. The dealership bought the car at auction.  Based on your 2010 response, either the auction company or the dealership should have noticed what was obvious to the CarMax inspector. So, before I confront the dealership about their incompetency (or worse), here is my question: "What prevents the dealership from asserting that I caused this damage and had my "cousin" repair it without reporting it?  Thanks!
Bruce Johnson (Willamette Graduate School of Business, Class of 1986!)

Good morning Bruce,

Always a pleasure to chat with another Atkinson School Bearcat I don't want to date myself but I was there in 83 and my son was there in 2005. I am on the road this morning but will be able to respond fully before noon

Sorry I have been on the road these past few days where my time is not my own. So let's answer your concern ... Here is how these things work. (Auto Dealership best practices ...which means that all dealers should do this and most actually do...most but not all)  

It doesn't matter where a car comes from but before entering our inventory we run a carfax/autocheck on everyone of them. This gives us the vehicles accident history etc. and helps us decide if we want to keep it or buy it or not. This includes auction cars where we don't buy from the no guarantee lanes and arbitrate almost every purchase (the car gets inspected). If the accident to your car generated a carfax/autocheck flag then its pretty inexcusable to think they didn't know. If it didn't then it would have had to be seen by the appraiser and there are a lot of bad ones out there who don't even drive the trade ins before they make the deal ... CarMax is more corporate and as such they have procedures they have to follow and paperwork they have to fill out the same way they fill them out in all of the other gazillion car max locations.

Should they have disclosed it if they knew about it? Yes ... Should Beaverton Infiniti have known about it? Absolutely! They aren't a rock lot out in BFE. This long after the fact is it something you could prove in court? very unlikely. There is also the matter of the time period between when you bought it and when you were told about the problem if that were a matter of weeks or a month or two ...then jumping up and down might have gotten a response but 4 years later....your pretty much screwed. There is probably a statute of limitations issue. From my experience all of the Lanphere stores run real clean. I have been warned about proffering anything that sounds like legal advice here but should you decide to take it to a higher level then get ahold of me at and I will direct you to a very aggressive, very smart attorney who has been ripping some dealers apart in pretty short order I can refer you to and he can tell you what will in all likelihood be the same exact thing.

Ask any followups you want ....Go Bearcats!  

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Roger Alvey


I can answer any question about the car buying process. I am a recognized industry expert on all issues regarding auto finance, including sub prime and buy here pay here financing, I can answer questions about car lock out systems, GPS monitoring by your bank, and about auto recovery methods and defenses. I am a 20 yr car industry expert and can tell you what to look for in a used car, how to negotiate the deal, help with how to market your own car, and how to negotiate with the internet department of any car store. I can tell you every single way the dealer is set up to beat you and how to avoid those traps, I can discuss all aftermarket and extended service contract products you will be offered in the finance process, I have lectured extensively on "The Best Way to Buy a Car" to civic groups and university students. I am a credit expert and can tell you what the dealer and banks are looking for and the rate you can expect to pay. CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE AT


20 years industry experience in top management of dealerships and dealer groups. Recognized industry expert since 2004 in the Top 10 industry experts for The Gerson Lehrman Groups Auto Industry Council. I also do consulting work for Experts360, Atheneum Partners, Expert Connect and Coleman Research. I have been a franchise owner and understand all facets of the auto industry from the time the car leaves the factory until it leaves the lot with it's new owner. I have written training materials for both the prime and the subprime sales and finance process.

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Willamette University - Salem Oregon BA Economics Willamette University Graduate School of Business - Econometrics Statistics

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