Nearly caught out - Dealer sales and inspections!

Submitted: Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:02
ThreadID: 75019 Views:4359 Replies:11 FollowUps:16
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Hey all,

Had a bit of an experience today with a dealership in Darwin. Thought id share my story with you for those in a similar situation of looking for a second hand 4x4.

After doing a heap of research and looking around finally found a 4x4 that really interested me, a nice 05 Rodeo. This thing looked just about brand new and even had a brand new tray on it, it was a real ripper of a ute. So after speaking to the dealer, and from previous experience asked that the contract would be pending on finances and an independent inspection - the dealer tells me how he had a mechanic that checked it over and how brilliant he was and how there was nothing wrong the vehicle…hmmm yes but I’ll have that check done please.

Well was certain everything would be fine and dandy, until I picked it up from my own independent mechanic and was I given a list. For an 05 model rodeo it was fairly big list. Now of course this is to be expected of any vehicle, it had a few nigglies and a bent steering rod. This I would have easily accepted however something else was noticed, a waterline in the car, moister in the headlights,spotties and winch not working, etc. Turns out the car has likely been swamped in salt water, under the seat and under the vinyl floor, remnants of that salty water can be seen. Underneath the cars been cleaned and sprayed to hide the signs of the early stages of rust.

Soon after retuned the vehicle to the dealership and told them in a bit of an upset voice I wasn’t interested due to the salt water swamping. I was told that I should have expected this ‘condition’ due to the fact it was a 4x4, they weren’t even interested in looking at the condition of this thing themselves, as if they already knew. To be honest though we were a little angry at them as they are a very reputable dealership in Darwin and I would never expect to find a vehicle of that nature their and in that condition. Not only did they try to hide it but they also ignored us and even ridiculed us.

Im not whining about my situation as im happy I didn’t end up with it but I thought I should let everyone know that you should always have a vehicle independently inspected. Now don’t ask me the name of the dealership as I wont say, they may have other vehicles that are fine, and to name and disgrace the dealership is not my point.

So remember for those of you thinking of getting a vehicle dealership/private always try and get a independent inspection! And for me the hunt for that perfect 4X4 ute continues!

Cheers all,
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Reply By: Matt Watson - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:11

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:11
In my experence, car dealers are on par with lawyers. My wife signed some paperwork at a dealer once to get them to "hold" the car until I had time to look. After looking, quickly decided it wasn't what we wanted, they then tried to tell us that it was too late and the paperwork signed was an intention to buy!! I'm sure they could Jace easily conned someone without any knowledge/confidence into buying!

I tend to stick to private sellers.

AnswerID: 398402

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:51

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:51
Gotta agreed their Matt,
Last vehicle I brought from a dealer was in the seventies, brought private eversince with no duds.
But to be fair to dealers if people swamp a vehicle, run it out of oil etc the first thing they do is trade it. And you can bet your life they dont tell the dealer what they done to it. Most reputable dealers will if they know send it to a wholesaler.
Then another dealer will buy it with out a proper check , and hope tp flog it.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 667304

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 09:23

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 09:23
How can you tell when a car dealer is lying? Their lips move.
What's the difference between a lawyer and a rooster? When the rooster wakes up in the morning its first instinct is to cluck defiance.
FollowupID: 667350

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:34

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:34
Madfisher... many dealers buy cars at auction too. Either ex-fleet or Gov, auctions. No pre-purchase inspection is ever done by the dealer when buying these cars from an auction.
FollowupID: 667370

Follow Up By: offroad_tommo - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:12

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:12

Glad to know you got out of it mate, as you say, confidence is the big weapon against dealers. They may be nice and pleasant but in the end they are only talking business and profits. Gotta be real careful with contracts, make em real clear and easy to abide to, if the dealer doesnt like it, well good bye.

FollowupID: 667428

Reply By: pop2jocem - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:16

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:16
Whats that old expression "caveat emptor"

My personal opinion is always be wary of any 2nd hand car but especially 4wd's because of the very nature of the beasts they can get caught in some unusual situations

Cheers Pop
AnswerID: 398408

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:57

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:57
Well Pop I have had 9 2nd hand fourbys and the only dud was the lj80, which I only paid $1800 for anyway. All ways buy private off a person who has owned it since new with full service history. Like to spend some time checking out their other vehicles, house etc to judge if it has been looked after.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 667306

Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 09:36

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 09:36
Ive had generally had good luck with private buys. Its all about doing your homework and being patient.

Car salesman deal with customers all day and are experts at reading/misleading you.
Dealing with owner sellers puts you on a slightly more equal footing.
FollowupID: 667352

Reply By: Wilk0 - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:40

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:40
Hi Tommo,

Name and shame them.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 398413

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:50

Friday, Jan 08, 2010 at 22:50

FollowupID: 667303

Reply By: Member - Carl- Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 08:25

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 08:25
Hi Tommo

I agree with some other comments. One of the powers of the internet is the ability to name and shame.

As with other travellers, we talk about places to get 4X4 serviced while roaming the country. I have heard many bad things about Darwin dealers in particular toyota. Normally toyota dealers in the country seem quite good but I will not be getting my landcruiser serviced there or Katherine.

This web site is for helping us all out but I respect you right not to name them as well. I have just had a gut full of political correctness.

AnswerID: 398446

Follow Up By: offroad_tommo - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:04

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:04
I didnt think of it like that. You raise a good point hence why I have noted the dealership below. I would hate someone on here to go through the same experience I went through, with this particular dealership or another. Who knows perhaps the next person thinking of buying that Rodeo will read this first.

Thanks mate,
FollowupID: 667424

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 08:55

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 08:55
Hi Tommo
Just as well you had it checked over, as it could have been a real nightmare.

As for car salesmen and politicians, they all have a saying I just Love........'Trust Me'


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AnswerID: 398450

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:11

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:11
Yep whenever anybody says trust me, be doublely carefull, usually a confidence trick.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 667508

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:06

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:06
Well done for doing all the right checks and walking away from this nightmare. Truthfully though if it were your "baby" and you had the misfortune of drowning it in a saltwater ck would you just hose her out and hope for the best? I think not. I would flog it to the nearest car yard too without telling them nothing, the rest is then out of my hands and up to either the yard or the next buyer to find out its history. I would never sell the same vehicle privately though.

Happy hunting.
AnswerID: 398454

Follow Up By: offroad_tommo - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 13:55

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 13:55
Hi Trevor,

I certainly understand why the previous owner traded it in, I’ve heard many stories of people that swamp em, clean em and then trade em. I would even do the same thing. However I have a suspicion that this yard new to well what the story was and did a fantastic job trying to clean it up. For a small car yard, no worries, but a bigger more reputable one, its just sad. That ute should be going wholesale or whatever it is they do with vehicles they cant sell.

You raise a really good point that I'll keep in mind now, a person would have to be heartless to try and sell a vehicle of that nature privately. There may be the rare one or two but I’m sure you’ll find more with the dealers.
FollowupID: 667420

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:15

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 21:15
Yes Tommo it takes two to three months quite often to sell a vehicle , no private sellerwith a dud will hang on that long.

Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 667510

Reply By: wbsl - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:33

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:33
Hi all

If people brought their cars/4bs with their head and not there heart then car salesmen wouldn't have such a bad name.

Never brought a reasonable valued vehicle off anyone without a an independent check

Cheers Wayne
AnswerID: 398456

Reply By: Fab72 - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:42

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 10:42
Bridge Toyota in Darwin have a 05 Rodeo that might interest you. That is unless of've already seen it.
AnswerID: 398462

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 13:26

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 13:26
Hi Fab,
Like the bit about the photo coming soon - it has probably rusted away before they had time to take the photo.


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FollowupID: 667413

Reply By: mattd - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:02

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 14:02
This sounds familiar....

Found the perfect Landcruiser Standard 2005.. Had the lot!!!! Low Km's, bull bar, snorkel, side steps, after market turbo and lights.

I am in Vic, car in Adelaide. Spoke to the dealer numerous times. Being an ex mine vehicle, I ask alot of questions. The main one being, is there any rust?? The dealer says the vehicle is in "perfect condition, no rust..."

Pay a "holding deposit" they agreed to return if i was not happy with the car. Arrive 7am in Adelaide, bus to view the car. I have a look over the car, looks great, drives great is great!!!!!. So I thought....

Have a closer look under the car, the chassis is within a whisker of falling apart.... VEry rusting but niclely sprayed black to look good!!!Mention to the dealer, his comment is, "this is only surface rust". I mention this goes againest his initial comment of "perfect near new, with no rust comments". I mentioned the side steps are choked up with 2 woodern blocks, any comments is say. He said we should get the chassis viewed by an "independent chassis professional for the yellow pages", but when he had this independant professional already in his phone on speed dial, I RAN!!!!

8 days later, deposit is returned, only after 4 phone calls.. Still down around $250 travel expenses..

Car I notice is still on Carsales. As the Toyota dealer who viewed it for me commented, "This is the worst case of chassis mistreatment I have seen in 10 years of servicing mine vehicles.

Put the clues together and stay away from this one!!!!
AnswerID: 398489

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 18:28

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 18:28
Yep,. its best not to name the dealer as you might be subject to all kinds of legal action

Dealers deal in volume. They buy in vehicles and some are traded in. Not every vehicle is given a thorough inspection although it should be inspected.

The greater majpority of dealers have to abide by a code. Sometimes vehicles slip through the net. Remmber the sales man is out there to make a living and to do that some smooth talking may occur. Salesman don't know everything about every vehicle they sll.

I have bought most of my vehicles from dealers with a 95% success rate. Yes there have been some stuff ups along the way but I have managed to get around that.

Always good to have an independant inspection done.


AnswerID: 398526

Follow Up By: Holden4th - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 20:16

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 20:16
No you won't be subjected to legal action. This is not your opinion of the vehicle but the result of a genuine inspection for which you have documentary proof. Go ahead - name and shame to prevent some poor bastard from making the mistake that you didn't. If the dealership had been honest with you the by all means withhold their name but it's obvious that they weren't. So come on, who are these guys? They deserve it.
FollowupID: 667491

Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 20:35

Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 at 20:35

Are you a legal expert? If so please quote your sources. There are always two sides to a story and all we have here is the complainant making a statement.

I think the poster is right by not naming the dealer as it serves no purpose to denigrade a company without absolute proof of being misled.

Apart from that, this site can be subject to legal action if companies are named as perpetrators of perceived misdeeds.
FollowupID: 667502

Follow Up By: offroad_tommo - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:12

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:12
Well I dont wish to stir the pot, I have requested that the mods remove the name I mentioned as I dont want to risk legal action - wont be able to afford that ute then!

Is there no way I can edit my posts?
FollowupID: 667539

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:26

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 00:26
The responsibility lies with the writer in this case. IF there was any defamation then the defamed party could approach the site owners and request the information be removed. Only if they refused could successful legal actions be taken. Tom I reckon the offending info is gone I cant see it up there any more
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FollowupID: 667540

Reply By: Member - dan r (WA) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 08:56

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 08:56
g day, i was just reading some of these comments, and thought i would pass on my experiance to potential buyers of a 2nd hand 4wd, the fellow with the rodeo did it right, get an independant inspection, there is more often than not hidden problems, i am a mechanic, and i do these regular, [ im not trying to promote my buisness here so i won't mention my buis name]
ive done many many checks, and saved people a lot of greif, and i would have to say that if you are buying a 2nd hand 4wd/car truck, ect, buy y from a dealer who sells new cars, and look at the ones who only traded it in to update, not to get rid of a problem, [ as also mentiooned here] that way you can also get a history, actions, whole salers and so on, you just have to be so careful, the dealers are in it to make a quid, and there are a couple of good ones out there, but there are a lot that just want to make a quick buck,
also if you buy from a private seller "always" do a rev's check, [ to find out if its under finance or stolen]
i repaired a blokes 4wd recently, he had just bought it from a dealer in Darwin, it was a bit noisy in the rear end and he asked me to take a squiz, it ended up costing this poor buggar over 2 grand for me to repair the rear wheel bearings, it had been swimming, the damage that was done was incredible, a simple pre purchase check could have saved him a lot of greif, and another point here, a lot of us people go bush with these cars, there is not much you can do when out in the desert broken down. get em checked and service them properly, is my advice, its easyer to do it from your home town than it is to do it on the side of a track.and make sure you get a mechanic that knows his job.
AnswerID: 398772

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