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What would you have done?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by ArnoldBabar, May 27, 2008.

  1. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    After buying a new car, I just sold my old car myself. I've run up against something, and am curious what others would do in the same situation.

    It's a '97 Pathfinder, low miles, and I realized it was far from perfect -- not real clean, dent in the rear bumper, and some rocking indicated it probably needed shocks. Rather than fix it all up, I decided just to price it way below market to get rid of it, and let the new owner prioritize what they cared about fixing. When people asked me what kind of mechanical shape it was in, I told them it ran fine, that I knew of no problems but that it hadn't been examined by a mechanic in a long time. And I was sure to point out the suspension issue.

    Sold it this morning to a nice young guy, an immigrant who works as a hospital janitor and has a wife and baby. He paid me in cash, we did all the paperwork, and I reported the title transfer online.

    A couple of hours later, he calls me saying he took it to a mechanic and it has big problems. I was having trouble understanding his english, but it sounds like there was a broken strut and some kind of oil leak (I had no indication it was leaking oil). He asks if I can pay for the repairs (about $900) or let him give the car back. I tell him he can't return the car -- legally, I don't even know how it would be possible -- but that I'll kick in $300 toward repairs, about half the cost of the broken strut. Factoring that in, I'm now getting around half the blue book value. My wife said she's OK with me giving him the $300, but to make it clear to him that I wash my hands of it from there.

    Legally, the car is his. He signed a bill of sale stating that it was sold as-is, and I have no further obligation. He should have taken it to a mechanic before buying it, especially since I told him there was an unidentified problem, but he didn't. I sold it for way under market value because I knew it wasn't in perfect condition, and I honestly didn't know what was wrong. I wasn't trying to pull anything over on him.

    At the same time, this kid probably just gave me all the savings he had, and now he's been handed a big repair bill. I feel a little guilty about it.

    What should I have done? Told him to go piss up a rope? Paid for the repairs? Taken the car back?
  2. dargan

    dargan Active Member

    The guilt is understandable. Even though you didn't mean to rip the guy off, he might think you're trying to.

    I probably would have taken it to the shop and gotten everything fixed myself, then sold it for the KBB price.
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    As long as you were honest in reporting any mechanical problems, you don't owe him shit. If you feel like you may not have been completely on the up and up about it, let your conscience be your guide.

    And why didn't he take it to a mechanic BEFORE he bought it. I'd probably tell him to piss up a rope. If he's no better consumer than to buy a vehicle after seeing it only once, without an inspection, then it's his problem. He won't make the same mistake twice.
  4. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Caveat emptor.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

  6. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I'm with the caveat emptor crowd. I wouldn't even take his calls. You bought it, you own it.
  7. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    You're fine, Babar. If I were selling a car, chances are I wouldn't have the money to fix it all up before selling it, but I would take it to a mechanic and get a vehicle inspection done beforehand. But yes, caveat emptor. The guy fucked up by not getting it inspected before buying it.
  8. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i understand your guilt. but i go with the "buyer beware" crowd. who doesn't do his due diligence on a transaction like this? the kid effed up, not you.
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    For $38 bucks, my mechanic will do a thorough check-up of any car you are about to buy and give you a detailed list of what needs to be done now, what looks like it might need to be done soon and what can be done if you are looking for perfect. He's saved my ass a couple of times.
    I don't believe he's the only one in the country doing such a thing.

    Check it out BEFORE you buy.
  10. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    That's a pretty snazzy price, considering most shops' labor rates are at or above $50.
  11. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    You told him about the suspension problem and said the car hadn't been to a mechanic in a while. You weren't deceiving him at all. I think that with your warnings it should have been obvious to take the car to a mechanic to check it.

    You shouldn't feel guilty, you were transparent about the possible issues.
  12. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I considered not returning calls, but another factor is that he knows where I live, and the last thing I need is he and his buddies deciding I ripped him off and pulling some shit.
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