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Discussion Starter #1
I have a really sour taste in my mouth and I need to vent. Hope you guys don't mind.

I bought my Insight used in July and have been exquisitely happy with it since. I brought it in this morning because of a check engine light, happy to have these problems occur while the car is still under Honda's Certified Warranty. A few hours later I get a call from the mechanic, who has the pleasure to inform me that there is overwhelming evidence the car
has been in a front-end collision!! This is the first time I've brought my car to a dealership besides the one that sold it to me, so this is the first time an "outsider" has looked at it. Needless to say I was infuriated. The dealership that sold me the car mentioned nothing about evidence of a prior collision and claimed the car was in perfect shape. I called the dealership immediately to see what the story was, and of course I got: "Let's see, we got your money already... you're 2200 miles away... yeah, we couldn't care less. Tough luck."

The real kicker of the story is that the repair that needs to be done on my car due to the collision will cost about $1000. And, of course, Honda's warranty doesn't cover that, so that would be out of my pocket.

Based on the completely apathetic response I got from the dealership that sold me the car, I'm planning on pursuing things further with the Better Business Bureau and American Honda. With any luck, the mechanic here said American Honda might permit my warranty to cover this particular repair because of the situation.

Incidentally, I paid for a Carfax report on my car (I know I know, I should have done that before), but the report came out clear. I guess the previous owner brought it to a local shop and didn't use insurance. ARRGGGGH!
 

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Carfax

If you registered your car with Carfax, they have somoe sort of "lemon" insurance. I don't remember the details or have any experience with a claim.
 

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Good idea to check with some outside sources, and depending on Arizona law, check with a lawyer. In some states, (I believe Kansas, where I used to live, is one) REQUIRE the seller to reveal a vehicle's accident history. Meaning, they have to tell you even if you don't ask. Maybe the dealer didn't know, so then it would go back to the previous owner, but who cares as long as you get your car repaired and the cost doesn't come out of your pocket. I do find it very hard to understand how the car could go through the Honda Certified Used Car program without the damage being discovered, so maybe American Honda's customer service will be a help too. Sounds to me like the dealer would have to have known and just didn't do a proper certification on the car. Sometimes I think we'd be better off if the car companies could sell their cars directly to us, dealers just seem to be there to screw us anyway they can! (Manufacturers are actually barred by Federal Law from being able to sell cars directly to the private consumer, that's why their websites all direct you to a dealer in your area when you do an online build)
 

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Can you give any details about the "overwhelming evidence"?

If it is true, then this is an obvious legal issue...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Holicow,

There are wires hanging loose from the wire harness (I think part of the outside air temperature sensor) that were obviously clipped and never reinstated. But more significantly, the mechanic said the radiator core support was repainted and showed signs of being reconstructed from an impact. He seemed confident enough of his analysis to write a statement in my defense if I do pursue this in the legal arena.

Hambone,

Haha true, but don't you think that manufacturers would find ways to screw us over if they were able to sell as well? Seems like everyone is out to get your dime, no matter how illegitimately or unethically they get it.
 

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You're probably right, but I guess I'm basing my conclusions on the fact that I've had much better luck dealing with Honda directly than I have in dealing with their independently owned hucksters who sell and service their cars. I know I shouldn't be stereotyping all car dealers that way, I've actually had a couple of pleasant dealer experiences (the dealer I bought my Insight from in Topeka, KS was top notch in all of my dealings with them, but I've been soured by the poor knowledge and level of service I've received at the dealerships here in Maryland), its mostly a level of frustration from my experiences plus a level of disgust that a dealer would pawn off a previously damaged car as in great condition and have no moral responsibility to do something to make it right. Makes me want to find my childhood dream car as my next vehicle ('73 Trans Am, no computers, anyone can learn to wrench on 'em, no dealerships to worry with on service calls, earth be damned, my thunderchicken is comin' through!).
 

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Rusttree said:
I bought my Insight used in July and have been exquisitely happy with it since. I brought it in this morning because of a check engine light, happy to have these problems occur while the car is still under Honda's Certified Warranty. A few hours later I get a call from the mechanic, who has the pleasure to inform me that there is overwhelming evidence the car
has been in a front-end collision!! ... The dealership that sold me the car mentioned nothing about evidence of a prior collision and claimed the car was in perfect shape. [snip]

The real kicker of the story is that the repair that needs to be done on my car due to the collision will cost about $1000. And, of course, Honda's warranty doesn't cover that, so that would be out of my pocket.

Based on the completely apathetic response I got from the dealership that sold me the car, I'm planning on pursuing things further with the Better Business Bureau and American Honda. With any luck, the mechanic here said American Honda might permit my warranty to cover this particular repair because of the situation.

Incidentally, I paid for a Carfax report on my car (I know I know, I should have done that before), but the report came out clear. I guess the previous owner brought it to a local shop and didn't use insurance. ARRGGGGH!
Hold it. My Certified Insight purchased in late August came with a "bumper-to-bumper" of ninety days, plus "non drivetrain" for more than a year...just got my Certification card in the mail. Of course, my car is an '03 so yours may be different. Still, Honda promises "peace of mind" (http://automobiles.honda.com/certified/warranty.asp) and clearly that has been shattered with this revelation.

I suggest you check your Certification card and all Certification literature you can find. Not sure about Honda, but "no major collision" was part of the Toyota standard a few years ago.

CARFAX isn't foolproof. My old car's report was off with the change in ownership by nearly two years.

Keep us posted on your progress. Certification is an expensive option.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hambone! Don't give in to the dark side! Stay in the light! :wink:

Anyway, the check engine light was on due to the 12V battery being faulty. The mechanic suggested there was a chance the electric system may be having some issues with the fact that there are loose wires (one of which is a ground wire) hanging off the front of my car. That could lead to intermittent, long-term failures, especially since those wires are obviously not engine-critical. He also suggested the entire wire harness where those loose wires are hanging from should be replaced as any of the other wires in the harness may also be faulty. He didn't want to spend any time diagnosing it, though, because he would have had to charge me for the labor. At least it seems like he's not out to scam me.........
 

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Ouch sorry to hear that. If you'd like a second opinion I'd be happy to take a look at the car for you. If this was a Honda Certified used vehicle there should be some red flags going up here for sure. And I will also meniton Insight's tend to toast through 12 volt batteries in about 3 years so yours is probably about due for replacment anyways.

If there are indeed severed wires hanging around the proper fix would be to replace the wiring harness (a big job), but if things aren't all that bad then you might be able to get by with a good solder and doulbe heat shrink wrap job.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rick,

Actually I wouldn't mind that at all. I was considering going to a non-Honda Dealership person anyway to get a 2nd opinion. Besides, it's always great to meet another Insighter. PM me and let me know what would work for you.
 

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Did you look at the wires? What do they really look like?

I have heard of many folks finding out their air temp sensor wires were not connected from the factory...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I found the loose wires prior to bringing it in. They were part of the reason I was bringing the car in for service. They look cleanly cut (like with a wire cutter) and the plug they're supposed to be attached to is missing. The mechanic wasn't able to find their end point either. Basically they're hanging loose from a wire harness with no end cap and no apparent place to reconnect them.
 

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Okay, if there were loose wires, then that certainly violates the "Certified" warranty on the vehicle. The car is supposed to be restored to "factory" condition; that is, all parts should be genuine honda and complete as when leaving the factory. I'm sure no Insight left the factory with a chewed wire harness.

My "Certified" Toyota had an aftermarket alarm system that I didn't discover until I replaced the battery, six months after I bought it. Took it right back to the dealership, where they removed it and redid the certification inspection, for free, with profuse apologies and a free service loaner.

Take pictures of all this with your mechanic if you can.
 
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