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Dealer antics, get them to pay for broken headlight?

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yh125d

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Dec 23, 2006
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I'll try to do the cliffs to keep it short

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Brother goes to a chevy dealer an hour away to buy a Mazda CX-7, everything looks to be a great deal, way under book, etc. Listed at 10,980

Everythings cool, he decides to buy and they start paperwork

That's when they mention that the advertised price is AFTER a 20% downpayment

Disclaimer wasn't on the Autotrader ad, nor on the dealer website earlier in the day. By the time my brother calls me to check it out they've added it to their website in the fine print

I check 30 other listings on their site, no other cars have anything like this

They bitch and moan and haggle and eventually buy it for about $12.5 (still like $3k under book), and the dealer cut them a $200 check to pay for replacement headlight bulbs that their service dept missed (they are HIDs so more expensive than most)

Bro calls a Mazda dealer in town to just have them do the bulbs as you have to remove the wheel well and etc, they'll do both for $120 total

Mazda guys try to get in installed for 30 minutes before they realize the passenger headlight assembly is just broken, tells brother it'll be $900

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I think the Chevy dealer got it in as a trade, tried to replace the bulb but broke it instead (or they realized it was already broken after they accepted the trade and didn't want to shell out for a new one), and planned to go with the story of "so sorry our service dept missed that, here's $200 for the bulb replacement and your trouble".


Any advice on how to get the Chevy dealer to pay to fix it? We're waiting to hear back from one of the managers there, but given the 20% down bait/switch crap I'm not too confident they're gonna do anything



Worst case and they tell us to pound sand, I can buy a replacement online for like $350 and get a mechanic or dealer to install it for $100 or so I think, that sound like a good plan B?
 

Jimzz

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2012
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Unless its in writing a used car is sold as is. So he can ask nicely but they don't have to do anything.

He should have walked away when they tried their price game. I got so ticked of when I was car shopping from this.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
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Well it comes down to if you can prove fraud I expect. If they routinely do pre-sale inspections on car and given that they have the technical competence to know the difference they should be expected to know the difference. You get any of this in writing?

FWIW do you know whats wrong? A HID bulb can be had for about $50 a pop. Ballasts and housing are more expensive of course, but $900 seems like MSRP for parts plus rapey labor rates. Trouble is that on a lot of car you have to remove the bumper to get at the lights these days. At least if its the projector or the balast.
 

Jimzz

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Oct 23, 2012
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What year is it?

Some headlamps on eBay HID version for CX-7's for less than $200.
 

yh125d

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2006
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Ok, he was able to talk the original dealer to fixing it themselves for free (rather than pay the mazda dealer the $900) so disaster averted

I'm not sure exactly what was wrong, but the Mazda guys were saying they needed to just replace the entire assembly, which I found on rockauto for like $320. But for that, plus bulb in the other, with OEM parts at a dealer the 900 wasn't *that* excessive, but either way shouldn't be a worry anymore


Bottom line, he's getting a $15k car in great shape for $12.5k and a good bit more hassle than typical. Any way we figure it he's still ahead $1500-2000. I'm just happy for him he didn't get offended and say screw them on principle. It's still a good deal overall, and about a perfect car for him (first kid on the way, and he's been driving a shitty old suzuki that's falling apart)
 
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