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Dealer Boo-Boo


Full Member
Aug 12, 2002
Newport News, Va
i was at the local chevy dealer yesterday with a friend. he was looking at a Trailblazer for the wife. i noticed a nice convertible Vette. i went over to look at it, and noticed it was damaged on the left front of the bumper and fender. it was a brand new $60k car. so what was the deal?
well come to find out a sales person tried to start the car. it was in gear. there just happened to be a car in front of the Vette that belonged to some gentlemen just browsing. it hit their car somewhere along the rear wheel well i think. not causing much, if any, damage to the parked car.
well the salesperson was upset of course. i offered to buy the Vette at a discounted rate, of course. >:D my offer went ignored. ??? you gotta ask, right?
i was told the Vette and the customers car will be covered under the dealership's insurance. then that means the Vette will be sold as a never scratched, damaged, virgin car to unsuspecting buyers. that's gotta suck. what if you have this problem (anything problem i guess in that area of damage) and you take it in for service. they tell you it is not covered under warranty because it was caused by an accident?
may not be a problem if you take it back where you made the purchase. but you know how other dealerships are. makes me wonder sometimes. ???
Many times body damage occurs during loading, unloading and transport. All these usually get fixed at the dealers own body shop. New vehicles with no mileage frequently have bondo on them.
Sneaky dealers!!! :8: Things like this just makes a person MAD! Funny thing, my dad's never had any trouble with our dealer. We're just lucky, I guess.
I didn't thing a car would start in gear, at least since the late 70's. And since the Audi problems in the mid 80's I thought you had to have the brake depressed to put a running car in gear.
I work at the Cadillac Assembly Plant in Detroit. You should see some of the cars that get damaged in the plant. I've seen a fork truck driver make a turn to wide with a big material rack and wipe out the whole side of a Deville that was ready to out the door to the dealer. They just take it back to the body shop repair it by pounding out the dents, send it to the paint shop to be spot painted and then ship it. If the damage to the metal is to bad they replace the panel if possible. If it is a rear quater they pound out the dent and then spray silicon bronze metal (super heated powdered metal that goes on like spray paint) on it, file it down, sand it and paint it. By law it is illegal to make a repair with bondo to a new vehicle and sell it as new.
And not just car dealers. Monday I returned a set of Ventvisors to Pep Boys cause one was warped and wouldn't fit right. As I was tearing open the new package to get the one I needed the Store Mgr. was upset that I was "tearing" it open. I said you're going to turn around and sell this to somebody else aren't you? He says yes, maybe the next person won't retun it. I told him what I thought of that. :7:
"Bondo" is the brand name most associated with a two part, catylized plastic body filler commonly used to fill dents on sheet metal. Once a dent has been pounded out , the damaged area is filled in with the material, and is sanded smooth. It is fast and cheap. The problems arise when it is applied too thick. In the old days, and for high priced repairs, the old method of using lead and a torch is still practiced. That method relies more on a very skilled craftsmen. The sheet metal is pounded out as close to the proper shape as is possible and a very thin layer of tin is applied. The term "lead sled" used in the 50's refers to extensive body work done in this manner on "chopped, channeled and sectioned lowriders. The classic lead sleds were '49-'51 Merc's.

It may be illegal, but the reality is that body filler mysteriously finds its way in to new cars quite often.
By law the dealership is either suppose to sell the car as used, or sell it as new with a disclaimer signed by the buyer stating they have been made aware that the car was previously damaged and they are accepting the car with this knowledge (at least in Oklahoma). I had a friend a few years back who bought a new car that was wrecked and bondo'ed on the front drivers side. He didn't notice it until he was cleaning it for the first time. He called GM Zone and informed them he planned on taking action if something wasn't done, they said he needed to go back to the dealer and the dealer needed to make it right because what was done was illegal. The dealer tried to say they had simply forgotten to have him sign the form stating it was a previously wrecked car, & that some how the salesman must have also forgot to tell him it had been wrecked (however, the word "wrecked" was never used, they tryed to say a tent pole fell on it). Anyway, the dealer got the car back and my friend got his down payment back and that was the end of that. I have a feeling from the way the dealership was acting though, that he probably could've taken them to court over the whole deal, because they even tryed to get him to sign the release form about the previous damage after they took the car back. They were pretty nervous.
That is just sad...especially the one about the Pep boys and the ventvisors....it's rediculous what they will do to maintain a profit...and at the costs of the people that trust them to deliver the quality goods....if that had happened to me, I would vow to never return to that specific location and may even write a letter to corporate Peep boyz.... :B:
I don't get it how a Vette was in gear and just took off. It doesn't sound like the sales person knew what he was doing. If it was a Auto you can't start those unless they are in Park, right. The only way to start a manual is to have the clutch in, so I don't understand how it just took off. :cautious:

This sounds like some employee wanting to have some fun and seriously underestimating what that thing could do...he probably didn't even know what he was doing to begin with...which makes it even worse... :B:
It could have been a manual and he started it with the clutch in. When he let the clutch out it was in gear when he thought it was in neutral :p
That would seem like a logical answer.....but wouldn't they have the parking brake engaged for safety reasons?....guess not... :-[ :B:
NJAV said:
That would seem like a logical answer.....but wouldn't they have the parking brake engaged for safety reasons?....guess not... :-[ :B:

Parking brake, parking brake......we still have those things?! :eek:
Tell me about it...I think I've used mine once since getting the Av....bad habits die hard... :B:
NJAV said:
Tell me about it...I think I've used mine once since getting the Av....bad habits die hard... :B:
My problem is just the opposite. I have to remember to take it off. It doesn't seem to slow you down much! ???
Steelheadchaser said:
My problem is just the opposite. I have to remember to take it off. It doesn't seem to slow you down much! ???

I have to test that theory...the one time I did use it, it seemed to go down rather easy and effortlessly....didn't try to drag it out though...
sad news for me, maybe by the time i actually get my av, only the steering wheel and the passenger seat belt will be original!
Back in 1982, I had my Cavalier in for work, a tech was driving the car out of the shop, while another tech hit the door down button on the shop. The door came down on the roof of my car, the tech, flustered, jumped out of my car which continued on and ran into a Chevy pickup that was just backing off the transport. Lots of body work that week.
Our dealership used to be a warehouse, so all the techs have loading docks behind their bays. One diesel truck was on the lube rack and the tech's foot slipped off of the clutch. The truck went through the gate at the end of the rack, through the closed roll-up door, and off of the loading dock. The truck landed on the front part of the frame and the insurance company totaled the customer's truck out for them. They got a new truck that week. Oh yeah, the customer was waiting at the dealership for his oil change when this happened. I thought he was going to cry. Poor guy. :(
What a surprise that would be....go in for an oil change and find out your truck just became lunch for some big ole' machine.....

Not to mention, do have any idea what must be going through that poor guys head as he wrecks a customer car...he must of had a heart attack for sure.... :B: