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How about them Redskins?
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On 11/27/04 I purchased a 2003 Lexus IS300 from Desert Toyota. This car was a used car, but had no cosmetic blemishes or anything that appeared to be wrong with it, with the exception of the trunk latch that was not catching right. It was a minor thing, and when I mentioned this to the salesman a Mr. Eldifonso Paniagua his reply was that this could be taken care of because the car was still under factory warranty, and Lexus should take care of it. With that statement I felt confident that this car had no issues.

When we got to the close of the deal, Desert Toyota presented me with a car fax report, and told me this car had never been in an accident or had any type of incident.

I also had to sign an arbitration agreement that I had an issue with. I asked what would happen if I refused to sign it. Mr. Chris Ditmore the finance manager explained to me that they would not sell me the car. Being foolish after I heard this, I bought the car.

The trunk latch not closing was the only issue I had with this car, and was just a minor inconvenience to me, so I did not rush out to get it fixed. I reasoned that since I had another year or two on the factory warranty, I would wait, and see if I had any other issues and if so, get the trunk lid fixed then.

On 4/19/05 I did have another factory warranty issue with my car, and took my Lexus to Fletcher Jones Lexus, 2 blocks up the street for service. While I was there, the Lexus representive told me he could not fix the trunk latch because the car was involved in a collision/impact and whoever fixed the trunk did a shotty job. It was also determined that the trunk latch was the wrong type, and the trunk cable was run incorrectly.

I said ok, took the car back to Desert Toyota where I had the extreme displeasure of meeting Tony Zita, the Used Car Manager. Mr. Zita swore up and down that my car had not been wrecked, involved in an impact, and said that all cars are looked at for damage upon trade in. With the Carfax report, he stated that my car was not involved in anything, and that someone in my family probably did it.

I went back over to Fletcher Jones Lexus, and told my service manager what Mr. Zita had said, he proceeded to take me to my car, and after we opened the trunk he showed my several signs that there was repair work done. 2 of the most obvious were, the assembly latch was secured with 2 different color screws, and he was able to peel off some masking tape that was used obviously for painting.

I then had the Lexus Service Advisor call Mr. Zita and explain this to him. He also told Mr. Zita he had to deny my claim for warranty work because this car was involved in an impact. Mr. Zita asked me (on the phone) to return to Desert Toyota so we could work it out. My Lexus service advisor gave me the name of a local body shop that specializes in Lexus automobiles (Exoticar Paintworks INC). I made an appointment with them and then went to Desert Toyota.


When I got back to Desert Toyota Mr. Zita said that he would have one of the techs in the back fix it, and all would be good. Mr. Zita issued me a Due Bill, and I returned the next day.

On 4/20/05 I returned to let the tech fix the trunk latch. Long Story short, two hours later, and the tech (Steve Davis) could not fix it. At this point I told Mr. Zita were past the point of fixing it, and we now were at the replacing it point. Mr. Zita denied my claim and basically told me he didn't have to help me, I had waited to long.

At this point I knew I was dealing with a snake, so I decided to file a complaint with Connie Hedgepeth the customer service manager. After speaking with her, and telling her this whole story, all she could offer was $100.00 and basically told me buyer beware. Again I explained that this was told to me that it was a factory warranty issue, and had I known it wasn’t, I would not have bought this car. Had I known it was not a factory warranty issue, I would have demanded that Desert Toyota fix the problem the day I bought the car. I was lied to. Mrs. Hedgepeth also told me that this was from the GM, not her. I expressed my extreme displeasure at this solution and left.

I went to my appointment at Exoticar Paintworks INC. the next day, and long story short, The body shop estimator told me this car was involved in a serious rear end collision/impact and whomever fixed it, did a shotty job. The Body shop pointed out to me that the bumper alignment was off, some clips were missing, the rear lights were not even, the trunk latch was the wrong kind, etc.....

Now I am extremely distressed. Desert Toyota not only engaged in poor business practices, but now I have found out, they are committing fraud, by not disclosing that some of the used cars have been in accidents, and neglecting to tell consumers the truth.

My Attorney has advised me to make this complain to the BBB first, and then if no action is taken, we will pursue legal action, arbitration agreement or not.

Regardless, I will never, ever in my lifetime, recommend, endorse or say good things about Desert Toyota. All of my family, friends, and even people I meet, I do tell them of this, and they are aware. All of my other cars are Toyotas (Celica,Lexus,and Tacoma) will never, or never again be serviced by Desert Toyota. Shack Findlay gets my business now.
 

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Aww cinnamon an' gravy!
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R1Elvis said:
At this point I knew I was dealing with a snake, so I decided to file a complaint with Connie Hedgepeth the customer service manager. After speaking with her, and telling her this whole story, all she could offer was $100.00 and basically told me buyer beware. Again I explained that this was told to me that it was a factory warranty issue, and had I known it wasn’t, I would not have bought this car. Had I known it was not a factory warranty issue, I would have demanded that Desert Toyota fix the problem the day I bought the car. I was lied to. Mrs. Hedgepeth also told me that this was from the GM, not her. I expressed my extreme displeasure at this solution and left.
Buyer beware?! WTF is that shit? You shouldn't have to snoop around their cars as if they are an honest car dealership they should be forthcoming about any flaws in the car. I would send letters/emails and angry phonecalls to the higher ups of the toyota system if ya havent already done it. Thats seriously f'ed up :boid
 

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I would suggest also contacting the state, and file a claim with them. We had a little problem where someone decided to forge a signature on a contract renewal. Nothing worked until we filed a claim with the state. That got the ball rolling REAL fast.

You could also try to get ahold of one of the local TV stations that has a "problem solver" or something similar that will work to get your problem fixed. Not only should your problem be solved, but that dealership will get what is coming to them.

I think more and more dealerships these days are not mentioning accidents like this, a friend bought a car, and noticed a week later that the paint was a bit different on the rear quarter panel. Whether they actually had anything to do with it, or just accidently took it as a trade in without inspecting it before, it is still their problem.

Carfax reports are a good start, but they are nothing to trust. My car was totalled 2 years ago, but still doesnt even show anything on the record. It was reported to the police, since my insurance went up, just never made it to carfax. But of course, if you know some people in a bodyshop, or an officer, you can usually keep the cars and your record clean pretty easily.
 

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How about them Redskins?
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
aero3685 said:
I would suggest also contacting the state, and file a claim with them. We had a little problem where someone decided to forge a signature on a contract renewal. Nothing worked until we filed a claim with the state. That got the ball rolling REAL fast.
What dept in the State should I file this complaint with? Just curious, never thought of that route.

Here is a couple of photos of the back end, the day I bought the car. Can you See the defects, the body shop pointed out to me?
 

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Official SBN Party Pooper
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Well i can definitly see the rear lights are off. The left looks to be just bit higher then the right.
 

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You got that right.
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On 11/27/04 I purchased a 2003 Lexus IS300 from Desert Toyota.
That was your first mistake. ALWAYS buy a Honda. They don't break, ever! :joke

Anyway, what about the CarFax buy-back option. I thought that if there was an issue like this (an inaccurate CarFax report) they would buy the vehicle back. I heard that on a radio advertisement here in Boston so I'm not sure if it varies from market to market or if that "promotion" is over. Worth looking into, esp. w/ the issues you've had thus far.
 

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Light it up! Light it up!
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I think you can file things like this with the Attoney General. go to your state website to see for sure.

bad situation tho...good lookin car...
 

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How about them Redskins?
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Discussion Starter #8
Rascus said:
Well i can definitly see the rear lights are off. The left looks to be just bit higher then the right.
Bingo!!! We have a winner :(
 

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KH, Rest In Peace Brother
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I might be off here but weather damage isn't reported to Carfax either ( a tree faling on it or something). Sounds like there might have been unreported accident that never made it to Carfax or an insurance claim filed (maybe vehicle was rear ended by someone with no Ins. and they worked it out amongst themselves), there was a wreck and as soon as it was fixed they traded the car in and I believe Carfax only updates every other month or something like that.

GM had an issue a few years ago where a guy bought a truck and it kept breaking down, new truck mind you. After it had been in the shop 12 times in a year and GM refused to replace it he bought 10,000 lemon stickers and put them on the truck as well as a sign that read something along the lines" this lemon was purchaed from *insert dealer name* don't buy from them, ask my why" after driving like that for a week or so a local news channel picked the story up and did a big stpry on it.....2 weeks later is brand new fully loaded truck was delivered and gave $5k worth of credit towards the loan.

Me personally, I would ake the most amount of a hassle as possible...the squeakiest wheel gets oiled...good luck with it and call ANYONE you think might be able to help.
 

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sucks to hear stories like this, I hope things get worked out for you.
 

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Aww cinnamon an' gravy!
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Aside from the horrible dealer experience, how do you like the car mechanically? I ask because I'm in the market for a car and the IS300 is one that I'm looking at, but I don't know anyone who has first hand experience with em. Can you give me your opinions? (I don't mean to derail the thread or anything like that I'm just curious.)
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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have you talked w/ carfax?

climb the ladder...... if the dealership GM is of no help, then who's his boss.

and in the end, it is buyer beware.........in tx there's an "as is" note on all used cars.......
 

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Light it up! Light it up!
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was it some kind of 'certified used'? (i think i read that in the first post last night...dunno). if so, you may be able to take the issue up with lexus too.
 

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How about them Redskins?
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Discussion Starter #14
Twas not certified pre owned. BUT still has the factory warrenty. The certifed Preowned would have helped me out on this I think, but when I bought this car, it was only an 03 in the 04 year.
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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carfax?
 

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How about them Redskins?
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Discussion Starter #17
RACER X said:
Yes I recieved a car fax report on this car. It said this car was clean, with no reported incidents..
 

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OFFICER737 said:
I might be off here but weather damage isn't reported to Carfax either ( a tree faling on it or something). Sounds like there might have been unreported accident that never made it to Carfax or an insurance claim filed (maybe vehicle was rear ended by someone with no Ins. and they worked it out amongst themselves), there was a wreck and as soon as it was fixed they traded the car in and I believe Carfax only updates every other month or something like that.
Well, like I posted, my car was totalled (I rear ended someone after doing a brake upgrade, go figure) Their car was fine, but mine being lowered hit hood to bumper, and smushed it all in. Hood was bent to headlights, all that jazz. Cops came did report, etc.. all was documented. I checked the carfax report before I sold it(after i fixed it up) and it was clean. Dont worry.. the person buying it knew it was in an accident, the hood was still not painted, he just needed a dependable car. 250k when i sold it, and sure it would go another 200k as long as he changes the oil. It was a honda btw :)

But I beleive as someone said, it is the attorney general that you would want to contact. If its not them, im sure they will let you know. It only took about a week for the place to snap into action, sure the state has a bit more influence than a measely customer.
 

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V-twin anyone?
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I am always leery of any dealerships with a body workshop out back. A garage is okay, but if there's a lot of dust and crap, bad juju in my book.

I've also learned to catch mismatched orange peel, misaligned body panels, different colored body panels, weld work on radiator mounts, extremely new parts on a used vehicle, bondo work,and other signs to look for to verify a car in an accident. Some body shops are pretty good though at replicating the factory image, but under close scruitiny, it can be revealed that there have been previous damage.

Going to car shows is a must to train the eye.

Sorry you got 'took'. I hate sleezy salemen like that. Nice car though. I'd definitely get it looked over. It's a rear wheel drive vehicle and if the wheel axle got pushed forward, the transmission might have some internal damage. Were the rear quarter panels replaced?
 
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