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Hello, all. Sitting in my driveway is a 2017 Hybrid SE that I'm testing overnight. It has 6700 miles on it, and it's CPO from AutoNation. Though it's an SE, it has some nice extras, such as leatherette seats, Bird's Eye View, JBL stereo (I know some wouldn't call this a perk, but I don't mind it), and navigation. It's exactly what I've been looking for for months, and it's being offered for 28,821.00. I'd be trading a 2016 Honda HR-V, manual. I owe 12k on it; they're offering me 15,250 trade.

All this sounds pretty good, I think. However, the Carfax is trying to ruin my day:

07/17/2017 Colorado
Damage Report Accident reported
Vehicle involved in a front end collision
Damage to front
Damage to left front
Moderate damage reported
Vehicle disabled
Vehicle towed
Airbags did not deploy

Ugh. I'm going to have my mechanic take a look in the morning, but I do hear some rattling/buzzing on the left side that may or may not be normal. To my eye, the car looks great, but I'm nervous about the accident. The salesman says there's no way it'd be CPO if it wasn't tip top, but of course he'd say that.

WWYD? Steer clear? Go with it if the mechanic says it's good?

I'd sure appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance.

Diamond
 

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I wonder why the car isn't still in the hands of the original owner, with it being the current year's model and not many miles on it. Is it possible that the insurance totaled it and it was repaired as salvage?
 

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I'd walk away fast since CARFAX has an accident listed against the VIN.
 

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Before I dry my eyes and walk away, does the fact that it's Certified Pre Owned matter at all?
The decision is yours. You asked for our opinion. I purchased a truck that looked and drove like new. It was in an accident in the front end. I had a mechanic check it out and the dealership was swearing how great it was. This 1994 Nissan 4x4 gave me troubles later when I started hearing noises in the front end and nobody could figure it out. I took it to a frame shop and they discovered the frame was bent. Why two different mechanics didn't see it got me very angry. Even had a friend check it out. I will never buy another vehicle that was in an accident again. I don't trust dealerships whether something is in writing or not, unless an attorney checks it out first. I want to know WHY the original owner didn't keep it if it was so minor? Where's the repair work order? Who did the repair? I want details--not cover ups! Where's the police report? I personally would not buy it and be patient until the right one comes along. I have learned in my life, that there will always be another one waiting for me. Sometimes when I least expect it. This decision is yours and your family. Good luck in what ever decision you make. If your a praying man--pray first. I will pray for you.
 

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I was surprised a car with an accident on its VIN history could be certified. I checked and both Honda and Toyota allow it.
Honda checks for fire, flood and a few other conditions. Toyota only checks for open recalls. Go figure!
 

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Before I dry my eyes and walk away, does the fact that it's Certified Pre Owned matter at all?
In a word - NO! 0:)

IMHO CPO just indicates that the vehicle is certified to be pre-owned and not new! :wink

Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware! :serious
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The decision is yours. You asked for our opinion. I purchased a truck that looked and drove like new. It was in an accident in the front end. I had a mechanic check it out and the dealership was swearing how great it was. This 1994 Nissan 4x4 gave me troubles later when I started hearing noises in the front end and nobody could figure it out. I took it to a frame shop and they discovered the frame was bent. Why two different mechanics didn't see it got me very angry. Even had a friend check it out. I will never buy another vehicle that was in an accident again. I don't trust dealerships whether something is in writing or not, unless an attorney checks it out first. I want to know WHY the original owner didn't keep it if it was so minor? Where's the repair work order? Who did the repair? I want details--not cover ups! Where's the police report? I personally would not buy it and be patient until the right one comes along. I have learned in my life, that there will always be another one waiting for me. Sometimes when I least expect it. This decision is yours and your family. Good luck in what ever decision you make. If your a praying man--pray first. I will pray for you.
Sometimes it takes a stranger on the Internet to snap you into reality. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm returning the car this afternoon. I wasn't considering the kind and extent of future problems that could reveal themselves.

Thanks to everyone who commented.

D
 

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If it's a salvage title, just walk away. If title is original. From the report, "Vehicle involved in a front end collision," "Airbags did not deploy," collision was not too bad! I had front end collision 8 months after I bought my 2015 RAV4. And airbags did not deploy. Airbag sensors are in very front. Without triggering the sensors, collision would not be too bad. $28,821.00 for 2016 RAV4 SE is tooooo high. You should check the blue book price. Fair market range is $21769-$25314 for CPO. If buying from private owner, fair price range (because of the accident) $20191 - $22845. I would say your best offer should be no more than $20,000.
 

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I look at used RAV4 when I bought mine. Price difference was so little because of RAV4's high resale value decided to buy new. I keep my car a long time so the extra paid was worth it.
 

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That is scary. I wonder too. But wouldn't it be a salvage title? How could I find out if it was totaled?
If the title did not change (original owner took the insurance payout and repaired it) then it will not be "branded" as salvage in many states.

$28k for a '17 with that kind of front end repair? Walk away. I know the hybrids list for $5k above that, but my wife's '15 XLE wasn't anywhere near $28k.
 

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My friend a garage manager is a sharp buyer, and his GF needed a luxury ride.
- he found a 2016 Lexus NX200 ... list $68K in Canada
- with 26,000 Km / or 16,000 miles
- CarFax pegged repaired damage, at $19,000 cdn
- the new OEM headlight, bumper & grill alone was close to $10,000
- purchased from dealer for $38,000 ... a savings of $40K / or 44% depreciation

Sometimes it takes a stranger on the Internet to snap you into reality. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm returning the car this afternoon. I wasn't considering the kind and extent of future problems that could reveal themselves.

Thanks to everyone who commented.

D
diamondintheback ^^ Smart move seeking advise here / many people, look at a purchase and their extra "wishing & hopefulness" tends to cloud good judgement...a trap to learn from & avoid.
 

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If the title did not change (original owner took the insurance payout and repaired it) then it will not be "branded" as salvage in many states.
I'm pretty sure that's not the case in any state.

https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm

Q. What Is the Salvage Value?
A. This is the remaining value of your damaged vehicle if your vehicle is determined to be a total loss. It is usually determined through bids from salvage buyers. The company may sell the salvage to the highest bidder. However, it is not obligated to do so. If you decide to keep the damaged vehicle, the highest salvage bid may be deducted from your settlement. In effect, you are "buying back" your vehicle for the salvage value. If you retain possession of the salvaged vehicle, it is your responsibility to file a salvage certificate with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
That's because the clean title is yanked by the state once a vehicle is totaled. The VIN is issued a salvage certificate. You can't register a vehicle with a salvage certificate, it just proves ownership of the heap of metal.

Once repaired, the new owner can apply for a salvage title, pay tax on the buy back cost + all repair costs, then inspect the vehicle to be roadworthy.
 

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Good for you! :wink
 
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