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Otown

used car puchase

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My wife and I financed a car in feb 21st 2015. The following day, we noticed the engine light on and the car shifting hard/abnormal. We immediately took it in to a local jiffy lube and determined it was a transmission problem; code 90780 - shift malfunction. 

We called the dealer and told them what happened. They asked us to bring the car back. Their shop guy ran a diagnostic test and confirmed it was indeed a malfunction failure. He told us to wait a few mins. 5-10 min later, he said ok...everything should be fine. I asked what the problem was and he said it just needed a lil adjustment!! not really sure what that meant but he got the light to go off.

Anyhow, we brought the van back home. the following morning 2/24/15 as we were headed to DEQ for an emissions test, we noticed that the engine light came back on. We decided we were going to take it anyways to run the test and get the report from DEQ so we can show it to the dealer when we took it back. So We did. Took the vehicle back to the dealer, told them we were still having problems with the transmission and showed them the emissions report from DEQ.

After about a week later, the mechanic talked with us and came to a conclusion that the transmission was not worth fixing and that they would have to order a new one. now I assumed it would be a rebuilt since a brand new transmission would probably cost more than the car itself..which we were ok with.

Anyhow, It has now been over a month. They had our car since 2/24/15. I called and spoke with the mechanic again and I told him how upset I was and that I find it very unfair that we now have to make a payment for a car that we never had a chance to drive...and somewhere during our conversation, he said that he has his guys working on it and that they are rebuilding it to make sure everything is working great. I said to him, I thought you told us instead of rebuilding the original, that you guys were putting in a new transmission. He immediately began stuttering and absolutely changed what he originally told us. He originally told us that they were going to take out the old transmission and put in a new one. So now he's lying to us. We have been going back and forth with the dealer now for a month. They never return our calls after leaving numerous messages. I know that this was an "As Is" deal, but after what we've been through, This has been the worst car purchasing experience ever and we just want our money back. probably won't happen but any advice will be appreciated!!

 

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I'm having some trouble with this one. How old was the car? What was the make and model? How much did you pay? Was the seller a reputable dealer or a curb-stoner? A curb stoner is a seller who doesn't have a lot or store but sells cars from shopping center lots or through newspaper adds.

Since you are reporting an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) trouble code I assume the transmission is an electronically controlled automatic transmission. My first thought is that there are very few mechanics who are capable of rebuilding an automatic transmission. You essentially need a factory to disassemble and reassemble an automatic transmission. So I believe you are up to your armpits in manure if the dealer says they are going to rebuild your transmission.

I would be willing to bet the first time you brought the car back the mechanic just plugged in the ODB reader and erased the trouble code, hoping it would not pop up again for a while.

It is difficult to tell you what to do in this matter. Certainly you could try to get the "dealer" to take the car back and sell it to another sucker. If he or she won't you could go to small claims court and claim the defect was concealed when you bought the car. Finally, you could stop paying the note and force the dealer to take action that you might be able to successfully defend.

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Thank you for the reply!! We purchased a 2001 Honda Odyssey automatic transmission. Internet price was 4,999 we put down 3,250. We bought it from an an independent used car dealership. The thing you mentioned about the ODB reader and erasing the code makes a lot of sense. I'm just glad that the engine light came back on b4 we took it in to DEQ. You are also right about the few mechanics who are capable of doing this type of work. I called one of our local AAMCO shop in town about a length of time it would take to rebuild or even put in a new transmission, and they told me for a new transmission for an 01 odyssey... about 24hrs or so at the most. to re-build 3-4 days. 

 

So at this point, I'm really worried that it's taking them this long... a little over a month to fix the problem. I'm thinking of going to the dealership this next week and tell them I just want my money back and they can keep the van...but I know it's just not that simple. However, the threat to take them to small claims court hopefully will help them think otherwise. Thank you again for the reply/advice. greatly appreciated!!

 

 

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Hi Otown,

 

Sorry to hear you are dealing with this frustrating situation. If you end up deciding to sue in small claims court (or you stop paying and the dealer takes you to small claims court, you might want to check out the following FindLaw blog post to read up on how to prepare for and what to expect when you have your day in court:

You might also want to check out some of the articles in our Learn About the Law - Buying a Car section for general tips and information on used car sales. There might be some information there to help you support your current case -- and guide your through your next car purchase. Here are some articles to help get you started:

Good luck!

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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Hi Otown,

 

Sorry to hear you are dealing with this frustrating situation. If you end up deciding to sue in small claims court (or you stop paying and the dealer takes you to small claims court, you might want to check out the following FindLaw blog post to read up on how to prepare for and what to expect when you have your day in court:

You might also want to check out some of the articles in our Learn About the Law - Buying a Car section for general tips and information on used car sales. There might be some information there to help you support your current case -- and guide your through your next car purchase. Here are some articles to help get you started:

Good luck!

 

The FindLaw.com Team

Thank you for the useful information. I really don't wanna have to pursue any legal action. I just hope that considering our situation and unfortunate experience that they would just refund our money and re-sell the vehicle. As of today, they still have our car in the shop and it's been about five weeks now. Hopefully our attempt to ask for a refund this week will be in our favor. Thank you again!!

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