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Automobile Inspections / $349 High Performance Car Inspection

Hartford CT, United States
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I found a 2006 Mercedes CL500 for sale at a small dealer in the Palm Beach FL area and wanted it inspected before getting on an airplane to go check it out myself. The dealer listed the car on Yahoo Motors, and on their pages was a link to Automobile Inspections LLC. I booked online and the next morning they called and confirmed the inspection. Two hours later a man named Jeff called and recommended I upgrade to their high performance inspection for a total cost of $349. Jeff represented that they send a person experienced with high end cars and they spend a lot more time looking at every system on the car and "take a test drive". When the inspection report arrived, I immediately noted (a) the inspector didn't drive the car, (b) several high end systems were not described or included in the report, such as the keyless ignition system. I sent them an email asking how on earth an auto inspector can inspect a car without driving it himself? The weather was fine, and he dealer stated they offered him the car. We learned later from the dealer that the inspector stated to them, "I never drive the cars!" Wow. I challenged Jeff about the requirement to drive the car, and reviewed that he said the "take the car for a test drive." That's when he started with the legal exclusion reminders, stated that we signed stating that it is up to the discretion of the inspector, etc. He even began signing his email replies "Esquire", using it as a veiled threat. So do yourself a favor and stay away from this company. They cannot be trusted, and pull out the contract exclusions rather than doing the right thing for their customers. We flew down, looked at the car ourselves, and proceeded with the purchase. When we drove the car we immediately noted that the car pulled, the driver's door speaker was not working, and at speed the tires bounced as though they were out of round. We bought the car anyway, and drove it to our private Mercedes mechanic a few days later. He found that the speakers were erratic because the radio contacts were very dirty, the tires were hard from age - even though there was plenty of tread - and that the wheels the right side of the car were both bent. The damage to the wheels was visible by looking under the car with a flash light. A new set of tires, electrical contact leaning, and a procedure to heat and re-shape the wheels resolved the problems for about $2, 000 total. Then, while detailing the car one day, we noticed the bottom part of the weather strip on the outside of the passenger door was severely rusted where it met the outside door panel. Another $250 for the part we changed ourself. Again our mechanic said that he sees that occur when the dent door repair is performed. The technicians shove bars down into the door between the glass and the door body through the weatherstripping, causing damage that ultimately results in either damaged rubber or weatherstrip metal frame.

Jr
Jul 24, 2016

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