Exotic Motors / Shady dealership
I bought a 2003 Infiniti G35 coupe from Exotic Motors, and the salesman who sold it to me, Rick Ghous, was fairly friendly and provided decent service. Until the transaction had been completed, that is. Once my funds were in their bank account, the service was non-existent.
Exotic Motors had great feedback ratings on eBay (through which I bought the vehicle) and I asked every question under the sun before making the purchase, as I was flying down from Canada to pick it up and didn't want any surprises. I was assured over and over that it was mechanically perfect, and had undergone a thorough inspection. Turns out this was far from the truth.
When I showed up to retrieve the car (after taking a cab to the dealership from the airport, a ride they would not completely reimburse me for, despite their claims), I discovered that they didn't have the remote for the factory security system/door locks. I didn't make a big deal of it, as the rest of the car seemed to be in good shape, cosmetically speaking. However, when I asked for their mechanical inspection report, I was told that they did not document the inspection, but to rest assured that one was done. I was suspicious, but gave them the benefit of the doubt. Which I now regret, of course.
About an hour after I left, the front driver's side tire blew out on the highway. Fantastic! (I checked tire pressure before hitting the highway and all was fine) Not that I blame Exotic Motors for the blowout itself, but I expected them to compensate me for the replacement tire. After a lengthy discussion, they offered to cover 50% of the repair (which they later denied offering and refused to pay).
When I stopped to fuel up for the second time, the fuel door wouldn't open. The latch had broken off. After prying the fuel door open with a credit card, I saw that the latch had been broken before and recently glued back on (poorly, I might add).
Two hours outside Chicago, radio reception was fading so I decided to pop in a CD. Upon switching to CD player from the radio, the CD changer was not functional at all and made a clicking noise and the display read "CD ERROR FO". I called Exotic Motors right away and told reported the issue. I was told to have it checked out when I got home and they would look after it.
Luckily, the rest of the drive home was relatively incident-free, unless you count the sunroof that didn't work (which I do).
All vehicles in this province need to undergo an inspection to ensure that they're roadworthy. The inspection found that the rear tires were on their last legs, with less than 5% tread left on them. I should mention that to the naked eye, you could see that these tires were not new. But they were certainly not, however, at 70% tread as the listing had claimed.
Additionally, I was told that the brakes were at 70% in the front, 100% in the rear. The inspection revealed that both the front and rear brakes needed to be replaced, as the pads were almost completely worn, as were the rotors.
The alignment test showed that something in the rear right wheel was bent, which resulted in the camber being off by almost a full degree. In addition, the front right wheel bearing needed to be replaced.
All of the above issues, except for possibly the camber and wheel bearing, should have been noticed if a proper vehicle inspection was done, which I suspect was not the case.
In light of these revelations, I called Exotic Motors and told them I'd find out what it would cost to bring the vehicle up to the condition explicitly stated in the listing. After doing a bit of research and collecting some estimates, I sent them a seven-page letter detailing what the inspection had found and how it differed from their description. I included shots of the ad, as well as scans of receipts, estimates, and the inspection.
I heard nothing from them for a few days, so called to follow up. I was told that Rick was out of the country, but that the other sales manager, Saleem Qadri, would get back to me. A week later, he had still not called, so I phoned back only to be told by someone else that he was unavailable, but that he had indeed received the email but that Exotic Motors would not be compensating me for anything but the blown tire.
Obviously, they figured that since the vehicle and I were now in Canada, that they could ignore my concerns completely without consequence. I have since filed a complaint with eBay and filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General, but I doubt they'll be in any hurry to respond to a foreign complaint (three months later - no response).
What disappoints me most about this experience is the poor communication and complete lack of integrity and accountability. It was nearly impossible to get anyone on the phone, even if just to tell me that the salespeople were not available! The whole thing has a stereotypical "greasy used car salesman" feel to it.
I would highly suggest going elsewhere to make your purchase if you can. These guys seem to put minimal effort into anything but lining their own pockets. From what I could tell, it's a couple of guys with no business experience working out of a rented office in an industrial park. This operation is the definition of "shady." They're the automotive equivalent of slum lords.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with Exotic Motors. Seems their questionable sales tactics have been documented here as well:
BEWARE EXOTIC MOTORS!!!
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