BAYSIDE, Queens — When Ana Hua went to Bayside Imports on Northern Boulevard in Queens, she saw a 2010 Mercedes SLK300 she liked and bought it. But after a week of driving it and hearing noises coming from the engine, she took the car back to Bayside Imports and asked to see the Carfax report.
She says she was given the Carfax on her Mercedes. It came from a dealership called Luxury of Queens—and had no reports of any accidents or damage.
After continuing to have mechanical problems, she took the car to another dealer, asked to see the Carfax and got a very different report. Same car, same VIN number, but this Carfax reported the Mercedes had been in a rear-impact accident in Florida in August 2010, had suffered structural damage and had to be towed from the scene. The Carfax report warned “structural damage may impact vehicle safety and reliability”.
Ana Hua called PIX11 Investigates and we went to Bayside Imports and spoke with Jason Lee, the General Manager. Lee said he did not personally give her the “clean” Carfax and was investigating who did. When I asked how the same car could have one Carfax that indicated no damage, and another that said it has been in an accident, Lee said “look, Carfax has their opinion.” But Carfax officials say the data on the reports is not an “opinion”. They say there’s no doubt the Mercedes was in an accident.
And Ana does not appear to be alone in her complaints. We found similar reports online against Bayside Imports where posters claim clean Carfax reports were provided to prospective purchasers where damaged cars were involved.
Ana has hired an attorney and says she wants a refund. Bayside Imports’ lawyer says the dealership is not responsible for the “clean” Carfax she got, but has offered her a settlement of $2,000, wthout any admission of guilt. Negotiations are ongoing.
Carfax reports are just one means consumers have of checking out a used car before they buy it. This link has lots of valuable information for anyone shopping for a used car.