My son and I purchased a car using the Car Buying Service on December 24 from Autoplex in Manassas VA. We thought we had done all of our research. The vehicle was one owner and had a recent oil change by the dealer and was low mileage enough to qualify for one of the USAA warranties from Assurant. We were assured by the manager, Mr. Khorramshalgol that if we had any problems to bring it back and they would take care of them and on top of the USAA warrany, he added a 3 month 4500 mile warranty.
Christmas Day my son drove the car to Baltimore and on the way back the check engine light came on and started smoking. We decided to take the car to a mechanic we know and on the way, the car started smoking again. He diagnosed that a coolant leak and the engine was completely empty. He indicated that based on the codes he was receiving this was likely a recurring issue that could lead to engine failure and should have been caught by a mechanic before. We put coolant in the vehicle to get it home and I called the dealer. They told us we could bring it in the next day and they would make appropriate repairs.
When we took the car in on t12/29, it started smoking again just as we got to the dealer. We were surprised at the rude and abusive manner in which the owner spoke to our mechanic when we put the mechanic on to explain the issues he noted. He again told us he would make appropriate repairs and let us know when the car was ready. At that time, we requested that they provide us with a repair order so we would know what work had been done. After not hearing from them in over a week, we called them and were told on January 6 that the car was ready for pickiup.
When we arrived to pickup the car and requested a service repair order, the person there told us they didn't really do such things on in house repairs. We advised them that manager had told us one would be provided. He was not there at the time but arrived as we were leaving and reassured my son that he would prepare on and email it to us. On Jan 7, the vehicle smoked again and my son checked to find the coolant empty. I called again and requested the repair order and we were again assured that we would be emailed one. I followed up with an email request as well on January 13 after not having any response from them.
We then spoke to warranty company and decided to take ti to a manufacturer's dealership. On January 11, we registered the car in our name and found out that it did not have a current emmissions inspection either. We registered it so that we could take it to the dealership. After a thorough inspection, they found not only the engine related issue, but an emmissions issue as well. The emissions issue was not covered under either hte USAA warranty or the warranty that the seller provided so in addition to the cost of the vehicle and the warranty, we are now out of an additional $1600 dollars which made the vehicle much more expensive than we anticipated. From the mechanic that we initially talked to as well as others we have spoken too, if the seller's mechanics had done the tquality controls they claimed they had, they should have and probably were aware of those issues.
In general, I've had very good fortune in the past with buying used vehicles so I guess we were due for one but I am extremely disappointed to personally find out that the stereotype regarding used car dealers is based on a reality. FortunatelyI am not holding my breath waiting for their response. The next time a used car dealer tell me how much concern he has for providing quality service to USAA members, I will run for the hills!