Complaint Category: Sales presentation misrepresented the product
Complaint: I have just found out that the "certified pre-owned" 2009 Infiniti FX35 that I bought from Infiniti of Kirkland on November 17th, 2011 was involved in a collision before I bought it and this information was never disclosed to me at the time of purchase. The only way that I was able to find out about it is when I took my vehicle to a different dealership to attempt to trade it in. You can imagine my shock when they told me that they would not accept the vehicle because it had been in a collision on January 14th, 2010 and has a bad Carfax report. They also said that even IF they did accept such vehicles, the value has been diminished by $5000, but that Infiniti doesn't even keep cars on the lot with bad Carfax reports. I attempted to contact Infiniti of Kirkland to resolve this issue, but the only resolution they offered me was to accept the car as a trade in and attempt to sell me another vehicle, which was un-successful. I have taken the vehicle to a paint and body shop and received written proof that the vehicle has been repaired and re-painted. I'm not sure what to do from here. I would have NEVER accepted the vehicle if I would have known that it has been in a collision; and now I am stuck with a vehicle that I can't trade in because of the bad Carfax report.
Initial Business Response
***** *** ********* had originally purchased a 2007 2WD infiniti sport utility at a dealership in
Texas and rolled $8000 of negative equity into an infiniti Convertible that she leased from
infiniti of Kirkland.
Her convertible lease allowed for 10,000 miles per year but in the first 8 months, she had driven
nearly 15,000 miles. Also, she had moved to the Denver area and needed a 4WD vehicle.
infiniti of Kirkland tried to work a deal with ***** on a new AWD vehicle but the fact that she
was now $14000 upside down made any new deal impossible, or so we thought. A dealership
manager at that time and ***** herself mutually discovered a vehicle that would work, but it was
for sale at a neighboring Range Rover dealership.
***** wanted us to move forward with purchasing that vehicle for her, then certify through our
shop that it met both our standards for quality and the infiniti standard for certification. Which
we did. She has driven that vehicle nearly 80,000 miles above the roughly 50,000 miles already
on the vehicle at time of purchase and hasn't had a single concern that we are aware of above
and beyond typical maintenance and wear and tear.
Unfortunately, she has put on so many miles so fast that she is now particularly heavily "upside
down." Now ***** lives in Texas and is looking to trade the vehicle in. An infiniti dealer in Austin
has told her no deal can be struck because her vehicle has an alert on the Carfax, the result of a
modest fender bender from January, 2010. ****** infiniti, according to *****, says they do not
even carry vehicles that have blemishes on the Carfax. This statement is inaccurate. Upon
review of that dealer's inventory, the opposite is true.
We have tried to work a deal with *****, offering over KBB good condition trade for her vehicle.
The problem is that she puts such heavy miles on her cars and owes so much that it is going to
be impossible at this time. Of course~ we welcome the opportunity to continue trying.
infiniti of Kirkland
Initial Consumer Rebuttal
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
For starters, their response did not resolve the original concern; but more importantly, I have researched and discovered additional issues regarding this case. Let's begin with the original concern. I filed a complaint against them because on 11/17/11 they sold me a vehicle that was involved in a collision and didn't disclose that information. I found out by taking my car to a different Infiniti dealer (we now live in a different state) to attempt to trade it in, and the other dealer stated that they will not accept the vehicle because of the collision (occurred on 1/14/10) and negative vehicle history report. My first call was to Infiniti of Kirkland to try to clear this up and attempt to figure out what happened. I contacted them multiple times for approx a week to attempt to resolve this issue, but they refused to accept responsibility for their actions and their only solution was to sell me another vehicle. In their response to you, they are implying that on the day of the sale they were unaware of the collision/damage because of Carfax's reporting standards and procedures; however, even if that were true, they were aware of it a few days later because on the Title Guard paperwork from Infiniti of Kirkland dated 11/24/11, just a few days after the sale (that I never saw until now and never signed) it clearly documents the "collision with another vehicle" on 1/14/10 AND "police report - accident reported" on 1/14/10. As I mentioned, we never saw this paperwork until now (the certificate isn't even completely filled out), and we were never shown the Carfax report either - and never signed either document. I have attached the Title Guard paperwork from Infiniti of Kirkland for your review, and I will be happy to send you the Carfax report as well if you need it. I also have written documentation from a paint and body shop that the vehicle has been repaired and re-painted, and that the door has been removed.
The next issue involves both the dealership and Infiniti Corporate Consumer Affairs/Infiniti Financial ********* This vehicle was sold to me as a "Certified Infiniti". I did some research to find out exactly what that means and I have discovered that Infiniti will not "certify" a vehicle that has been involved in a collision. I have filed a formal case with Consumer Affairs (case # XXXXXXXX) and spoken to multiple people ranging from agents to management, and it has been confirmed to me several times that Infiniti will not certify a vehicle that has been in a collision and/or has a negative vehicle history report (I asked them to document that I was told in the case notes as well). This is where it starts to get confusing. Originally, Consumer Affairs and Financial Services (it is financed through Infiniti) kept sending me back and forth between the two departments continually stating that the "other" department handles that. I was transferred at least 5 or 6 times before I finally spoke to someone at Consumer Affairs who decided to be helpful and not just dump me off to the "other department". I was finally able to speak to a supervisor and she basically stated that Infiniti Corporate has nothing to do with the certification, that it is solely handled at the dealership level; however, the dealership is stating that their "corporate rep" approved it. Basically what it boils down to is that NOONE will accept responsibility for this, even though they are ALL admitting that it is wrong and against procedure (and I'm the one forced to pay the consequences for their negative, deceptive actions). According to Infiniti, part of the procedure to certify a vehicle involves a "Certified Pre-Owned Inspection Checklist" document (example attached) to be filled out and signed by the Service Manager, Sales Manager, customer, and Technician who performed the work order, along with the documented work order # and attached vehicle report. We have never seen or signed this document, and when I requested it from both the dealer AND Corporate, the request was ignored and never addressed.
I have no idea what to do from here, but I DO know that this has gotten out of control and I would really appreciate it if someone would accept responsibility for their mistakes and make it right. I was led to believe that I was buying a "certified" UN-wrecked vehicle, and instead I was sold a wrecked non-certifiable (according to Corporate) vehicle that I can't get rid of now, even to an Infiniti dealership. In the response from the dealer, the excuse that they use in their explanation describes excessive miles and negative equity; but that has nothing to do with the issue. I would have never accepted the vehicle if I would have known the truth, therefore the contract would have never been signed and the negative equity wouldn't exist; before this purchase I was in a lease from Infiniti of Kirkland, and the lease would have expired by now and I would have had NO negative equity what-so-ever at this point.
***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***
Final Business Response
In calculating today's Kelley Blue Book trade in value for *****'s 134000 Infiniti FX35 with VIN JNRAS18W59MXXXXXX and upgrade features such as Premium Package, BOSE premium sound, Navigation, rear camera and parking sensors we realize a value of $13408. What we have offered to buy the vehicle for is $15000 minus any glaring trouble areas of which we are not aware. Again, although ***** continues to use the word wrecked, which is synonymous with destroyed, this vehicle has no indication in the Infiniti dealer network database or on the Carfax of anything substantial. The Carfax even goes to the trouble to comment that no air bags were deployed and there is no mention even of a tow truck. Beyond that, the car has amassed well over 80,000 miles in *****'s possession and has been virtually trouble free beyond routine maintenance. Our offer to pay generously over KBB good condition trade in value minus any glaring trouble areas still stands.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Wow, Infiniti of Kirkland must be extremely desperate to continue to use the same excuses that have nothing to do with the issues at hand, and on top of that, has now decided to grasp at straws and blame the customer! Unbelievable! I will address their statements individually. ("They sold me a vehicle that was involved in a collision." ***** is implying that a major accident took place. To the contrary, upon our physical inspection we discovered that whatever had happened to this vehicle in the past was minimal and ultimately caused ***** no trouble whatsoever despite the vehicle now having in excess of 130,000 miles.) Although it appears that the vehicle was involved in a pretty significant collision from what I can tell - definitely not "minimal" (there was a police report filed, and everything from the hood, wrapping all the way around to the entire right side of the vehicle has had work done to it - that's a lot of surface area, and at least one door and bumper have been removed), I am not questioning the vehicle itself, but the sales practice and certification process. (As we previously pointed out, **** ********* was so underwater in her previous car that we did not have any way to get her approved on any vehicle in our inventory. It was **** ********* herself and the on-duty sales manager who mutually discovered this above-mentioned FX35 at a different dealership. It was **** ********* who asked us to buy that vehicle on her behalf and sell it through our dealership so that she could capitalize on Infiniti's generous repayment plans despite her credit score at the time. Infiniti was willing to extend roughly 130% of the Kelley Blue Book value at the time despite *****'s credit score and even with such a generous offer the only vehicle that ***** and the manager on-duty could find was this vehicle at the neighboring Land Rover dealership. Now bear in mind, the vehicle was advertised online with the Carfax report at this other store, so there was nothing hidden at all on our end. If she didn't want it, we had no interest in buying it. "They refused to accept responsibility for their actions." Infiniti of Kirkland bought the vehicle from another dealer for ***** and at *****'s request. We did not try to pull a fast one on *****, rather, ***** instructed us to buy that vehicle for her, which we did.) This is simply not true, and it amazes me that a company of this prestige would go so low as to dishonestly blame the customer for an issue that Infiniti is completely responsible for. I had no involvement in the "search" for my vehicle - I was in another state at the time. I dealt ONLY with Infiniti of Kirkland and THEY found the vehicle - there was NO other dealership involved whatsoever on my end. The fact that they are placing blame on me, stating that I could have examined the Carfax online from the other dealer is untrue and irrelevant because I had no knowledge of where this vehicle was located before I bought it. Since I was dealing solely with Infiniti of Kirkland, it is THEIR responsibility to do their job and follow procedures for a sale (including disclosing pertinent information to the sale), not the customer's responsibility to try to hunt it down. That should just be common sense and it is very disappointing that Infiniti would even consider blaming the customer for something that they are responsible for. (Even after we did buy it we still ran a certification inspection on the vehicle to make sure it conformed to our own standards for quality as well as the Infiniti standard for certification. Since this car has been essentially trouble free all the way until 130,000 miles we know it passed the test.) According to multiple conversations with Infiniti Corporate Consumer Affairs, it has been confirmed to me multiple times, by multiple people that this car is considered "non-certifiable" because of the collision. There is an open case with Infiniti Consumer Affairs regarding this issue. ("The other dealer stated they would not accept the vehicle...negative vehicle history report." This is simply untrue. Upon review of that dealer's inventory we documented multiple vehicles they were selling that had negative history reports.) I can only relay information that I was given; even so, I highly doubt that any of the vehicles that Kirkland states this dealer has for sale on the lot that have negative history reports are considered a "Certified Infiniti". ("This has gotten out of control." We made ***** an offer on her vehicle that was above Kelley Blue Book good condition trade in and she turned that down. We are still willing to pay above Kelley Blue Book good condition trade in value minus any glaring fixes as a cash offer and we do not require ***** to trade it in to us. "I was in a lease...I would have no negative equity." Again, ***** had moved to Denver and the convertible she was leasing clearly would not work, per *****. ***** tried to work a deal at the Infiniti dealer in Denver who called us to put an offer on the convertible, but they could not make a deal with ***** because she was so underwater. ***** tried very hard to get out of that convertible for two reasons: First, it did not work for her situation. Second, she was compiling miles much too fast and was going to be far outside of the limits of her lease, meaning that she could potentially be even more underwater than she currently is. As we noted earlier, ***** has driven 80,000 miles in her vehicle since she purchased it from us, whereas her lease allowed for only 10,000 miles per year.) Again, this has nothing to do with the fact that Infiniti of Kirkland sold me a wrecked vehicle and mis-represented the vehicle as UNwrecked, and then certified it on top of that when it has been clearly stated to me by Infiniti Corporate Consumer Affairs that Infiniti will not certify a vehicle that has been in a collision. The offer I "turned down" was for another pre-owned vehicle with a HUGE down payment required because of the negative equity (...AGAIN, I would have never accepted the wrecked FX35 if I would have known the truth, therefore the contract would have never been signed and the negative equity and miles wouldn't exist; before this purchase I was in a lease, and the lease would have expired by now and I would have had NO negative equity what-so-ever at this point) Also, The Infiniti dealer in Denver was working with me on a NEW vehicle, but I decided to go with Kirkland because I THOUGHT I could trust them because I worked with them before (obviously a big mistake) and the vehicle they were offering had more features. In conclusion, Infiniti of Kirkland's response to my complaint does NOT resolve ANY of the issues.
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.