Many car buyers base the safety of a used car upon the certification of the car dealership (e.g., “Certified Used Car”) and car crash test ratings online. And neither can do without the other. A car may be safe in auto crash test ratings, but whether or not the used car itself is safe is different for each and every used automobile. That is why car dealerships decided to create the system of used car certifications to assure car buyers that they are safe.
Our car accident lawyers strongly believe that car consumers should check both automobile crash test ratings and used car certifications to ensure their own safety and car accident prevention. As General Motors says, purchasing a certified car means “the reliability of new and the affordability of used.”
But that was not the case for car buyer Paulette Day, who purchased a red 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from a dealership near Detroit for $22,000. Since the car was reportedly “GM certified,” Ms. Day believed that the car was completely safe. Automakers may often have to check over a hundred items from a checklist before a car could be certified.
However, Ms. Day started to grow suspicious of the car’s safety when she noticed 2 different shades of red on the car. She then decided to take it to a car mechanic for inspection. As soon as the mechanic put the car on a lift, he noticed welds along the entire underside of the car. It was only then that Ms. Day found out it included pieces from the front of one Monte Carlo car and the rear of another car, both seriously damaged in car accidents. How could such a car accident prone vehicle be put back on the market, let alone be tagged “GM certified?”
”I thought being certified, there are supposed to be so many checkpoints to make sure the car is safe,” Ms. Day said. ”I think they skipped over all of it. They would have had to notice that.”
Certified cars had become quite popular over the last five years due to the increased security that one receives with a used car. Often, consumers are willing to pay one or two thousand more dollars for the supposed added security a certified car provides. However, in this case, we as car accident lawyers are discouraged by the fact that General Motors may not have taken their car certification checks carefully.
Also, as long as a car has been fixed for its problems, it may be passed through certification. Some people believe buying a certified used vehicle is a waste of money and suggest that consumers employ a different way of judging the car accident prevention capabilities (e.g., have an independent pre-purchase car inspection, preferably when you are present), such as an ASE Certified Car Mechanic.
”Basically you are paying a lot to have somebody else to do an inspection,” says Ms. Shahan of the California consumer’s group, referring to when one buys a “Certified Used Car.” ”Instead, spend $100 or $200 and get your own inspection done.”
Our car accident lawyers’ only concern is the safety of drivers and passengers on the road, and for the sake of car accident prevention, we believe that all used car buyers should get their cars checked by a certified mechanic before getting behind the car’s steering wheel. As Ms. Day says, “Whether they say it is certified or not, take it somewhere and have it checked because you never know what you are getting.”
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