[WA] Problems with Purchase of 2003 Toyota Camry

Hey,

Thanks for having me on this forum. If this is not the right place for this post, please move it.

I have some issues with my car and I need some advice. About 6 months ago I bought a used 2003 Toyota Camry Altise from a registered dealer in the city. It is my first car, I have no experience with buying cars and basically no knowledge of them (besides driving). Anyhow, the dealer said that the car passed a service just a week before and that everything was working as it should. He signed a contract that he had delivered the car in “road worthy condition”. I also got 12 months warranty. He said I should get it serviced every 10,000 km or 6 months.

So, because the car to me seemed to work fine, I took his word for it. Yesterday I had the car serviced, and they found several problems.

  • Lower control arm (rear) bushes. Had not been replaced since car was made. Almost off.
  • Front right indicator does not work. Holder for it completely missing.
  • Missing/defunct brake lights.
  • Air filter needs change.

The only one of these that seems in order is the air filter. But, the mechanic said that the rest of the problems have been there since before I bought the car. Which to me means that the dealer sold me a car that was not “road worthy” or safe. I called both the dealer and my warranty company. The dealer said that it is not his responsibility and I should have “checked the car better” before I bought it. The warranty company says that none if this is covered. So please help me understand.

  1. How can none of this be covered under warranty? How can he sell me a car of this condition and get away with it?

  2. Most of these things I can repair for $100.00. But, the lower control arm will cost me $300+. It that really necessary to replace? Can I do it myself in any way for a cheaper price?

Thanks a lot!

Comments

  • +18 votes

    Front right indicator does not work. Holder for it completely missing.
    Missing/defunct brake lights.

    This is not a roadworthy car. You can directly compare this with the roadworthy standards and indicate to him precisely why and how he has breached your contract and mislead you.

    Then say you can pay for them to be fixed or be taken to VCAT/QCAT/Whatever. Easy peasy.

    • +2 votes

      No warranty and it appears no roadworthy (not sure???)

      https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/do-i-have-fix-it...

      •  

        1) That's in WA so be careful, not sure where OP is but look on that page and
        2) If it is stickered, it is unroadworthy. It can be stickered if "it requires any other attention to make it comply with any law relating to the equipment". The law undoubtedly requires that the indicators and brake lights must work. Any work needed to be done when it is stickered is to be covered by the dealer.

      •  

        it sounds like they gave you a break down warranty which only covers -motor-gearbox and diff,I remember some years ago I researched this type of warranty and the vehicle has to be completly stopped and undrivable,

    • -3 votes

      See if you can return it for a full refund —- free 6 months of car hire if you can get away with it!

      • +7 votes

        I'd be pissed if I were to deal with this dealer here. Everything is working 100% when you're purchasing the car and it's fully covered under warranty. But the second you drive it out of the dealership, they don't even know who you are anymore. The regulators should really pay more attention to this and penalise these car salesmen as they are just there to rip off people who don't know much about cars.

    • +2 votes

      How does OP prove he didn't knock off the indicator holder ?

  •  

    Yeah mate. That's dealers for ya - I rode the same shytty ride as yourself when I bought my last car, lmao.

    • +3 votes

      Correction it's a wholesaler car. Grabbing the shit that major dealers won't touch. At that point of the market you may as well buy privately

  • +29 votes

    Car is outside any statutory warranty period, so it's buyer beware.

    A 16yo car would've come from a wholesaler, not any major dealer.

    6 months later is a bit crazy to discover you have no indicator and missing or broken brake lights. Did you inspect this car at all? Do a PPSR?

    Warranty is worth nothing, it's a very limited warranty hence why it's offered on a 16yo car.

    Given you bought from a small wholesaler and waited 6 months to find faults, I believe you're up the creek. There's protection for newer cars but even DOC won't cover anything beyond 12yrs/180,000km.

    For those playing at home OP is in Perth, we don't have RWCs.

    •  

      I don’t get the link you posted. It says that I have no warranty after 12 years. But, when I bought the car I got 1 year “extended warranty” with Reliance. What does that cover, nothing? Does the seller not have any legal binding to the “road worthy car” he signed under?

      • +2 votes

        You have no enforceable warranty on a 12+yo car. It's buyer beware beyond that, the DOC won't hold your hand on a car that old.

        Read the warranty paperwork. It'll tell you what it covers.

        If it came free with the car, yes it covers very little and up to maybe $500 each claim.

        Well he might have if you took it straight to the mechanics as soon as you bought it but 6 months later?! Good luck

      • +8 votes

        What does that cover

        You have the document, what does it say? (Most likely, it is heavily worded way to say nothing).

        Does the seller not have any legal binding to the “road worthy car” he signed under?

        The car was road worthy when he sold it as evidenced by you accepting the vehicle and having driven it for 6 months. You cannot prove that the damage/wear wasn't incurred during the 6 months you owned the car and as such, your claim cannot be substantiated.

      • +2 votes

        people when they hear it is under warranty assumes it covers everything and do not read the fine prints. Sigh. Most of these extended warranty are junk anyway. Hence why whenever you buy a used car from anywhere, always bring it to your independent, reputable mechanic first. Even that does not guarantee they will find every things that needs repair.

  • +1 vote

    Second hand cars that are outside statutory warranty age/mileage should be avoided unless you know how to check for these things.

    Since 6 months has elapsed, you won't be able to do much. A lot can happen to a car in 6 months and the car dealer will certainly capitalize on that.

    No harm try to get the dealer to compensate but I wouldn't be expecting them to do anything at all. I wouldn't leave my car to them to do any of the remedial work.

    Ideal solution is to cop it and pay for the parts, and move on.

  • +18 votes

    So, because the car to me seemed to work fine, I took his word for it.

    And here begins your tale of woe …

    At the end of the day, you've got a 16 year old vehicle with a series of issues that would be deemed minor for a car of this age.

    It's a bit hard to side with you when you didn't even bother to check things like indicators and brake lights at the time of purchase.

    •  

      It is not that I did not bother. It is my first car purchase and I just did not think about it. I assumed that if anything like that was not working that it would be covered either by warranty or by insurance. Beginners mistake apparently.

      • +5 votes

        Anything second hand and used will not be new.

        If someone else has used it before, anything be it a car or a couch, you need to check the degree of wear.

      • +2 votes

        Now that is your lesson, you think since it is your first car, it is okay to be ignorant about it. If you are beginner in any thing, the more the reason to do your own research first before you jump the gun.

      • +1 vote

        Beginners mistake apparently.

        Yeah look, if it was some obscure problem, fair enough. However, you bought a car (and have supposedly been driving said car) without ever bothering to check whether the brake light and indicator work? That's just ignorant. You're actually very lucky that you weren't picked up by the cops and fined for driving an unroadworthy car, or even worse, get picked up by a truck who couldn't see that you were braking. I'd consider myself pretty lucky.

        How you managed to drive around a car with no brake lights or indicators for 6 months is beyond me.

        If you don't know, at least get someone who knows to check it out.

  • +4 votes

    Member since… 35 mins ago.

  •  

    I am not sure if it is a dealer or a wholesaler, I don’t know the difference between the two. He said that it passed the service and that if anything major was wrong (within 12 months) that it would be covered by warranty. And, no indicator or brake lights to me is major. But, the wholesaler and the warranty company does not see it that way.
    Even if 6 months has passed, still some things are missing which means they have not been there at all. No matter how long time it has gone. What does he think, that I move away stuff from my own car to have him get me the same stuff I moved?

    Furthermore, what do you think about the lower control arm? Should I have it fixed (very expensive) or is it still ok?

    • +2 votes

      You should have the LCA fixed.

    •  

      When he said it passed a service, was that service noted in the service book?

    • +2 votes

      It's just the control arm bush isn't it? Not the whole control arm.
      The bush is thick rubber similar to a washer, in the joint where the control arm connects to the car.
      A control arm connects the wheel to the car. It doesn't wear out. But they can be bent, rarely.
      A bush is not urgent. When it is worn you might get some clunking upon direction change, and it can affect wheel alignment (tyre wear).
      Rubber bushes age gradually.

  • +3 votes

    heads up for TightBottom

    Member since 40 minutes ago.

      •  

        He/she/ze finds it frustrating responding to new users.

        Welcome to ozbargain. I'm sure you'll figure out everyone's quirks soon enough.

        TightBottom is tight with his/her/ze's time… and bottom.

    • +5 votes

      A lot of people would register for the first time to post a forum topic. Nothing unusual.

    • +10 votes

      There was no way I was falling for this one. I'm a slow learner but I am making progress with my condition.

  •  

    Have a read of this:

    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/cars/buying-a-used-car/warra...

    So basically as your car is more than 10 years old, the dealer doesn't owe you anything. Buyer beware.

    • +1 vote

      Wrong state, and I already linked to wa's warranties. Ours go up to 12yrs but still same, zero protection

    •  

      In terms of warranty they don't owe you anything.

      But it was a term of their contract that it was roadworthy so this is a breach of the contract.

  • +6 votes

    I'm gonna wait until @TightBottom sinks way to deep into this and realises too late that it's a new user post and regrets making the effort to post a reply…

  • +2 votes

    Get a second opinion on the repairs too. It might be a mechanic sensing you know very little and trying it on.

  • +5 votes

    Next time do a pre-inspection before purchasing a vehicle.

  • +3 votes

    Lower control arm (rear) bushes. Had not been replaced since car was made. Almost off.

    This isn't good but you bought the car on the word of the car salesman and waited 6 months to check it over.

    Front right indicator does not work. Holder for it completely missing.

    You've driven the car for 6 months and never checked if the lights are functional?

    Missing/defunct brake lights.

    See above

    Air filter needs change.

    Normal wear and tear / service item.

    Did you check the fluid levels and tyre pressures during that period?

    While the car dealer has probably kept issues to himself, as the purchaser you are obligated to do your own checks. There's no warranty applicable and you've owned the car 6 months so you will have to wear it.

    •  

      I did not buy it on his word. I have a signed contract that he delivered the car in good condition. I can fix the rest, but when it comes to lower control arm, is it necessary? Is there any cheaper way to fix it? (I don’t even know what that is)

      • +1 vote

        The LCA attaches the wheel hub to the body of the car.

        if the bush is worn then you might get unpredictable steering, abnormal tyre wear, clunking noises, poor braking because the wheels aren't pointing in the right direction. Ultimately you may experience catastrophic failure of the LCA mount due to metal on metal wear.

    • -2 votes

      to be fair, when is the last time you checked all your indicators were working? I don't think I've ever checked except after replacing a blown tail light.

      • +1 vote

        Personally every 3 months or so. Or when the indicators start hyperflashing.

      • +7 votes

        Mine get checked pretty often as I watch them flash when I press the lock/unlock button, and I can see the reflections off the car in front when I'm in a queue.

      • +4 votes

        As I walk to the car I watch them flash. I also have a look at my tyres to see if any look low.

        When I start the car the BCM checks all my bulbs and puts an error on the dashboard if a bulb has failed. This is a 2007 model Skoda so it isn't a new car.
        Before that, if the blinkers flashed at double speed it was a fair indicator (boomtish!) that a bulb had failed - even my 1967 Falcon did that.

        Before driving out of my parking spot I put the brakes on and see how bright the reflection on the wall is.

        As I drive up to the garage door I look to see that there are 2 headlights shining on the door.

        I do the fluid levels, tyres and lights properly every 3-4 months.

        If I bought a new (to me) car I'd be check everything the first day I owned it.

        It's all basic car user responsibilities to ensure reliable operation.

  •  

    if the car isnt road worthy how did you just relaise 6 months later?

    •  

      I knew something was wrong with right indicator. I thought that it was an easy fix. The rest, how should I have known it was broken?

      • +2 votes

        Missing/defunct brake lights.

        you been driving with defective break lights for 6 months?
        

        Front right indicator does not work. Holder for it completely missing.

        you acknowledge you knew but still drove around with this broken anyway

        did it have a road worthy bit of paper when you bought it
        did it have the service records from the "one week" earlier?
        did you take it to a mechanic for an independent inspection?

        The rest, how should I have known it was broken?

        because you are an adult and can go and get an independent mechanic who has no conflict of interest to test for you

        •  

          Yes, someone told me a few weeks ago so I thought that I would fix it when I had the car serviced. Yes, I have a paper that states his indication of delivering the car road worthy. No, I did not know that I needed to check the car (it is not free of charge) just after buying it.

          • +7 votes

            @bradpaisley94: 1.) you check it before buying it forr your own satisfaction, and of course its not free, this is the real world not a place of pixies and fairies.

            the issue is proving the state of the car then and now, and thus that's why you do #1

            if you believe you can prove these conditions existed when you bought it and you feel hard done by and that yu should not have to do your own due dilligence, go to vcat / court, engage a lawyer, and see how you go.

            for the sake $500 just fix the thing and move on, its not a lot of money

      • +5 votes

        the same as the rest of us. Either fond a trusted mechanic or learn to DIY. You don't just sit on it for 6 months and hope it wiil fix itself (you've already admitted you knew about the blinker)

  • +9 votes

    OP, consider this a life lesson at 25yo.

    Buying a 16yo car from a dealer which would've cost under $5k, you should've known it wouldn't be perfect. Don't put all the blame on the dealer for your lack of due care.

    Get a 2nd opinion on the control arm, obviously make sure you have working lights!

    Oh and do a PPSR. It's the best $2 you'll ever spend on a used car

    • +4 votes

      … and stop driving the car unless it is to go fix the lights.

      •  

        I will fix the lights and the filter. It is the LCA I am worried about.

        • +1 vote

          Will fix? You mean you didn't already get it done while it's at the mechanics?

          • +2 votes

            @Spackbace: I did the service yesterday. I wanted to call the seller and the warranty company to see if I could get them to fix it before paying myself to do it. I will do it today.

        • +2 votes

          $300 will not cover labour btw.

          If the LCA is damaged, fix it. Anything to do with control (especially if the word is part of the name) is important.

          Don't drive the car unless it is to get it to a workshop. You've essentially been informed that your car isn't roadworthy now and it would void your insurance if you had to make a claim.

          • +8 votes

            @tshow:

            void your insurance

            Hehe the assumption that op has insurance on an old clunker…

            • +3 votes

              @Spackbace: At least TPP.

              No one is stupid enough to drive uninsured… surely…

              • +2 votes

                @tshow: Nek minnit … "Something broke on car and suddenly veered into oncoming Lambo and I do have not insurance … HELP PLEASE!!!"

                •  

                  @Seraphin7: I do have insurance (RAC), do you think that could help?

                  •  

                    @bradpaisley94: No. Insurance is for damage, theft only … not wear and tear and certainly not for any issues that existed prior to the inception of your policy.

                  •  

                    @bradpaisley94: Only if you torch it but that's probably a little extreme at this stage.
                    But then make sure it's not just TPP insurance or thats one expensive BBQ.

                  •  

                    @bradpaisley94: Nope, and insurance required your car to be roadworthy for the insurance to be valid. Even if you've been paying for insurance for the past six months and you've just had an accident and they found that your car was not roadworthy at the time of the accident, they can refuse to cover you and are not obligated to cover you as the terms and conditions states that by signing up to insurance you are agreeing that the car is roadworthy and you will continue to keep it in a roadworthy condition.

                    The other thing was how much do you know about cars and have you gotten a second opinion on the lower control arms? It might be 2019 but some mechanics will still take advantage of you if they think you don't know much about cars. Many years back I got into an argument when a mechanic tried to charge my friend for spark plugs in their diesel. They wouldn't refund her until I was on the phone to the ACCC.

              • -1 vote

                @tshow: Did it for 6 years… not paying 900 bucks for TPP on a 3k car lol.

                Never had an accident either.

                •  

                  @Jugganautx: Doesn't TPP cover other people when you have an accident? Wouldn't it be irrelevant whether you're driving a 3K car or a 30K car?

                  Would you have the funds to cover damages for an expensive vehicle if you had an accident?

                •  

                  @Jugganautx: TTP for $900 on a 3K Car?
                  Get another quote.
                  Yer, there is no chance you could possibly smash up someone’s Tesler because you are such a good driver evidenced by your clear thinking.

                  •  

                    @Eeples: Looked at most of them… extortion rates for under 25

                    Got a years full cover for free with my 16k car i bought in november… turn 25 this year so hoping itll be alot better then

            •  

              @Spackbace: Only an idiot wouldn't have 3rd party insurance, if OP was in an accident, and car not roadworthy, he would not be covered.

    • -6 votes

      Yes, I learn through my mistakes. But, I don’t get why I need to be a car expert to be able to buy a car. I don’t see why there is not more legal protection. Getting a second opinion will cost me 50 % of the cost of fixing it. 300 AUD or 450 AUD is pretty huge difference for someone making 280 AUD a week while studying. Anyhow, the site you linked, what do I do on it?

      • +1 vote

        You click the red "search the ppsr" link, enter your details, pay $2, and find out if the car you're driving has been a write off

        • +1 vote

          Ok thanks I will do that. As I am not a native English speaker and I know nothing about cars, what does “write off” mean?

            • +1 vote

              @Spackbace: Oh okay, I see. But, what would it mean to me if it was or was not a write off? It is not illegal here in WA as far as I understood the article.

              •  

                @bradpaisley94: If it was a write off it means you could be driving around in a sub-standard car and will have an effect when you go to sell it. It's just good to know what you're driving.

          • +1 vote

            @bradpaisley94: you name is brad pasiley and you don't speak english? i though paisley was scottish, but i must have this confused with beijing

            this sound like more bull sh*t every reply

            so you don't speak english, engage a translator, this is no excuse as well.

            •  

              @unclesnake: I had a friend in college. Whitest white boy you'd ever see with the whitest name.

              Doesn't speak a lick of English. Grew up in HK but not expat HK.

              This could be a similar case.

              • -2 votes

                @tshow: i can smell bullsh*t a mile away

                still no excuse though. i wouldn't go to china and then complain that i couldn't read the chineese warranty.

                people these days take no responsibility, this guy i sympathise with as its a lot of coing for his wage, but we have all been there, you buy an old car and don;t get it checked first what the hell do you expect

            • +7 votes

              @unclesnake: My name is as much Brad Paisley as yours is Uncle Snake. Brad Paisley (use google) is an American country music singer that I like. So, I use this as a username. I am from Croatia.
              I believe I speak English fine (along with 4 other languages) but not perfect. So, sometimes I need stuff explained. Like most people.

              • -2 votes

                @bradpaisley94: so you should engage an English translator and a mechanic.

                • +1 vote

                  @unclesnake: What do I need a translator?

                  • +1 vote

                    @bradpaisley94: if you do not understand terms like "write off" and your defence in court is you did not understand a judge will say "where was your translator" you determine if you can read english or not, and decide to get one.

                    you are an adult. you know what you know, if you have no knowledge of cars, then go get it checked buy a mechanic in advance.

                    i do not go and buy stuff of an expesnive nature that is 2nd hand without getting an experts opinion in that field.

                    maybe you could have the guy for misrepresentation, but how much are you going to spend?

                    go see a lawyer if you feel hard done buy

      •  

        you don't need to be a car expert, you engage an expert so as to get his/her/its non biased conflict free opinion

        the same as you do to

        buy a house
        buy a boat
        get surgery
        buy a security system
        get divorced

        you engage some one who has expertise in the area for a small price.

        that's why we all have jobs being experts in at least one area.

        • -3 votes

          Never done any of those things. But, yes of course, I do seem reasonable to be needing an expert just to buy a cheap car to drive around in for a few months. You Australians sure like your bureaucracy.

          • -1 vote

            @bradpaisley94: i am not Australian, but if you do not like it you can go back home.

            Also this is for your own protection, it is common sense, not mine. you can use the advice or disregard it, but you have no leg to stand on.

            and yes Australia is an over regulated, boring, expensive, and technology lagging country.

            but i reckon i have more chance of buying a lemon car in croatia than here.

            •  

              @unclesnake: I don’t see what the problem is? Or what your advice is? That I need to pay a mechanic and a translator to go with me when I buy a used car? I don’t think people do that.
              Australia is good in many ways, but also needs improvement in some ways. Like most countries. Really changing the topic now though.

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