Carfax problem at Apple Honda

Seven On Your Side
April 2, 2008 3:30:06 PM PDT
A Centereach couple thought they had found the perfect used car. The dealership even did a carfax search to prove it had not been in an accident, but when the couple did its own search, and found the car had indeed been wrecked, they wanted their money back. That's when they called for Seven on their Side.Tappy Phillips spoke to Honda customer, Deb Macconnell. "I was in shock, I didn't know what to do."

Deb bought a used CRV last month, from Apple Honda. The dealer showed a carfax that said the car was in "no accidents." But when she wasn't given a copy she got suspicious.

"I spent $32 and I did my own and I told my husband there's been an accident with this vehicle," said Deb.

On Deb's Carfax an accident was reported nearly three years ago.

"We hit it...Pretty hard, you know both bags went off," said the previous car owner.

We tracked down Jim Murnane who owned the Honda when it was involved in a front-end collision on September of 2005 according to a police report. He even told Apple Honda when he traded the car in.

"Yeah, we told them it was in an accident," said Jim Murnane.

So what happened with the dealer's carfax? we found it has been doctored using information from a different car's report.

The sales manager of Apple Honda said he didn't know anything about the Macconnel's problem.

"Yeah, I apologize, I wasn't aware of it," said Ron Vassallo. He then added that the problem with forging the car report would be looked into. "We've been in business for 49 years, we don't do that type of practice," Vassallo adds.

Within a few days of Seven on your Side's visit, Apple Honda had taken the wrecked car back and exchanged it for a newer car at the same price.

Deb has reported Apple Honda to the Attorney General and the DMV. In New York and New Jersey there is no regulation requiring dealerships to disclose prior accidents in used cars, so it's best to do your own carfax and even get the car checked out by your own mechanic before buying.

For more information on used car lemon laws and how to lodge a complaint against a dealership, Click Here.