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Dealership responsibility?

Here is a review that my mom gave our local dealer. In your opinion, should the dealer have done more? Thoughts, opinions?

We bought a Volvo V70 Wagon from Manheim Imports a few years ago. We could not have been more pleased with the dealer and my car.

So, when our daughter was shopping for a Volvo wagon, Manheim Imports was one of the first calls we made. Within a short amount of time, they called with a car for our daughter. When telling me about the car, I asked “Is it a good car for my daughter?” Which they replied “Yes, it is. I would not be calling if it wasn’t. This is a good car for your daughter.” So, being so please with our purchase and the dealer, our daughter did not hesitate to buy this car.

The time came for her first 3,000 mile service. She took it to the local Volvo dealer and imagine her shock when they presented her with a list of repairs for the car, things that do not wear out in 3,000 miles. She then took the car to a local Volvo service garage and they confirmed what the dealer had said. Repairs ran from a bad drive shaft to four failed control arm bushings to separated (torn) upper strut top bushings.

When we called Manheim Imports to inform them of the findings, the answer we got was “when you buy an older model car, that is what you get.” Where were the “it’s a good car for your daughter or I wouldn’t be calling” guys?

After many phone calls, at least one by our garage to Manheim Imports, M.I. agreed to pay for the strut tops, but still left my daughter with a very sizable repair bill, over $2,000. Our garage (reputable/certified Volvo repair station) was very surprised they did not offer to do more.

This car should have never been sold in this condition without revealing the condition to our daughter.

Needless to say, we will not be buying anymore vehicles from Manheim Imports or recommending them to anyone that should ask.

This Scenario Is Repeated Hundreds Or Thousands Of Times Every Day Around The World. You Have Learned A Valuable, Albeit Expensive Lesson.

Used cars are used cars.
Used car salesmen are used car salesmen.
Volvos are Volvos.

Any used car needs to be checked out by a competent mechanic other than the one at the seller’s location.

Volvos, in my opinion, are not a good choice for economical ownership.
Does the dealer owe you something ? Probably. Can you recover anything ? Probably not.

How old were these two cars that were purchased and how many miles on each ?


I agree, as I frequently do, with CSA.

First, it would be helpful to know the model, model year, and odometer mileage of this mystery-vintage Volvo.

However, even in the absence of that relevant information, I would suggest that instead of asking, “Is this a good car for my daughter?”, a more appropriate question to ask the salesman would have been something along the lines of, “Does the car come with full records of its maintenance?”, or, “How long a warranty will you give me on this used car?”.

How does the salesman know what constitutes a “good car” for your daughter?
To my mind, that is like asking a waiter you does not know what foods I like or what my dietary restrictions might be, “Is this a good entree for me?”.

With all due respect, anyone who buys a used car solely on the basis of statements made by a used car salesman is being…naive, in the extreme.

With all due respect, anyone who buys a used car without having it inspected, prior to purchase, by his/her own mechanic is being…unwise.

With all due respect, anyone who thinks that a used Volvo will be free of problems or cheap to repair is being…unmindful of the realities of Volvos and their repair costs.

Everything in life has the potential to be a learning experience, and hopefully you and your daughter will come away from this experience with the following maxims in mind:

Never believe anything that you are told by a car salesman.
Never buy a used car if it does not come with full records of its maintenance.
Never buy a used car unless a mechanic of your choosing has inspected the car prior to purchase and has given you a favorable report on its condition.

Buyer beware spend the $100.00 to have a car checked out before you buy it from a mechanic located other then the place you buy it at…

What year V70 are we talking about? Number of miles on the car when purchased? Volvo Certified used car? Or, just a used car?

I and any many on this site recommend a pre-sale mechanical inspection when buying a used car. In this case an inspection by your trusted mechanic prior to the sale would have been prudent.

Any Volvo is going to be an expensive car to repair. If her car is 5+ years old your daughter should not be surprised at getting more of these high repair invoices. I owned two V70XC wagons and speak from experience. These are just plain expensive cars to repair and unfortunately they need repairs frequently.

On the question of the dealer responsibility? If this was a certified used car then an inspection should have noted these problems. 3,000 miles does mean the conditions were preexisting, my opinion. Without a certified inspection, these conditions might slip by, but that indicates the dealer didn’t really do anything when they acquired the car. They cleaned it up to make it pretty to sell, but didn’t do much if any mechanic evaluation and repairs to the car.

The dealer should keep a file and records on the car. Was it traded in? Did it come via wholesale? What did they do to service and prep the car for sale? They have records on all this, but likely won’t share them with you without a legal order to do so.

Uncle is right…Research is the key. Never trust anyone who stands to make a profit selling you anything. If we ask a question and don’t already know the answer, we become more vulnerable.

Were were you guys when a “sparkplug blew out like a rocket” (telling the OP they “learned a lesson” and not to be so naive, anyone that says such things should be bullied right off the Forum). OP, sure the Dealer pulled a fast one on you and they should be run out of town, anyone that says anything different is going to hear from OK (little inside the Forum activity here OP)

I’m a born skeptic…learned if from my Dad…I don’t trust ANYONE who’s selling me something.

If this were a “certified used car” then these items should have been checked/caught. Be careful what a salesman says and disect it. When the sales said “it is a good good car for your daughter” they might have meant the size, color, engine size, etc. but not the actual quality or condition.

The reason I say this is a used dealer in my area told a customer “dont take less than $xxxx for your trade”. Customer came back later and expected that amount but the sales said “dont take than $xxxx for your trade but I did not say I would give it”.

I agree. You bought a used Volvo. Volvos are high end cars that have correspondingly high end repair costs. If you aren’t prepared to spend a grand or two a year in repairs, don’t buy a Volvo that doesn’t have any warranty coverage. My mom and step dad finally had enough of it after 4 Volvos, and bought a Toyota.

I always expect a used car to have a few problems and, when I am ready to purchase a used car, I keep back $1000 from what I intend to spend for a car. In today’s times, $2000 isn’t too far out of line for repairs. The problems you reported weren’t an engine conecting rod bearing letting loose or a transmission going out.

I once bought a Corvair that both the dealer and I thought needed a valve job. He knocked the price down from $695 to $450. I had the car about a week when my wife and I went out to supper. While we were dining, we had a thundershower. The car ran so poorly going back home that I didn’t think we would make it. It dawned on me when we got home that the problem had to be in the ignition system. A set of new plug wires and a distributor cap set me back about $10, and when I put them in, the car ran beautifully. The dealer who sold me the car was a Rambler dealer and he admitted that his service department didn’t like to work on Corvairs. The point is that dealers can miss problems both ways.
In any event, no matter where you buy a car, have a good independent mechanic check it over and negotiate the price from what he finds needs to be repaired.

Was that pre or post tuck and roll ? Bro had a Monza that I use to drive a lot. He wanted to use my Rambler (you older guys know why) for dates.

Reclining front seats.