Quick question on unibody damage


#1

Found an SUV I might buy and ran an AutoCheck report on it. It said it had Unibody damage but no reported accidents, how is that possible???


#2

Had an accident, was not reported.


#3

How is that possible?
Probably because AutoCheck has as many inaccuracies as Carfax does!

I would strongly advise you to have this vehicle put on a lift by your mechanic in order to see if there is evidence of accident damage. The structure of a unibody can be tortured back into a rough approximation of its original shape. However, it may well lack the strength that it originally had and it may be impossible to achieve proper wheel alignment on a vehicle that was stretched back after a collision.


#4

One possibility is that it was damaged in transit. I used to eat lunch near a train terminal where they unloaded new cars. Boxcar after boxcar of them. Saw a couple of them get damaged during the unloading operation over the years.


#5

A single car accident that is not reported to the police would not generate a record for AutoCheck (or CarFax, or whatever) to capture. Some body shops report repairs, but many don’t and the data gets into AutoCheck via insurance claims.

So, SUV drives off road and hits something and gets it fixed. There is no accident report but he did file an insurance claim. This is one of many scenarios that would show up on AutoCheck as you describe.

The real question is, is this a good vehicle? No AutoCheck, or CarFax report guarantee anything. They might show flood damage for instance but so many flooded cars get past the system that it is not “proof” of anything.

If you like the car have it checked by a mechanic before you buy it. In this case you might have it checked out by a body shop as well.


#6

VDC “nailed” it. It’s possible because these services, AutoCheck, CarFax, etc., are nothing more than files of erroneous, inaccurate, misleading, and incomplete data…for which they charge a fee. Not ony is there no national database of any kind for them to take the data from, but nobody checks to verify the accuracy of any of their data. I sure wish someone would. I think it would raise a lot of people’s awareness to scams like this.