UPPER DARBY PA -- I purchased a used vehicle from Mainline Auto Exchange in Darby PA. The car was listed on eBay as a good driver with "everything working". Pictures showed the car needing interior and exterior cosmetics. Nevertheless, before buying the car, I called to ask specific questions about the car. I asked “Mike” from Mainline Auto Exchange if other than the pictured surface rust, there were any other rust issues under the car and in any floor, suspension or structural areas. Mike stated "NO". I asked about accidents, mechanical or electrical issues. Again NO. He said it ran excellent and that "everything works".
"Everything works" is also part of his written auction description. Satisfied, I committed to buy the car. When I received it, I was in total shock. First the car was charcoal gray metallic and not black as it had been advertised on Ebay. Had I known the actual color, I would have never bought the car. Then, I could barely start the car. When it did start, the muffler was not just noisy, it was so loud that no one in their right mind would ever drive this car. When I depressed the gas pedal, it got stuck sideways at full throttle and the car lunged forward uncontrollably.
If I did not slam the brakes as hard as I could and then quickly shut off the ignition, I would have run over or even killed someone or myself. The car's floor boards the gas pedal was attached to were so badly rusted that the bottom gas pedal mount just ripped out some time before I got the car. I let it idle for some time. Additionally, no electrical accessories like the heater, A/C dash lights, wipers worked. When I opened the hood, I noticed that the entire grill had been patched up and glued and spray painted so it looks good from a few feet away in pictures. From close up, it was obvious that the grill had been smashed in an accident.
The car was hit in the center and right front corner. The hood was bent and buckled and the cross member was bent and pushed in. It was impossible to close and lock the hood. Had I been going on the freeway I could have caused another disaster. I looked under the carpet and found so much rust, the only thing that was holding things together was the factory rubberized undercoating. Looking under the car revealed the same condition. There were holes in the floorboards and the vital rear suspension supports holding the trailing control arms together were completely rusted out.
Some of the floorboard areas that were pictured in his auction were intentionally spray painted black to hide the rust damage. The trailing arms and rear shock absorber mounting points were also rusted out. Any sudden maneuver at high speed, in sharp turns or under heavy braking would have been devastating as these components would have collapsed. There was also rust in the trunk, doors and rocker panels and many other undisclosed areas. At this point the engine overheated. Steam and liquid came gushing out of the overflow bottle. The bottle was cracked and poorly patched with red silicone.
There was a switch under the dash the seller had rigged in order to force the auxiliary cooling fan on. Despite the fan being on all the time the engine still overheated. By the smell and look of the engine oil, it was apparent that the engine oil had mixed with the engine coolant due to a blown head gasket from overheating the car previously. Further investigation revealed later that the car is not worth fixing and only good for parts. Despite the total loss of trust in the seller and the system, I still tried to contact the seller in order to find an amicable way of resolving this terrible situation.
I told him that he can either take the car back and pay me my money plus shipping back, or he can pay me some money back for me to try to sell the car as is to a dismantler or someone who could do something with it. I told him that I will make use of any tools eBay gives us to deal with a situation as this and that I will seek legal action against his dealership if he doesn't want to work this out. I am actually currently in the process of talking to attorneys to move forward. He stated I am unreasonable and that I was blackmailing him.
He continued stalling this issue by wanting the car checked out implying that it has none of these issues despite the fact that I had emailed him detailed pictures of the damage. I agreed to have the car inspected if he paid for it. He refused. It became clear to me that he was just stalling the issue so I lose a chance to leave him feedback. I was still somehow able to leave him a feedback. He all of the sudden contacted me stating he had set up an inspection appointment in a week. I told him that if he insists on an inspection that I will still allow him to get it done.
I also stated that I will have a 3rd party mechanic there to witness and videotape his inspection being performed. I never heard back from him since and 2 months no title. I also contacted the other people who had also left a negative. They had similar experiences with him and one of them had almost the identical severe and undisclosed rust issues with his car. After all this I finally received the title after a total of 2 months. The seller then had the nerve to ask eBay to remove the negative feedback I left them.
Ebay after thoroughly reviewing this case agreed with my complaint and did not remove the feedback. If you are one of the lucky ones reading this before dealing with Mainline Auto Exchange in Darby, please use extreme caution when buying a car from them! If you are also a victim of theirs, please contact me as soon as possible as I am building a case against them. Thanks.
UPPER DARBY, PENNSYLVANIA -- I Purchased a 1998 Corolla from this dealership and this is what occurred. I flew into Philly with a certified check for the amount of the vehicle I won and the amount he stated for a temporary tag to come home on. I took a cab and arrived at the lot at around 10:40.
I met a gentleman there who was opening the door that asked if I was here for the car. I stated yes and he proceeded to say "I have good news and bad news. What do you want first?" I said "Tell me the good news." He stated that when he started the car yesterday the engine light came on and the car ran badly, But he took it down the street to the mechanics and they did a complete tune up and the car runs good now. I said "What's the bad news?" He said the car is blocked in by another and the owner has the key. So we had to wait for the owner to get in. So he had me come in while he opened up.
So I'm now worried about the car and want to inspect so he gets the car and opens it up and shows me the car. Three things stood out - that I bought the car for a great price and I understand that it is a 1998 model so I'm not looking for perfection just what I saw in the pics. The door handle on the outside driver's side was broke can't open it from the outside. The back seat has a huge ink mark that wasn't very visible in the pics. I then proceeded to open the hood and checked the engine oil level. No oil in it. I checked it 4 times. It was obvious that something had been done to the car new wires and cap and the car probably had some issue the mechanic fixed.
He doesn't have a mechanic or any staff other than detailers so his inspection process is probably whatever the detailers find or when they drive it to wherever for pics to put on eBay. I introduced myself to him and he stated that he had the car totally inspected and tuned up and was ready to go. I told him about the oil and he stated that he just tuned it up and told one of his guys to take it back down to the mechanics. (4 Chinese guys do a great job he says). I'm concerned and he states "What is wrong?" I say "I have to drive over 600 miles home and I'm not sure about this sale." He states he's no shyster and he will relist if I want.
I had to make a decision: fly back or go with it. I asked him to pull up the listing to see if it was on the buyer protection plan and it was. One of the detailers/lot attended comes back with the car and says that the car had oil in it was just so clean that you could not see it. I of course don't believe that but check the car out to see how it runs. It ran fine and still does. I really think they forgot to put the oil in it.
So I asked him about the door handle and he said "No problem we have it ordered. I will overnight it to you when it comes in." I said "I will have it installed and he would pay for it and he agreed." I have that in writing on the bill of sale. I also put that it was to be done within 15 days. Scammers like to string you out on eBay past the feedback limit and you can't do anything after that time. I agreed, gave him the check and we completed the deal. I asked him for the temporary tag and he pulled out his wallet and gave me $40.00 in cash and said you will have to go down the street to the transfer tag office and get it.
He printed me directions out and I had to go about 3 miles with no tag to get the temporary tag. On the way to the get the tag I hear this wind. The passenger door is whistling. I think it's the trim molding but it is the window regulator bolts busted. I was able to push up the window and keep it there until I got home to fix. I know that I bought the car as is and when I drove it off the lot my problem. So really my issue was the handle. I get home, sent a couple emails and he said his mechanic screwed up - just get an estimate and fix and he would pay. That was at the 15 day mark.
I went and got an estimate, got it fixed and it was estimated at 200 but came to 215.16 with tax. I had told him 200. So was o.k. with just 200. He said he would send a check out and be there within days. Never showed up. I contacted him again and he said he would check with his comptroller. Waited and never got any response from emails. So I knew he was stringing me out. I told him many times just pay the 200 and I would leave good feedback. But he never paid so I told him in my last email other should know about his practices.
The car has worked out fine for me and I got it for a good price. We all take the chance. Things like this will happen on eBay. But I have filed a case with eBay and will file a report with the attorney general of Pennsylvania. At this point it's not the money. You have to decide if the car is worth it but check it very carefully and remember that once you give him his check it's your car as is. eBay's protection program is very limited and covers only the major things not my $200 or the window regulator which cost me an additional $345.00.