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cduluk

Checked The Carfax For My Rx400H... Just For Giggles

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Hey guys,

Tonight, someone on the forum posted a response to one of the threads i started back when i had my Rx300, and it got me thinking about it (since it was traded in last year...). I thought i should get a Carfax report to check up on it, to see if she's had any action with her new owner.

When i got to the Carfax site, it asked me whether i wanted a single report for $35 or 5 reports for $45. Well, i got suckered in, and opted to go for the 5... I figured i could look up my Rx400h too, just for giggles. :rolleyes:

Last May before we purchased the Rx400h (it was used at this point), i noticed that the front bumper, hood and both fenders were replaced, as the VIN stickers were all missing. But, the bumper absorber was factory (i could see the sticker) and there didn't appear to be any damage underneath. The dealer also showed us the Carfax and it was totally clean, so i just figured it was minor and that it wasn't a big deal.

A few months later, (last September) i bought the Carfax report for the Rx400h just so i could have a copy. Just as we viewed it at purchase, it was totally clean. Here is what it read:

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Well, when i checked the Carfax report TONIGHT, i got a little surprise!! :blink:

Here is what it reads:

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All of a sudden, it now indicates warnings of "airbag deployed" and "accident/damage reported" and has inserted a new record dating to 11/6/2008 reporting that "it hit an animal", disabling the vehicle to the point where it was towed, and that THE LEFT FRONT AIRBAG DEPLOYED!!

This report was TOTALLY MISSING when i downloaded it in September of last year! And there's fine print on the report stating, "Carfax began reporting this information on 02/06/2010." WHAT THE $^#%!?? I thought THIS is exactly what Carfax was supposed to report in the FIRST PLACE!? :censored:

Apparently this accident took place on 11/6/2008 in KANSAS, and the reports indicate that the title was updated on 12/18/2008, and that the car sold at auction on 1/05/09. It suddenly shows up in MASSACHUSETTS on 1/22/09 and offered for sale right before we purchased it in May. So it's clear that the car was sold right after the accident.

But i guess the unusual repair makes sense now, considering the report claims the car hit an "animal". I can imagine hitting an animal would exert only a little force to the bumper area (an animals legs don't weigh that much) and a lot to the hood and above. I should also add, that i noticed the windshield didn't read LEXUS on it, so i guess it was replaced as well. I can accept the fact that the bumper, hood and fenders were replaced (as they're all cosmetic) but i don't know what to make of the airbag thing. I checked under the hood and engine tonight, and i can't see a single thing indicating that the frame or engine was damaged in any way. I remember the radiator looking very used when we got it, as it had a lot of chips in the paint, indicative of 40k miles of driving.

So i'm not sure what to make of this. I've had the car for a year and 3 months, and driven over 16k miles with no side effects. Everything seems to be fine... but this airbag thing is getting to me. Just knowing that the airbag went off and the fact that the driver ditched the car right after the accident kind of scares me. And i also have NO idea why Carfax didn't report this until recently. I thought this was the EXACT thing that they're supposed to report in the first place... Now because of this, it indicates that my car is $970 below average because of the reports. Good luck to me ever trying to sell this thing with this "new" report!

So what are your thoughts? :unsure:

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Man, that sucks! But not the end of the world. Yes, you've got some very strong resale issues now on the car, but the damage was clearly repaired to spec, which interested the Lexus dealership that you bought it from to buy it for it's inventory. Hitting an animal is not a small thing to assume, it all depends on the speed of the hit and the animal itself. My guess, and knowing Kansas pretty well personally, a deer was hit. Given the damageto the car, I would assume probably at a speed of around 40 mph. Given the highend nature of the car itself and the speed "typical neighborhood speed", I'm guessing someone in the Overland Park area, which is full of deer roaming about "nearly hit a few myself in the early 90's when I lived there". The animal probably hit the airbag sensor, rolled up the hood and cracked the windshield. Given that the windshield isn't Lexus, repair probably not done by dealership, probably by insurance company shop.

I've hit a deer myself in our 4runner. I saw him coming, was able to stand on the brakes long enough to have a frontal impact at about 15mph. I still needed a new front bumper and sub parts, and I just knocked it down, it actually got up and ran away. This was back in NC in late 07. I have not had a single rattle or problem with the car.

I also had a 92' Nissan Sentra that had the roof cut off, hood and trunk replaced, and quarter panels removed, thanks to golfball sized hail stones. Drove it for 5 years without a single problem. And, my current toy, the GTI, has a new front bumper as well due to an animal strike in Michigan from the previous owner. It shows up on the carfax, I knew it atthe time of purchase, used it as negotiation leverage "great price and bumper-bumper certification warranty from VW for the next 3 years". That car drives like brand new, and is in my top 3 all time favorite cars.

My point is, don't let this mess with your head when it comes to enjoying the car, because if you let it, it will. Yes, the value has taken a hit. I doubt you can do anything about that, because any dealer and/or carfax rep will simply ask for a copy of the inspection report you had done on the used car during your purchase process..... You got one? Me either. Cross the value bridge when you get to it. The longer you keep the car, the less influential the damage report becomes.

Carfax only reports info when the State an accident occurred in is required to file the report. Each state is different, and Carfax has no authority to influence the process. Some states only dump info once or twice a year, some do it within a few weeks. Some Insurance companies don't share any info, some do. Some do it once a year, some do it monthly. Carfax is a crap shoot in that regard. You did the best you could do when buying the car. You educated yourself on what to look for, noticed some things were "off" a little, but nonetheless satisfied with the overall condition, and bought it. Not much more you can do from this point forward, except to enjoy her. I'm very confident that if the airbag replacement wasn't done strictly to spec, the car would let you know immediately, including not letting you drive it. I've learned on VW's that have needed a new airbag, that several components must be replaced regardless of condition, for the computer to let the engine run. A guy on the VW forum site has learned this one the hard way, with trying to dump his wrecked and shotty repaired Jetta. He can't sell it, because he can't keep the engine running. He tapped a car I traffic, hit the airbag sweetspot which set the driver's off. Hey bought a new wheel from eBay, slapped it on there, plugged in the connectors, and was finally told by VW that if he wants the car to run again, he's looking at a few grand of work to repair the srs system back to OEM spec. If VW does this, then I would be shocked if Lexus didn't, with even more attention to the process. The fact a Lexus dealer sold you the car, only gives more strength to this issue!

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Well you could possibly sue them in small claims court ($5,000 limit). Quite often in small claims cases (involving a corporation) the defendant doesn't show up and you automatically win the case. Other than that I'd have to agree with nc, you've driven the car for over a year and you didn't even know until you saw the report, don't let it spoil you from enjoying a great car.

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I would take your documents (evidence for FRAUD, by carfax!!) contact your State Attorney Generals Office and explain whats going on. Also get a good attorney who deals with class acyion consumer complaints. You are on to something big here. I would also contact your local ABC TV station if they have an investigative reporter. I always had suspicion on carfax and now I see the evidence.

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News flash - this isn't fraud. This is just an example of the hyped-up, heavily-marketed, overrated, and underperforming system that Carfax is. The vast majority of car buyers out there believe that Carfax is the gospel truth with each and every detail that ever happened to their car. Bullsh!t. Carfax is a mediocre product that has built its business and reputation solely on high-dollar advertising. Don't buy into it. Do your own due diligence on any car you are interested in and always remember that Carfax is nothing more than one more tool in your toolbag. Now relax and just drive your vehicle. As has previously been pointed out to you, the longer you keep the vehicle, the less of a factor this issue becomes when the day arrives to dump it....

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Man, that sucks! But not the end of the world. Yes, you've got some very strong resale issues now on the car, but the damage was clearly repaired to spec, which interested the Lexus dealership that you bought it from to buy it for it's inventory.

NC...He did not buy it from a Lexus Dealer if I remember correctly...not that it matters. Lexus will still CPO their cars if there is minimal damage done. The RX330 that I bought CPO had a small $900 claim and they CPO ed it but I got some serious bucks off of their purchase price.

CD...NC is right it sucks but it is not the end of the world. Resale only matters if you are selling it...so enjoy driving it. I had a Toyota Celica GT when I was in high school...I had a few fender benders in that car...air bags deployed 3 times car towed once. 3k claim, 5k claim and the first one was an 10k claim. Two times I had a deer jump out and messed up the front good and then had a dumb a s s pull out in front of me. I thought the car was cursed but to be honest that was one of the best cars I have ever had. After the last accident which was the other drivers fault and his INSURANCE PAID...the car had 60k miles or so on it...I got rid of the car over 6 years later and had over 197k miles on it and it still ran great. So if you have been driving it this long...I am sure the repairs are fine. If it weren't for the fact that the car had been involved in an accident you may not have gotten such a great deal on it either...or you may have paid more is all I am trying to say... Enjoy your car and don't let it get to you...I am surprised you haven't done some type of MOD to the Airbags anyway! Like make them blue... :lol: :D :cheers:

I would take your documents (evidence for FRAUD, by carfax!!) contact your State Attorney Generals Office and explain whats going on. Also get a good attorney who deals with class acyion consumer complaints. You are on to something big here. I would also contact your local ABC TV station if they have an investigative reporter. I always had suspicion on carfax and now I see the evidence.

As far as trying to sue carfax...good luck I am sure that there are disclaimers about damage that may not be reported on their site and paper work. That is just what the world needs is another class action lawsuit! :whistles:

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Its not fraud, I agree. Like RX in NC said, Carfax is just over-hyped and not the perfectly accurate resource people assume that it is. You knew that the vehicle had been repaired and had been in an accident, the only thing you didn't know was that the airbag had deployed.

Doesn't carfax have a "Vehicle history guarantee"? I'd contact them and see if you can submit a claim under that guarantee, should be easy since you have both reports. I'd look to recover that $1,000 value writeoff they indicated in that new report.

Sucks...but don't let it get to you...

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Yeah, i don't think there's much i can do with carfax... they even wrote on the report that they only started reporting this knowledge since early this year. Really don't know why that would be.

I've been taking this better than i thought i would be. I've been so damn busy this week i haven't really thought about it. I just hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the future, if i get into an accident and find out the airbag system was never fixed... :cries:

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Carfax is never accurate. It takes a report 6 months to almost a year after it happened before it MAY reflect on the Carfax report. I've been hit 3 times on my car, and according to Carfax it only reported one of them, which is the only one that had a police report. The other two didn't have a police report because we settled it on the side of the road.

The only peace of mind and guarantee for a clean car, is a brand new car ;) Don't let the carfax spoil your enjoyment. It's starting to spoil my enjoyment of my car only because I've been hit 3 times in the back end and I'm feeling like my car's bad luck :ph34r:

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I've been taking this better than i thought i would be. I've been so damn busy this week i haven't really thought about it.

Its because you're a lot more mature than you used to be. You've got other things in your life that are more important, and thats how it should be.

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I've been taking this better than i thought i would be. I've been so damn busy this week i haven't really thought about it.

Its because you're a lot more mature than you used to be. You've got other things in your life that are more important, and thats how it should be.

I guess you're right... School's been taking over my life. Not a lot of time to take care of the car. I got to wash it last Thursday as the outside temp hit a whopping 60 degrees! :wacko: Before that, it went a good 5 weeks without a washing. :unsure:

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Life has a way of doing that ;)

Sure does! :cheers:

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Whats funny is this is exactly what I and others tried to tell you a couple years ago when you were on here raising hell and being all cocky, that when you have responsibilities in life...a car...however much cars may mean to you...is not nearly as important a focus as it is when you're a kid. I told you one day you would understand, and now you do. ~Sniff~...they grow up so fast... :cries:

You've grown up a lot over the last couple years...I mean that as a compliment. :cheers:

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You've grown up a lot over the last couple years...I mean that as a compliment. :cheers:

Yea... I sincerely meant what I said on another post about CD's contributions to the site as well. I think he is a huge asset to LOC. And I agree he has grown up a lot...

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Man, Steve is now counseling in full paternal geezer mode. Make sure you call him a whippersnapper, and be sure to wear your suspenders and carry your newspaper when doing so!

Glad to see you've officially joined the club. Gotta love it....

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I guess you're right... School's been taking over my life. Not a lot of time to take care of the car. I got to wash it last Thursday as the outside temp hit a whopping 60 degrees! :wacko: Before that, it went a good 5 weeks without a washing. :unsure:

My RX is covered in mud from going through a construction zone in the rain and it's been that way for a few weeks because I'm in the same boat you are. School and work have devoured any free time I would have had.

Man, Steve is now counseling in full paternal geezer mode. Make sure you call him a whippersnapper, and be sure to wear your suspenders and carry your newspaper when doing so!

Glad to see you've officially joined the club. Gotta love it....

*While wielding a newspaper* "Hey you kids get off my lawn!" :lol:

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Exactly! Except I'm on my front porch holding a crossbow, not a newspaper!

You should see those little whippersnappers run....

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HAHAHA! I did come across as a little geezerish didn't I? Man...what is it going to be like when I actually am a geezer!

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