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frame damage and Autocheck

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Old 10-23-2008, 06:43 PM
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frame damage and Autocheck

Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of buying a G35 and this forum has been a great resource. What a great community you have here! Hopefully I'll be able to contribute once/if I ever get the G35.

I have a question... I'm shopping for a used G35 and I'm finding lots of cars are tagged with "frame damage" when you check them on Autocheck. The sellers always claim ignorance and many say that it has to do with the auction house declaring them as frame damaged so as to avoid arbitration (the process where the purchaser at an auction argues with the auctioner/seller to get money back for something that wasn't disclosed). That sounds like a good story to me, but not necessarily a true story. Does anyone have any experience with this that may be able to shed light on why so many cars are tagged with "frame damage" at the auction house? Are these really damaged frames or is it just a means for sellers to protect the sale at auction?

Thanks,

Joseph Mama
Old 10-23-2008, 09:35 PM
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Your name is Joe Mama? Lol.

I wouldn't buy anything that even hinted at frame damage, that just totally destroys the feel of the car. Just spend a couple thousand more and get a nice used G35 with no accident history or problems.
Old 10-23-2008, 11:23 PM
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I wouldn't trust it. I bought a car recently and dealer had an Autcheck for it--no damage history...
Old 10-23-2008, 11:44 PM
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If there is even frame damage listed, that means the accident was severe enough that it's probably not worth buying. I'm pretty sure auction houses aren't gonna be putting the title frame damage on cars that were just vandalized or in a very minor accident. There's probably a reason why they are being auctioned and not sold used.
Old 10-24-2008, 12:42 AM
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[QUOTE=Darkstar752]Your name is Joe Mama? Lol.





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Old 10-24-2008, 12:56 AM
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Actually I'm referring to the Manheim auctions. That's where dealers get their cars from in many cases. Basically Infiniti Financial services and others put the lease returns up for auction on Manheim. The car dealers (including Infiniti dealers) then purchase them from auction and then put them up for sale in their dealerships after inspection, reconditioning if necessary, etc...

For instance if you look at the Carfaxes for most cars you'll see in the records where the car is listed for sale at auction, then offered for sale by a dealer. I'm not talking about purchasing these at some sort of a salvage or wrecked car auction.

The frame damage thing doesn't show up on the carfaxes in many cases but it gets put on the Autocheck because Manheim shares their data with Autocheck. Now, if a dealer buys a vehicle at auction, then they claim it has frame damage, they can argue with the auction house and get some money taken off after the fact -- that's what they call arbitration. So the story that many car sellers have told me is that the seller tags it as frame damaged so as to avoid arbitration after the sale.

But again, something doesn't sound right about that. That's why I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with this whole frame damage/arbitration story.


Joe
Old 10-24-2008, 03:10 AM
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Manheim cars are cars rejected from the Infiniti dealer only auctions. If an IFS car has filtered through to Manheim, that's usually a bad sign.

IFS lease returns and repos don't go straight to Manheim.
Old 10-24-2008, 12:48 PM
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My experience with Autocheck and Carfax:

If they say the car is clean, use it only as a starting point and have the car vetted thoroughly.

If they say the car is damaged, believe it.

There are of course other clues that can be used, such as history. For example they'll list if the car was owned by a rental agency, how many owners, if the car was auctioned etc. Lots of inferences can be made here like cars that are really clean and in good condition will be put on a local lot and will sell, they usually don't go to auction.

YMMV.
Old 10-25-2008, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for the great responses guys. I really appreciate all the input. It seems that there are plenty of cars out there that are tagged with "frame damage" but there's also a lot without. I've found several premium package Gs that are within my (low) budget without the frame damage moniker.

I'm pretty good at checking for body and paintwork so I'll heed the advice which seems to be basically don't trust any good reports, verify everything.

One more question regarding the whole frame damage thing and hopefully someone will know the answer... when these get disclosed as frame damage by an auction house like Manheim does that mean that the frame is currently damaged or that it has sustained damage previously? In other words, if it was damaged and repaired properly would it still show as "frame damaged" or does the tag specifically indicate that the frame has been measured or inspected and is out of spec. The reason I'm curious is that these are unibody cars, so I wonder if any repair on the body structure would cause it to be tagged as "frame damage".


Joe
Old 10-25-2008, 02:35 PM
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frame damage is now a general term that indicates that the core structure of the car has been damaged at some point.
Old 10-25-2008, 05:33 PM
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Thanks Mike! Your posts are always really helpful.

Joe
Old 10-26-2008, 03:23 PM
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are you trying to buy a car w/ frame damage? or does it happen to come up in most cars you search. I'd be surprised if it was the latter...
Old 10-26-2008, 03:35 PM
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Many many auction cars have frame damage, far more often than you'd think. Always have a used car inspected if possible.
Old 10-26-2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybadger
are you trying to buy a car w/ frame damage? or does it happen to come up in most cars you search. I'd be surprised if it was the latter...
Actually trying not to buy a car w/ frame damage. It happens to come up on a lot of vehicles after you check the vehicle out on Autocheck. Carfax seems to not have it listed very often -- I think it has to do with the fact that Manheim auctions provides their data to Autocheck. Manheim is one of the larger auction houses where independent dealers and some factory dealers pick up vehicles to resell.

It seems that because of the unibody, almost any accident causes it to come up as frame damaged on Autocheck.

I agree on the inspection idea, and in addition to a mechanical inspection it seems simple enough to take it to a body shop and get a frame inspection too.


Joe
Old 03-17-2010, 11:48 PM
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MY car was rear ended and had some frame damage, but carfax just says accident reported lol
haven't checked auto check though.

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