Purchased Used Luxury Car Two Weeks, Already Transmission is Failing

12-06-2009, 09:38 PM
I just purchased a used car a couple of weeks ago and already the transmission needs to be rebuilt.

Okay, on November 16th, 2009, I purchased a black 2002 Lincoln LS, four door, V8, black interior, with exactly 169,726 miles on the odometer at the time of purchase. In total, for the car, Michigan tags and plate, title fees, and taxes I paid a little over $4,000 in cash from a Used Car Dealership.

Before I purchased the car, I checked it out as thorough as I possible, according to my knowledge of cars. I’m no expert, but I know little things to look for (oil leaks, bad oil, exhaust, noises, rust, battery leaks). My uncle was present to give a second opinion. My uncle has more knowledge than I do about cars. I also ran a VIN number check using Experian AutoCheck (better than CarFax) and everything was clean.

The 2002 Lincoln LS I purchased according to Experian AutoCheck only had one previous owner, never been in any accidents, regular oil changes, no electrical failures and replacements, and no lien on the title. Everything was clean and clear according to the Experian AutoCheck VIN number report.

The only “visible” damage to the car was a scrape on the exterior paint by the rear passenger window on the right side of the car. That’s an easy fix and it’s not that big or dramatic; therefore, I wasn’t worried about it.

While test-driving the car I noticed a slight jerk a couple times while changing gears, but it stopped when I tried to do it again. Even though I considered that the front tire on the driver’s side was needed some air, I kept that in mind. I brought up the issue when I came back to the dealer to negotiate the price. The dealer (Mark) claimed to not have had any issue of the problem because he claimed to never have driven the car over 50 miles per hour.

The dealer made me an offer for a warranty on the 2002 Lincoln LS through Global Warranty for $224. The way the dealer explained the warranty; he stated the warranty was for “my protection” just in case anything fails on the 2002 Lincoln LS from the time I pulled it out the dealership lot, up to $6,000 miles or 6 months all major parts would be covered.

As the dealer explained the offer, under this warranty, if any major parts (engine, transmission, front end) fail they will be covered up to $1,000 with no hassle. I did not purchase the Global Warranty offer, that day, from the dealer. After an hour and a half of negotiating the price to $3400 in cash (exactly) for just the 2002 Lincoln LS without the plates, tags, and etc., I signed the paperwork after looking it over at that moment. The paperwork includes “Used Car Order” (receipt), a copy of the previous owner’s Title to the 2002 Lincoln LS, and a copy of my 2002 Lincoln LS title registration paper.

I was so caught in the excitement of getting the car for that price, I couldn’t wait to drive the car home and show my family. Everything was going great until I looked over the paperwork again and seen a few errors. For example, on the Title Registration paper, the dealer wrote down that on the day of November 16th, 2009, the car had 179,764 miles on it. I have no idea where the dealer got that number from, which makes my mechanic and me suspicious of possible foul play.

The number the dealer wrote down on the Title Registration is exactly 10,038 miles more than the mileage on the odometer November 16th, 2009. By the dealer writing down the incorrect odometer reading on the Title Registration, he by default voided the warranty. Remember, the warranty was only good for up to 6,000 miles or 6 months, covering up to $1000 in major part failure.

November 23rd, 2009, 7 days later, I went to purchase the plates, tags, and warranty (Global Warranty) for my 2002 Lincoln LS. Ironically, the dealer who sold me the 2002 Lincoln LS wasn’t there. The original dealer (Mark) seemed to never be around when I called either to ask questions. I ended up having to complete the transaction with his arrogant flunky who seemed to be pissed I was the new owner of the 2002 Lincoln LS. I explained to the flunky that the mileage (179,764) recorded on the paperwork was incorrect. He told me that I would the original dealer (Mark) would have to correct that. Okay, no problem, I expressed. I had rather deal with the original dealer (Mark) anyway. After receiving my temporary plate sticker to tape to the drivers side of my 2002 Lincoln LS rear window, I drove home.

After getting home and looking over the warranty paperwork, which the flunky acted as if he didn’t want to sell me anyway, he duplicated the same “incorrect” odometer reading (179,764 miles). This of course, voided the warranty by default. Even with the light driving I had did on the 2002 Lincoln LS so far, the mileage on the odometer read nowhere close to that number. So I called them and expressed this new dilemma.

Thanksgiving was November 26th, 2009. My birthday was on November 25th, 2009 (a Thursday). I had relatives from New York visiting as well, so I wasn’t able to go to the used car dealership I purchased my 2002 Lincoln LS from and make sure the entire situation was corrected that week. Their dealership is also closed during the weekends, so all business had to wait to the next week.

While driving the car over the weekend, I began to notice the jerk while shifting more consistently and more intense, and every now and then the “Check Transmission” warning would appear. The “Check Transmission” warning would disappear when I would turn the car off and on again. Aside from that everything about my 2002 Lincoln LS worked smooth as butter. I love my 2002 Lincoln LS; therefore, I took my 2002 Lincoln LS on December 1st, 2009 to be checked out by my regular mechanic.

After my mechanic checked my 2002 Lincoln LS, 3 codes popped up, 2 Transmission codes (one was a software upgrade), and 1 oil code which was nothing major. My mechanic test drove my 2002 Lincoln and experienced the same jerking problems while shifting. Next, my mechanic inspected the transmission of my 2002 Lincoln LS and concluded that it needed to be taken out and rebuilt.

My mechanic quoted me a price of $995 to rebuild the transmission. I showed my mechanic that I had purchased a warranty through the used car dealership. As my mechanic checked out my paperwork from the dealership, he noticed a lot of errors and red flags on the paperwork. My mechanic pointed out the things to me I mentioned earlier (incorrect odometer reading, voided warranty, a missing signature) and a few other things. My mechanic expressed how this didn’t sit right with him, seeing as I barely put 600 miles on my 2002 Lincoln LS, and I only been driving it for less than 10 days. He (my mechanic) also expressed his displeasure in his past experiences in dealing with Global Warranty, which began to worry me.

My mechanic told me to take the paperwork back to the used car dealership and have the paperwork corrected because the errors could have been honest mistakes. Nevertheless, my mechanic expressed the situation’s suspicious. To help me out, my mechanic even called up to the used car dealership I purchased my 2002 Lincoln from and explained to the dealer (Mark) what was going on. The dealer (Mark) assured him that everything would be taken care of. Mark (the dealer) told my mechanic I would only have to pay $50 out of pocket for the deductible. No problem.

Mark (the dealer) gave my mechanic the number to the auto shop their used car dealership works directly with, explaining that they would honor the warranty my 2002 Lincoln LS is covered under, and told my mechanic that the autoshop would be expecting me.

I called the number to the autoshop (Multistate Transmission) the dealer (Mark) gave my mechanic and spoke to the person who’s name Mark (the dealer) told us to ask for (Jay Jr.). Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission told me that Mark (the dealer) had called and explained to him the situation and to bring the car in. I explained to Jay that I would not be able to make it to Multistate Transmission in 30 minutes or less before they closed and that I would just bring my 2002 Lincoln LS to them the next morning. I also explained to Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission about the warranty having the wrong odometer reading. Jay Jr. told me to have Mark (the dealer) correct the paperwork because he would not be able to do anything without the correct paperwork.

The very next morning on December 3rd, 2009, I visited the used car dealership and sat down with Mark (the original dealer) again. I showed Mark (the dealer) the errors on the paperwork. Mark (the dealer) acted as if it was an honest mistake. Fine. Mark (the dealer’s) arrogant flunky acted skeptical like I was trying to get over, so he wanted to check the odometer on the car itself. No problem. I gave Mark’s arrogant flunky the keys to the car and the arrogant flunky came back with a humbled look on his face with a business card with the most current odometer reading (170,461) written on the back.

While I was sitting there with a concerned look upon my face, Mark (the dealer) phoned Global Warranty and explained his mistakes on the paperwork. After getting off the phone with Global Warranty, he told me that they would be sending updated paperwork for me to sign, but I was good to take my 2002 Lincoln LS to Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission. After receiving my 2002 Lincoln LS plates and tags from Mark (the dealer), I headed to see Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission.

Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission explained to me that their autoshop works with Global Warranty all the time, explained to me the steps of the process, told me that he would be able to take a look at my 2002 Lincoln LS the next day (December 4th, 2009), and that he would call me after he was done checking it out before calling the warranty company.

On December 4th, 2009 (a Friday) I received a phone call from Jay Jr. at Multistate Transmission. Jay Jr. told me that he checked out the car and the transmission definitely needs to be rebuilt and that he found the same codes that my mechanic found. Jay Jr. also told me he spoke with Global Warranty and that once I gave him the “okay” Global Warranty would be sending their inspector to take a look at my 2002 Lincoln LS transmission. However, Jay Jr. told me that Global Warranty does not cover labor charges so that would come out of my pocket, which would be $350. Jay Jr. also explained that the total cost of rebuilding the transmission at Multistate Transmission would be $1250 and that Global Warranty is only going to covered $950. $950?! The contract says up to $1000 is covered, why the deduction of $50 of all a sudden? To conclude, according to Jay Jr., I would be coming out of $650 in labor costs. I explained to Jay Jr. that I did not have the money and if I did go along with this I would have to borrow from a relative. * sighs *

When I received my Title to the 2002 Lincoln LS in the mail on December 3rd, 2009, the registered odometer reading was printed as being 170764. The number on my 2002 Lincoln LS Title (170,764 miles) is 1,038 more miles than were on the car on November 16th, 2009 (169,726 miles) and 303 more miles than the most current odometer reading. Where did this new odometer reading number come from? WOW!

This situation is really aggravating and I am calling foul play between Mark (the dealer), the used car dealership (Aspen Auto Sales), Jay Jr. (Multistate Transmission), and the Global Warranty representative. Mark (the dealer) did mention to me that he knows the rep at Global Warranty that he deals with on a sociable level. What can I do to not to lose in this entire situation?

Pictures of my current odometer reading and the paperwork done at the dealership:


Ray paulsen
12-07-2009, 08:50 AM
Before you decide to add another prolonged chapter I will comment on your very last paragraph " What can I do to not to lose in this entire situation? "

The damage is done, you're in a no win situation, I am surprised however that a person being as detail-oriented as you did not do some prior homework to investigate the power of your own money.

Most questions in auto forums regarding purchase fall into two catogery's
(1) " The buying process " how to, what to buy, these type questions are before the fact and posted by consumers whom want to ensure value for bucks.

(2) " Issues " these are all questions after the " fact " where a very high percentage get burned in the pocket book big time, but will most likely be much wiser second time around." WELCOME "

Regarding, odometer reading not being excepted by the warranty company, LOL, this is a total joke having wasted your money on a third party warranty, I guarantee you 100% even without the odometer being an issue " read the fine print " nothing is covered, these 3th party type contracts are loaded with loopholes and only serves as a cash cow for the dealer.

12-07-2009, 10:26 PM
This dealer probally rolled over the mileage on purpose and is illegal.

12-08-2009, 01:01 AM
This dealer probally rolled over the mileage on purpose and is illegal.

Where in that story was there any lead on about them changing the odom.? He wrote the wrong time, weather intentional or not, that got fixed, now its just an issue of getting the work done for as little as possible

Gary L
12-08-2009, 08:59 AM
I don't know the laws in your state but here in NY a used car dealer has to give a 30 day used car warranty and would be obligated to make the repairs or refund all of your money.

The warranty you purchased is more like a donation and probably worthless as are most of them.

I would be looking at the laws and dancing on Mark's desk until the car was repaired.

I did not read your entire chapter but you could condense it into a simple paragraph and just say the dealer sold me a bunch of junk and the better business office and small claims court is where I ended up.

Let go of your ankles and stand up to the fight.


12-14-2009, 01:55 PM
You got screwed and are pretty much stuck with the situation unless you money for legal fees which it sounds like you dont. Next time have a mechanic you trust do a vehichle inspection before you buy.

Better luck next time.

12-14-2009, 02:04 PM
Try to contact your local office of the State Attorney General's Office and explain what is going on. They might be able to help you and you might want to let the dealer know you plan on pursuing this through the State AG's office . You also have the opportunity to file a dispute with the BBB office and check into whether or not your state DMV office handles or has authority over matters like this. Sometimes the threat of further action seems to get the opposing party willing to work with you.

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