< Go Back

The Paperwork Mistake That Made My Luxury Car Worthless

The Paperwork Mistake That Made My Luxury Car Worthless

    My BMW X5 SUV is in the shop for its third leak-related problem this year. While it was there, and by coincidence, the dealership’s used car manager called and offered to buy it because there is demand for that model in the used market. I told him it was already at the dealership and he could take a look at it.

    The used car manager called me later to tell me my car only has “salvage value.” It turns out that the last two times I took it to Big O for tire repairs they wrote down my mileage incorrectly. One time they recorded it as 30,000 miles. Another time they said 80,000 miles. The actual mileage is around 50,000.

    Now here’s the interesting part. That double-paperwork-error by the tire shop made its way to the Internet and the CarFax service that dealers use to know whether cars have had accidents or other issues. The mileage discrepancy automatically puts my car in the “probably turned-back the odometer” category. And that means it has no resale value to dealers or anyone else who checked online.

    Apparently I can fix this problem by providing documentation of my correct mileage. I probably don’t have that documentation because the only other people who ever checked my mileage were the dealership that is telling me my car is now officially garbage.

    You’ll tell me they just want to buy the car from me for cheap. But they didn’t even offer to buy it. The used car manager just seemed embarrassed by the whole thing. Apparently this isn’t a trick. My car is actually “salvage value” now.

    Thanks, Big O Tires. Don’t expect me to come back.

More Episodes