Experts Warn Against Used-Car History Reports


Detroit Free Press - August 12, 2012

A used-car his­tory report may not tell the whole story, con­sumer experts say. Each year, about 6 mil­lion cars are in crashes seri­ous enough to report to police and insur­ers. Some of these cars are re-built and wind up on dealer lots.

What can buy­ers do to insure the car they buy is solid?

With­out a thor­ough inspec­tion by an inde­pen­dent mechanic, it’s almost impos­si­ble to tell (if the car was wrecked and rebuilt), con­sumer experts say.

Deal­ers say they get duped, too. They were involved in the push for a 2009 law that requires insur­ance com­pa­nies to share their data on totaled vehi­cles with a new Jus­tice Depart­ment data­base, the National Motor Vehi­cle Title Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem.


  • Wis

    Deal­ers get duped a lot. One thing I have wit­nessed is a vehi­cle whose his­tory report gets updated with an acci­dent indi­ca­tor that shows up only _after_ the dealer has pur­chased the vehi­cle despite their hav­ing done due dili­gence on the vehi­cle includ­ing inspec­tion. The inspec­tion result, no mat­ter how good, means lit­tle if an acci­dent indi­ca­tor is present on the vehi­cle history.