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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I’ve learned a lot from this forum over the last couple of weeks in the process of zeroing in on an Ascent. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

We are shopping and a dealer has one in the premium trim and color we want with basically no miles. But it was damaged in transit, and then repaired. They have been up front about it, and pointed out that this makes it pre owned, although still under the 3 year 36k mile warranty.

No one in our entire family has ever owned a Subaru before, we aren’t handy from an auto repair standpoint, and we live about 2 hours away. We don’t buy or trade cars often. This one will replace a very worn van that is a dozen years old.

What concerns should I have? What questions should I be asking? Is this sort of thing normal? What kind of discount should I expect? I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Here is what they said specifically on the damage:

- - -

The driver of the truck that the Ascent came in on said he backed into a tree with some low-hanging branches. This caused denting and scratches on the roof and tore off a part of the top of the rear fin, but no damage to the rear gate/glass/bumper, etc. The small dents in the roof and scratches were repaired like new, and the rear fin was replaced with a completely new piece. You can't tell any mishap occured.
 

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Based on your description, that was pretty minor body damage other than the antenna and I seriously doubt it would compromise the vehicle. If the vehicle meets your specifications, work your deal. Don't expect "millions off", but a little more consideration given the title status is worth asking for and expecting. IMHO, of course.
 

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My daughter got a Forester with similar scratches and a new rear fin. I did notice that one of the interior trim pieces was not put back right and had a broken clip. They replaced it without any issues. I would look at all the interior trim that was removed to replace the fin and make sure it is all back in place properly and no broken clips.

Hopefully you get a nice discount for the trouble. Also with issues like this you might get accessories thrown in for free. Sometimes negotiating with something other than money like accessories or free maintenance or extended warranties works well. Jut a thought.
 

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Hate to play debbie downer here,I wouldn’t touch it.If I’m dropping that kind of money on a “new” vehicle I would want it to look “new”.Down the road who knows what might pop up,these stealerships can lie to your face and you wouldn’t know it.The service department is just as bad with the lying.If you feel confident with the information given to you then go for it but I would try to hit them hard for as many add-ons/ accessories.Ask for the Subaru loyalty rebate/discount,maybe work out something with the extended warranty.

My $.02 ...good luck with the purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input everyone. So far their price is only competitive, $500 or so less than what I’m seeing elsewhere, and that doesn’t seem like enough to me.

I’ve asked about several additional options being added, and will see where that leads, but I’m doubtful they will do enough to make it worth it.
 

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"They have been up front about it, and pointed out that this makes it pre owned, although still under the 3 year 36k mile warranty."
Well if they are selling this as a "pre-owned" vehicle, then it should come with a pre-owned vehicle price. If you look at most Subaru dealer web sites, it would appear that most pre-owned vehicle with very low mileage (under 5k) are 5-10% lower than new.

I would offer them 10% less than new as a starting point.

About the warranty, is seem they are trying to use that as a negotiating point. Pointing out the car is still under warranty is like saying the car still has seats in it. Its a standard thing that stays with the car unless the owner does something to void the warranty.
 

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Prior vehicle purchase

When I purchased my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I had the same circumstance. It was damaged in transit but repaired and had to be sold as preowned due to the title status. I got a deep discount of around 15% off sticker. I would say go low. After all, Subaru will probably recoup the cost of the damage from the truck company assuming it's a contracted company. :tango_face_wink:
 

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Never trust the dealer and after good inspection i would probably buy at 8-10% off...beyond the 6-10% you already negotiated)
 
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I wouldn't touch it for less than 15% off. Make sure when you're comparing prices to new you are considering the VIP price of 2% below invoice, or if you can work out a better deal than that. The VIP program is very easy. If you haven't heard about it do a quick search.
 

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I agree with many of the comments made previously. Personally, I would walk away and wait for another "undamaged" vehicle. After the repair it may be "defect" free for years or it might shows signs of the repair (peeling paint, fading paint, loose trim) in a relatively short amount of time

Many automobiles are damaged in transit each year, and the dealer fixes them without ever having to change the status of the vehicle to "used." That happens a lot with hail. I suppose the declaration of being "used", depends upon the laws in each individual state.

Will the repair be shown on the Carfax report? That could cost you thousands down the road, when you trade it in. I don't imagine the repair will be reported to Carfax.

If you still want the vehicle, I would really push for the extended OEM warranty on the vehicle. The dealer may have minimized the actual damage done to the vehicle. Make sure the rear hatch works perfectly, repeatedly.

I totally understand your frustration with the situation and hope it all works out for you and your family. What was supposed to be an exciting event has turned into a nightmare. I do like that the dealer was upfront about the situation with you. What color is the vehicle? Some colors are more difficult to match than others. Look at the vehicle in different light settings. Make the dealer pull it into the well lit "sold" bay for inspection before you purchase it.
 

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Damage to a vehicle doesn’t make it pre-owned, only ownership can do that. Why would the dealer be required to title the vehicle due to damage? Transport damage is extremely common (our 19 Ascent had 2 dings, my 17 Denali had a dent in the roof presumably from a chain being dropped while unloading) but if the damage was enough to require a change in MSO/title status, I’d want to see a lot of paperwork and pictures of the damage before doing anything!
 

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Maybe you can work something out where you can get some more $$ off and see if the dealer will get the car certified, especially if you are going to keep it for a while (or maybe negotiate to have oil changes for life, and/or a yearly detailing- it doesn't cost the dealer much, but it is possibly of significant value to you). It's worth at least asking.


You are in a position where you are likely going to keep the car for along time based off your last purchase, so things like this might work to your advantage, since it is unlikely that you will be trading the car in the near term, and therefore are less concerned about any potential drop in immediate resale value.


But if you can't get something significant like that, I'd walk.
 

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Thanks for the input everyone. So far their price is only competitive, $500 or so less than what I’m seeing elsewhere, and that doesn’t seem like enough to me.

I’ve asked about several additional options being added, and will see where that leads, but I’m doubtful they will do enough to make it worth it.
Walk away. Price should be substantially discounted without you even trying.

Since you keep vehicles for a long time buy one that doesn't have you second guessing your decision.
 

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Hello everyone,

I’ve learned a lot from this forum over the last couple of weeks in the process of zeroing in on an Ascent. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

We are shopping and a dealer has one in the premium trim and color we want with basically no miles. But it was damaged in transit, and then repaired. They have been up front about it, and pointed out that this makes it pre owned, although still under the 3 year 36k mile warranty.

No one in our entire family has ever owned a Subaru before, we aren’t handy from an auto repair standpoint, and we live about 2 hours away. We don’t buy or trade cars often. This one will replace a very worn van that is a dozen years old.

What concerns should I have? What questions should I be asking? Is this sort of thing normal? What kind of discount should I expect? I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Here is what they said specifically on the damage:

- - -

The driver of the truck that the Ascent came in on said he backed into a tree with some low-hanging branches. This caused denting and scratches on the roof and tore off a part of the top of the rear fin, but no damage to the rear gate/glass/bumper, etc. The small dents in the roof and scratches were repaired like new, and the rear fin was replaced with a completely new piece. You can't tell any mishap occurred.
Just for reference a dealership doesn't have to disclose damage to a car in transport. As long the damage is cosmetic and repairable, the buyer doesn't have to be told of any repairs made to the vehicle. It is considered new until the title is processed at the DMV. That is why Dealer Loaners are sold as new because they have never been titled so you are still the first owner. It is a bit of a sketchy process, but at least your dealership disclosed it to you. The transport insurance covered the cost of repairs, but the dealership still paid for the car so they aren't going to take a major hit on it.

To me $500 isn't going to make or break me so I would pass, but you don't have a guarantee that the next Ascent you find hasn't had any damage in transport that has been fixed and not disclosed. The body shop I used for a "oops" moment on my Ascent does all the repairs for Honda. Last time I was there they had 10 Honda's they were working on and their work is so good I would say the finish looks better than factory.
 

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Just for reference a dealership doesn't have to disclose damage to a car in transport. As long the damage is cosmetic and repairable, the buyer doesn't have to be told of any repairs made to the vehicle. It is considered new until the title is processed at the DMV. That is why Dealer Loaners are sold as new because they have never been titled so you are still the first owner. It is a bit of a sketchy process, but at least your dealership disclosed it to you. The transport insurance covered the cost of repairs, but the dealership still paid for the car so they aren't going to take a major hit on it.

To me $500 isn't going to make or break me so I would pass, but you don't have a guarantee that the next Ascent you find hasn't had any damage in transport that has been fixed and not disclosed. The body shop I used for a "oops" moment on my Ascent does all the repairs for Honda. Last time I was there they had 10 Honda's they were working on and their work is so good I would say the finish looks better than factory.
It sounded to me like the dealer was going to sell this person a used vehicle, and that would be reflected in the title and Carfax, etc— along with a potential depreciation hit, second owner, etc. I think in the example you gave, the car would still be sold as new.
 

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It sounded to me like the dealer was going to sell this person a used vehicle, and that would be reflected in the title and Carfax, etc— along with a potential depreciation hit, second owner, etc. I think in the example you gave, the car would still be sold as new.
I guess the phrasing is a bit weird in OP's post because the dealer said it was pre-owned because it was damaged. Transport damage doesn't get disclosed since CarFax looks at insurance claims and reported service records and honestly CarFax isn't as reliable as it seems. I've had a car with transport damage, two fender repairs, and an insurance claimed collision and was a clean titled car. CarFax scourers publicly available info. If the car's VIN was never registered to someone then it's going to be considered a new car regardless and in CarFax world they would be the first owner. If it was titled before then yes it would be considered Pre-Owned, but why would a dealer title a transport damaged car? Strange.
 

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Ascent - things to look for

Hello everyone,

I’ve learned a lot from this forum over the last couple of weeks in the process of zeroing in on an Ascent. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

We are shopping and a dealer has one in the premium trim and color we want with basically no miles. But it was damaged in transit, and then repaired. They have been up front about it, and pointed out that this makes it pre owned, although still under the 3 year 36k mile warranty.

No one in our entire family has ever owned a Subaru before, we aren’t handy from an auto repair standpoint, and we live about 2 hours away. We don’t buy or trade cars often. This one will replace a very worn van that is a dozen years old.

What concerns should I have? What questions should I be asking? Is this sort of thing normal? What kind of discount should I expect? I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Here is what they said specifically on the damage:

- - -

The driver of the truck that the Ascent came in on said he backed into a tree with some low-hanging branches. This caused denting and scratches on the roof and tore off a part of the top of the rear fin, but no damage to the rear gate/glass/bumper, etc. The small dents in the roof and scratches were repaired like new, and the rear fin was replaced with a completely new piece. You can't tell any mishap occured.
If you need to have the tailgate open for more than an hour or two, you should be aware of a problem that many people are having. The tailgate being open for extended periods of time drains the battery and kills it. Ask the dealer to leave the tailgate open for 8 hours (if you are tailgating, camping, dog training) and see what happens. Subaru doesn't recognize this as an issue but you may have seen all the posts on the Forum about this problem. Good luck. Otherwise, it's a great car.
 

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Thoughts...

My one concern is I have had two folks at Subaru tell me the Subaru has “soft paint job”. Whether that is true I don’t know. These days dealers often offer the “protective coating”. I think it is a 3M product, and in the hundreds of $ depending on areas of car coated. My brother had the coating put on a Chevy Colorado pickup and Corvette. Told me it was a waste of money.

Back to “damage” if the paint and scratch repair was done right, your OK. I’d ask for inclusion of the repair area in warrenty.

Owned a 2017 Outback for two years. I didn’t experience any more issues with paint scratching than with prior Honda CRV’s.

As of last check no-one is making front cover for Ascent.

I think you are good if they offer a fair price adjustment. If you are a Sam’s Club or Costco member you do receive a significantly lower price. Go through their programs and get a price from a different dealer for same exact model/specs and you will find out if discount offered is fair.

Your spending a-lot of money, your call but I personally would expect “new” or at least a $1000 price adjustment. Again, Costco or Sam’s price will tell you if what they are offering is fair.

Last...I think the rear “fin” is the radio antenna. No big deal if seal was replaced correctly.
 

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Thoughts...

My one concern is I have had two folks at Subaru tell me the Subaru has “soft paint job”. Whether that is true I don’t know. These days dealers often offer the “protective coating”. I think it is a 3M product, and in the hundreds of $ depending on areas of car coated. My brother had the coating put on a Chevy Colorado pickup and Corvette. Told me it was a waste of money.

Back to “damage” if the paint and scratch repair was done right, your OK. I’d ask for inclusion of the repair area in warrenty.

Owned a 2017 Outback for two years. I didn’t experience any more issues with paint scratching than with prior Honda CRV’s.

As of last check no-one is making front cover for Ascent.

I think you are good if they offer a fair price adjustment. If you are a Sam’s Club or Costco member you do receive a significantly lower price. Go through their programs and get a price from a different dealer for same exact model/specs and you will find out if discount offered is fair.

Your spending a-lot of money, your call but I personally would expect “new” or at least a $1000 price adjustment. Again, Costco or Sam’s price will tell you if what they are offering is fair.

Last...I think the rear “fin” is the radio antenna. No big deal if seal was replaced correctly.
In general modern car paint is "soft" in general. New environmental standards and VOC requirements limit some of the additives from the past that gave paint that solid hardening which makes pain more durable. Also with robotic painting the layers are applied much more uniformly in thinner layers. I learned very quickly that the clear on the Ascent is thin. Wet sanding was a bad idea, that a body shop had to fix for me.

The purpose of things like ceramic coatings and 3M film is to protect the cars paint/clear from the environment.

Ceramic coatings just seal the clear a bit more and prevent things from sticking. It might help protect from particles in the air, and will prevent brake dust build up, buts its not going to stop scratches. It seals the pores essentially. These products are getting better with time. Even some of the at home stuff is fairly good. The cost is in the amount of prep required. The better the prep the better it sticks. The stuff car dealers sell to people is mostly garbage snake oil. A reputable ceramic coating shop will have your car for at least a day to prep and seal it. Then you need to let it cure.

3M film products are going to help with rock chips as a sacrificial layer. I use them on my bicycles and car door sill areas and they work great. I didn't want to spend the money on doing the entire front and I sometimes regret it. I have a few rock chips in the lip of the hood and bumper after only 6K

I try to keep my cars immaculate so rock chips bother my OCD, for others it's just a part of car ownership. If you keep the car for a long time it might be a worth investment. If you lease or swap cars fairly often it is not worth it.
 
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