Friends, read this post carefully if you are planning to buy a car in the near future.
Our story started last year. The sole agent of one of the leading European car brand imported a shipment of new cars. During the off loading process, one of the cars fell down due to the carelessness of the off loading staff at the sea port. The car suffered serious damage especially in the chasis. The sole agent filed an insurance claim. The sole agent also removed the car from the system of the manufacturer since it was considered as salvage, or "scrap" as we call here in the UAE.
The insurance company paid the sole agent the money & took the possession of the car. They then sold this car to one of the garages in a neighboring emirate. The garage owner repaired the car & then sold it presumably as an "unwanted gift" & at a much lower price, to a buyer from a neighboring Gulf country. The new buyer cleared all the paper work with the concerned traffic department, got an export number & took the car to his home country.
When this buyer bought this car, he was told that the car was under the warranty from the manufacturer & therefore he should face no problems in his country as this was an international warranty. The first few months were okay. But then everything changed one fine day when the air bag activated itself during a normal driving trip, which is something unusual. Our friend took the car to the dealership in his country for repair, since his car was still supposed to be under the warranty.
Now here this gentleman got the shock of his life. He was told that his car had already been declared a salvage & therefore has been removed from the system of the manufacturer. This meant he has to pay for the repair.
This is a real story. The car was a BMW. The sole agent is based in Abu Dhabi. The final buyer was from Saudi Arabia, he bought this car from Sharjah. I heard this story on Emarat FM 97.1 live call in program. The story has been verified after the program presenters contacted live on air the representative of the sole agent in Abu Dhabi.
The moral of the story is that please do not buy any "unwanted gift" car. But if you think you cannot live without it, please verify the details with the local agent of that brand. I would even suggest that if possible, you should directly contact the manufacturer. Don't just depend on the clearance certificate issued by the police department.
Another insider information. Don't buy imported American Specification used cars unless you personally know the Car delaer & are 200% sure that he will not cheat you. Most of the new stock available these days is the result of last year's Hurricane Katrina. The cars were imported into UAE as scrap, then repaired here before being sold in the market as "Immaculate Condition Imported Car."
God save us from greedy & unethical businessmen.