Unsafe Car Sold Online

Do you remember your first car? A metro teenager won't forget his after what a mechanic found underneath following the sale. It’s a lesson for anyone who buys a vehicle from a private party through an online ad.

The Craigslist seller says he sold the car for a killer price, but the buyer discovered he could have died driving it. “It’s not right to do this to anyone or to risk anyone's life,” said the teen buyer, who didn’t want his name used.

He heard a rattle so his dad took the car to a friend who found a section of the frame being held together with screws. “The vehicle is unsafe,” said Jim Champion at the Charlie Graham body shop in Omaha.

Two separate body experts told Fact Finders that it was dangerous. “That whole suspension could come loose, go into the ditch and roll over,” said Champion. “Any number of things could happen, but all would be bad.”

The son saved his money and dad helped buy the car from Craigslist, admitting he didn't realize the meaning of "salvage" on the title. The word "salvage" on the title is a red flag that the car sustained more than a fender bender. Damage experts say cars like that can still be driven if repaired correctly, so have it inspected before you buy.

The boy’s father, who also didn’t want his name used, said it’s a lesson he and his son both learned. “I feel real disappointed in myself that I didn't have it thoroughly inspected from top to bottom because it’s such a dangerous car."

The teenager is an Eagle Scout sworn by honesty, so he won’t sell the car to someone else. “I’m taught to be trustworthy and loyal to everyone and this isn't trustworthy, this isn't truthful.” They paid $3,400 for the car worth the sum of its parts. It will be parked until sold for salvage.

The seller claims he drove the car for a year without problems and he didn't know the frame had been bolted. He told Fact Finders he did disclose body work and sold it as is, so he won't offer a refund. The buyer and his son plan to take the matter to court.


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