Supposed cross-country record holder and leaky fuel-cell enthusiast Ed Bolian has released a new vehicle history app that aims to dethrone Carfax and bring vehicle history reporting into the hands of owners. The startup is appropriately named VINwiki and it bills itself as a social vehicle history reporting platform.
Knowing that vehicle history reports can be inaccurate, it’s always beneficial to have more data points when researching a car, but VINwiki appears to be less about verifiable vehicle history and more about car spotting and showing off your past and present rides.
Carfax has become so commonplace that it’s now standard practice for many car buyers to ask for it when shopping for a used car. Its database has grown over the years to the point that it now claims to to have the most comprehensive vehicle history database in North America.
The reports include such valuable information as title brands, accident history, and even service history for some vehicles, but it has some limitations that unscrupulous dealers are using to their advantage. The missing data allows these dealers to represent damaged cars as clean and use the Carfax report to support those claims.
In 37 pages of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s consent order with the government, the unprecedented action mentions little about what life will be like for the cars re-sold by the automaker after being repaired.
At issue are thousands of trucks and SUVs — Ram 1500s, 2500s, 3500s, Dodge Durangos and Dakotas, and Chrysler Aspens — that could be eligible for buyback from the automaker. FCA spokesman Eric Mayne told us in July that FCA has the ability to buy, repair and resell those cars under the order.
The recall order doesn’t address whether those cars would need to be identified as “buyback” cars, which the manufacturer isn’t obligated to disclose. But already, the consent order asks FCA to go above and beyond what the law requires for a while.
Low Miles, One Owner… (photo courtesy: www.parknshine.com)
TTAC commentator cwallace writes:
Here’s what’s probably an easy question for you: Is it ever worth the money to update wear items on a car before trading it in?
My trusty 2007 Accord EX V6 is suddenly about to cost me some real money. With 154,000 miles on it, the tires are about shot, it needs new struts, there’s a crack in the windshield, and the rear main seal is starting to make a mess of my driveway. Plus, my commute just got a lot longer, so the lack of creature comforts (like sound insulation, for heaven’s sake) make me think I’ve got my money’s worth from this car.
Other than those things, it looks good for its age, and everything else works just as it should. All that dealership service paid off, is what I tell myself.
Your Carfax data is going to new hands. IHS, the company that owns businesses from the defense publication Jane’s all the way to the not always reliable Global Insight, told Reuters that “it struck a deal to buy privately held R.L. Polk & Co, the owner of used-car history provider Carfax and a leading provider of auto industry data.” (Read More…)
You often write about the importance of evaluating a car’s history before purchasing it. We all have access to Carfax and Autocheck reports, but what are some things on those reports that trigger your red flag?
Here are five red flags that always give me a sense of caution whenever investigating the history of a vehicle.
Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.
Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.