Imported cars with build date tags altered
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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Imported cars with build date tags altered

    Hi did many here see the current affair program regarding imported cars having the build date tags altered to a later build date. This may explain why importers of cars such as the renault Latitude which has been face lifted for 2014 will only be sent to certain markets such as Spain, France and Mexico. Here in Australia we will be still getting the model built previously. The question one could ask is Australia being used as a dumping ground for cars not being sold by having the build date altered. So it appears that the company is still manufacturing the old model . I fail to see economics of having two separate production lines of two models of the same car ie 2013 car versus 2014 revamped model.
    Anyone have an opinion on this and is changing build date tags ethical. Maybe this is how the price of the car is able to be reduced??? Of course such a car would have sat for over a year or more in a paddock somewhere.

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    Last edited by niks; 22nd June 2014 at 04:33 PM.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say ACA is ethical! To determine a vehicle's real age I look at date codings on many bits. I don't necessarily believe either factory or agent.

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    The problem is that the build date may be vastly different to the 'date of compliance'.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Some imported vehicles do not receive their Australian compliance plates in their country of origin, they are added here in Australia by their distributors. This can be much, much later than their actual build date. This delay may be caused by a overstock situation here in Oz.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    I couldn't imagine altering the build date to be a realistic proposition. Given that the VIN number for each car can be easily tracked through the manufacturers own systems - it would be a hard task to do!

    Date of compliance and build have often been a point of contention. 2002 build Lagunas were often complianced as late as 2005 means that the cars were sitting around for long periods of time. Is it wrong? No, as long as the customer is aware that what they are purchasing is already 3 years old and the associated impacts of such.
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    I'm not sure of the context of the CA report, whether it related to new or used cars.

    Altering an imprinted build date on a car in Australia is illegal anyway, any new car importer would not be involved in a stunt like that. The imprinting of a build date on Australian delivered new vehicles is an ADR requirement.

    If it is a private importer selling imported secondhand cars that is another thing. Such a thing has happened in the past, and will no doubt happen in the future, there are always unscrupulous businesses out there looking to make a quick buck from those who are just looking for cheaper transportation. As always do your due diligence before buying, not all modern secondhand imports have an imprinted build date on the car, relying on interpretation of the VIN for dating purposes.

    I'm not even sure that a good proportion of people understand that their (since circa mid 1980's) Australian delivered car even has an imprinted build date, and the differences between the build date and the compliance plate date.

    It was Alfa Romeo back in the 1980's that caused build dates to be imprinted on Australian vehicles. Alfa Australia had a bunch of unsaleable Alfettas standing at grass, the cars were eventually reconditioned and complianced as special editions some 2-3 years after initial build and sold as new vehicles. Various argy-bargy resulted once it was found how old the vehicles actually were, resulting in the implementation of an Australian Design Rule requiring a build date tag to be attached to all new vehicles.
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    Europe has gone through an economic crisis in which car sales dropped right off and are only now beginning to recover. With the logistics of car assembly it is very difficult to cut off suppliers and suspend workers at very short notice. Car stocks built up to several months needs before the tap was turned off. To stimulate sales the makers discounted and then updated models to create new interest, some taking the risk of heavy discounting of cars in the delivery chain. One obvious way out was to move old models to emerging markets but I can't see Australia in this context. The cars are RHD and constructed to fancy local rules. That is not to say that the local importers don't get stuck with old stock from time to time.
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    Build date Compliance date Sold date

    Reminds me of when I purchased a well used 504 wagon some time ago.
    Built in 1982, complianced in 1983 and first sold in 1984
    This can happen to slow, low volume sellers

    Alain

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    My wife's 2007 Scenic 2 had 21kms on the clock when we bought it in May 2009. It had sat in Melb for two years before we got it. We got a good deal on it, but we're well aware of its age as we actually got hold of the manifest showing cars available and then got a dealer to quote the best price to acquire that particular car from Renault on our behalf.

    It was sold as a new car, but only had half the warranty as Renault had activated the warranty previously ( presumably to boost "sales"). Surface rust underneath on suspension and the like also indicated it had been sitting a while.
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    Can they do that with a warranty? You'd think goodwill might dictate an extension.

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    I think the term used universally is "Balance of Warranty."
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by niks View Post
    Hi did many here see the current affair program regarding imported cars having the build date tags altered to a later build date. This may explain why importers of cars such as the renault Latitude which has been face lifted for 2014 will only be sent to certain markets such as Spain, France and Mexico. Here in Australia we will be still getting the model built previously. The question one could ask is Australia being used as a dumping ground for cars not being sold by having the build date altered. So it appears that the company is still manufacturing the old model . I fail to see economics of having two separate production lines of two models of the same car ie 2013 car versus 2014 revamped model.
    Anyone have an opinion on this and is changing build date tags ethical. Maybe this is how the price of the car is able to be reduced??? Of course such a car would have sat for over a year or more in a paddock somewhere.
    They'd build them both on the same production line, and just equip them differently depending on the market. Australian destined cars already have to have some quirks for ADR's, and the log for those cars would also stipulate the old lights and the like. I'm not sure why Renault wouldn't take the facelifted model, other than a perceived cheapness/drop in quality, ugliness, or to keep the existing model so they only have to stock one lot of spare parts, and hopefully to retain resale value of existing Latitudes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I think the term used universally is "Balance of Warranty."
    That's correct.
    In our case, the dealer threw in one of those aftermarket extended warranties which took us to (and possibly over) the full warranty period. I don't know how hard they chased Renault though. I had to chase and chase for a dealer letter saying I could get it serviced elsewhere as the original fine print locked us into being serviced by the "selling dealership" - then the dealer went bankrupt anyway, so not sure how I would have gone if it needed to be used. The company doing the warranty was based in Melbourne and seemed to go out of their way of being uncontactable and mysterious as to who they actually were.
    KB


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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoeng View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    That's correct.
    In our case, the dealer threw in one of those aftermarket extended warranties which took us to (and possibly over) the full warranty period. I don't know how hard they chased Renault though. I had to chase and chase for a dealer letter saying I could get it serviced elsewhere as the original fine print locked us into being serviced by the "selling dealership" - then the dealer went bankrupt anyway, so not sure how I would have gone if it needed to be used. The company doing the warranty was based in Melbourne and seemed to go out of their way of being uncontactable and mysterious as to who they actually were.
    I've had a couple of experiences with these extended warranties. They seem to work but not quickly and it was a bit painful getting the outcome. As usual, hard to get face to face with anyone!
    JohnW

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    Soooooo what's new. It's like they just found out about it.

    Not just imports. As an apprentice back in the 70's with a Ford dealership I remember 2 cases I was invlolved with. 1 was a Ford Landau coupe that was rusted out and needed new rails and the other was an XD Xpack that needed a body swap because of rust. At least the Euro cars were parked on hard ground waiting to be sold but Ford just had them parked in a grass paddock.
    I worked park time for an Audi dealer and I remember a 2 year car that had been sitting in the showroom so they just swapped the compliance plate over and sold it as a current model.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoeng View Post
    Wow....a lot of root canal jobs there!
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    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    The VIN contains the year of manufacture so you can't really hide it unless you want to go to extraordinary lengths to hide it.
    I think by memory it's the 10th character of the VIN.
    The average Joe might not know but a lot of people do and it's not had to find.
    Of course, the date the compliance plate is affixed to the vehicle could be months or years later if the car's a slow seller.
    On warranties, they should apply from when the end-user buys the car (or when it's first registered if it's a demo) not when the dealer takes delivery. I think you'll find the ACCC would be interested if the dealer tries to tell you the warranty started on the day the car arrived at his yard or when it was made. The third party warranties are pretty much useless. I won't get started but they cover bugger-all and it takes a longggggggggggggggg time for them to even reply.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I think our friend was saying that the car was registered and used by the dealer for 2,100 + km. The dealer would have activated the warranty on first use so all that was available was the "balance' of the warranty. Nothing dodgy there.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I think our friend was saying that the car was registered and used by the dealer for 2,100 + km. The dealer would have activated the warranty on first use so all that was available was the "balance' of the warranty. Nothing dodgy there.
    No, your friend is saying it was a brand new, 2yr old car with just 21 kilometres on the clock, but that on the Renault computer when the dealer got it, indicated it only had 18 months (or thereabouts) warranty remaining. It had never been pre-delivered or registered yet the warranty had been activated somehow by Renault Australia.
    KB


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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    In which case there is something strange about the car and the circumstances behind it's sale.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Hi had a friend by a new car and when he queried the build date was told its normal for it to be so old as all imported cars have to be quarantined for 6 months. Today I spoke with AQIS re this question their response was if its brand new it does not sit in quarantine.
    So a lie to sell an old car for a new price with no price reduction. I believe he is taking this matter further.
    Last edited by niks; 23rd June 2014 at 08:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niks View Post
    Hi had a friend by a new car and when he queried the build date was told its normal for it too be so old as all imported cars have to be quarantined for 6 months. Today I spoke with AQIS re this question their response was if its brand new it does not sit in quarantine.
    So a lie to sell an old car for a new price with no price reduction. I believe he is taking this matter further.
    Ouch. Full credit to Rod Slater's Eurocars though, which came to mind as I read this thread. I hadn't thought to ask but he pointed out that the 2005 Scenic we bought from him had a 2004 build date and a 2005 Australian compliance plate. Nice ethics.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    The VIN contains the year of manufacture so you can't really hide it unless you want to go to extraordinary lengths to hide it.
    I think by memory it's the 10th character of the VIN.
    The average Joe might not know but a lot of people do and it's not had to find.
    Of course, the date the compliance plate is affixed to the vehicle could be months or years later if the car's a slow seller.
    On warranties, they should apply from when the end-user buys the car (or when it's first registered if it's a demo) not when the dealer takes delivery. I think you'll find the ACCC would be interested if the dealer tries to tell you the warranty started on the day the car arrived at his yard or when it was made. The third party warranties are pretty much useless. I won't get started but they cover bugger-all and it takes a longggggggggggggggg time for them to even reply.

    Cheers Ren
    Maybe on a Renault, but there is no way of knowing the build date from the VIN with most cars. PSA cars have the RP/ORGA/DAM number and you can convert that to a build date. However, the build month is usually on a sticker or plate somewhere in addition to the compliance plate. Some cars can sit around, often in 'bond', until wanted as stock, which is when the compliance plate is usually affixed. Sometimes cars are just 'lost' and found when they are a couple of years old. So, there can be a large difference in dates. My father was telling me about a new Volvo he'd come across that was a 2 year old new car on the lot, but priced quite favourably. So it certainly happens.

    The warranty would usually begin when a new car is sold, but there are obviously cases where the car is treated as a demo by either the dealer or importer. So, it's not always the date of first registration or sale date that is the start of the warranty period. It might be a matter of negotiation with the dealer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I think our friend was saying that the car was registered and used by the dealer for 2,100 + km. The dealer would have activated the warranty on first use so all that was available was the "balance' of the warranty. Nothing dodgy there.
    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    No, your friend is saying it was a brand new, 2yr old car with just 21 kilometres on the clock, but that on the Renault computer when the dealer got it, indicated it only had 18 months (or thereabouts) warranty remaining. It had never been pre-delivered or registered yet the warranty had been activated somehow by Renault Australia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    In which case there is something strange about the car and the circumstances behind it's sale.
    Renault probably just treated it as a corporate demo (for whatever reason), even though it wasn't used or even registered. You would only expect the balance of the normal warranty in those cases and it should be priced accordingly. If not, why would anyone buy it for the same price as a new, new example??

    Edit: Also remember that importers and dealers can run cars on trade plates, so there is no absolute need to register them until a sale.
    Last edited by David S; 23rd June 2014 at 11:31 PM.

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