Buying a second hand car can be a gamble, even in the age of Carfax and other similar services, which basically allow you to check a car’s history way easier than ever before. Even so, you can still buy a lemon if you’re not careful, as this man from Florida found out.
Luke Jackson, a self-declared Tesla fan, purchased a very clean looking 2018 Tesla Model 3 with just 9,000 miles on its odometer. It had a clean title and we can’t quite understand from the WSB post where this was revealed if he did check the Carfax history before buying it - he did at some point and discovered that the car had been totaled.
It had had major front end damage whose repair cost was listed at over $34,000, which made the fact that it still had its original title quite odd. However, it seems you can keep the car’s original title, and not have it marked as salvage if it’s registered in Texas.
Basically, Texas law allows vehicle that have been involved in a crash to keep their clean title if it is deemed that the accident damage doesn’t critically affect the vehicle’s safety structure. All airbags that went off also need to be replaced and once this has been done, the vehicle can go back on the road, and people buy cars like this, only learning about their history much later.
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Luke Jackson also later discovered that his new Model 3’s Supercharging capability had been disabled, its warranty is no longer valid and all this means that when he decides to sell it, he will lose a big chunk of what he initially paid for the car (he expects to sell it for half of what he paid for it).