Certified Pre-Owned nightmare: Dealer refuses to fix woman’s used car

Pre-owned problems: Dealership won't fix issues

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A local woman called WBTV after buying a certified pre-owned car and being told it was unsafe to drive just months later.

Elena Wagner wasn’t searching for anything special when she went car shopping at Keffer Mazda in Huntersville.

“I was just looking for a reliable car, preferably a hatchback, and something that I could have for a long time and just to get me from A to B,” Wagner said.

She bought a Mazda3 as a certified pre-owned, thinking the certification would bring extra peace of mind if problems came up. She quickly learned that wasn’t the case.

“I, overtime, started hearing these noises and this jarring and shaking that was happening in the car,” Wagner said.

Wagner took the car to another Mazda dealership. According to a lawsuit she filed against Keffer Mazda a mechanic found there was an issue with the ball bearing and evidence the car had been in an accident.

The mechanic said the car would not be safe to drive and wouldn’t let her leave the dealership without emergency repairs.

“If you know anything about cars you should be able to look at it inside internally and go. Oh wait, this is wrong. This is wrong.

But Wagner had the guarantee those checks had already been done. She was given this certified pre-owned checklist signed off on by Keffer Mazda. All 150 points met the standard.

The Carfax she was given prior to buying the car was clean of crashes. One pulled today shows a crash six months before she bought it.

Wagner’s attorney Larry Serbin tells WBTV the certified pre-owned checklist Keffer Mazda provided should have caught these issues.

“Dealers know these things. Especially if it’s been a severe collision, which our vehicle was, so there was plenty of evidence, plenty of red flags for the dealership to see that the Carfax was not correct,” Serbin said.

Wagner told WBTV the dealership wouldn’t fix the problems with the car even though on Keffer Mazda’s own website states certified pre-owned cars come with a “comprehensive warranty package to protect your investment.”

At one point, Wagner said Keffer Mazda even told her the dealership hadn’t done anything wrong, and doubted the car had been in a crash prior to her buying it.

However, in a voicemail Wagner shared with WBTV a Keffer Mazda sales manager acknowledged the Carfax showed an accident prior to to her owning it.

WBTV reached out to Keffer Mazda to ask for an on-camera interview about what Certified Pre-Owned means to them. An attorney representing them in the case emailed us back saying Keffer Mazda denies the allegations.

“It’s been pretty tough, but you know, at the end of the day, I really just hope this never happens to another person,” Wagner said.

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