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iland99

State Farm insurance, legal question

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iland99

About 2 months ago I got a letter from the Attorney General of Minnesota informing me that my truck is supposed to have a salvage title. Apparently State Farm made an "error" and re-sold my vehicle without a salvage title when it should have been branded as salvage. They did this with 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles, and I just happened to end up with one of these vehicles. I'm supposed to destroy my good title and replace it with the salvage title I was sent. This means that the truck I paid $13K for a year and a half ago is now basically worthless, all because of an "error" by State Farm.

They have some big settlement with consumers, basically they will give me a check for $3,000 if I sign a piece of paper promising not to sue them. My truck drops $10,000 in value overnight, and I'm supposed to be happy with $3,000. It's not only the money, who knows if the person that repaired my vehicle did a good job? I'd hate to find out the hard way that the airbags weren't replaced or something like that.

Because this happened to so many people, I was wondering if anyone knew of anyone else out there in my situation. I tried an internet search of court cases involving State Farm and salvage titles, and couldn't find much. This makes me wonder if they don't simply settle out of court to keep their name out of the headlines. You'd think that with 30,000 people out there, somebody wouldn't have taken this lying down. What would you do in a situation like this?

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Fishin4Life

There has been a class action suit against them on this

go Here to read more on it

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Fishin4Life

Here is another case from a different state also, maybe the same case, not sure...

State farm

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iland99

Yeah, it's the same case. The settlement is a JOKE if you ask me. As I stated above, my vehicle basically dropped $10K overnight and I'm supposed to be happy with $3,000. Yeah right! I think if it's suddenly salvaged, they should have to replace the vehicle. End of story.

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Fishin4Life

Yeah that is a joke. Maybe contact the better business bureau or even a personal attorney to get some advice on how you can get more reimbursement with this deal. I am sure there are many attorneys who would be willing to jump in, but it may cost you a few bucks even just for some advice

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IFallsRon

Explain why you think that your truck has dropped in value.

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katoguy

Because if he wants to sell it now it is a salvaged unit. He will be hard pressed to get as much for it as he would have he had a clean title.

Now if hollywood pete decides to keep the truck and run it into the ground... no difference at all. Heck, insurance should be cheaper?

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BIG DIESEL

In theory the vehicle did not drop that much in value. Usually the market for a salvage titled vehicle in good condition is somewhere near the loan value price that banks use. Which is probably about $3000 less than your book value price.

If it were me, I would take the $3k, pay down the loan if you have one and move on.

I am not agreeing with what they did was ok, but I don't think you have much of a choice at this point.

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Guest

I would think there is something else you can do. Is any of this covered by the lemon law or something similar? The fact is they sold you a truck that you were not aware it was a salvage vehicle? Somebody did something very wrong somewhere.. If I were to sell you a truck and not mark the title that it had recieved 70% damage somewhere along its life.. I would be guilty of fraud.

The day you bought your truck you may have walked away knowing it ws a salvage vehicle.. or you wouldnt have been hit in the wallet as heavily.

I would do some research. I would be going after to buy the truck back at cost, or pay 100% of the difference in value if I wanted to keep the truck.

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Valv

That's a good question, I cannot help much with the legal aspect I can only say something about salvaged vehicles. They are not as bad as the name presents them. Nowadays to obtain 50% of the value of the vehicle in damage it takes very little accident. ALL my vehicles are salvage. The damages are so minimal I still believe therte's some trick somewhere in the claims dept. The ONLY case I would really be worried would be a Flood vehicle from Kathrina in LA. That was a bio-hazard disaster, not just flood, people died over infections caused by bacteria in water, can you imagine what's left in any vehicle from there ?

If your airbags were not deployed they should be fine, you can have a dealer check the computer.

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Blue Kayak

Doesn't it seem like someone should be held criminally responsible? After all, even if the reduced value to a salvaged vehicle is "only" $2,000 and if there were "only" 30,000 vehicles, that is 60 million dollars State Farm defrauded their customers. How can you basically rob someone of $60,000,000 and not go to jail.

I'd contact the Attorney General's office and ask if a criminal investigation was being pursued.

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Kevin Turner

Quote:

If it were me, I would take the $3k, pay down the loan if you have one and move on.

I am not agreeing with what they did was ok


Ditto....Not worth the worry in my book....Heck, I'd be thrilled. Evidently, the truck has not given ya any reason to know it shoulda had a salvage title.

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hitthebricks

Pete if this is a Katrina victim, you need to unload that asap, because sooner than later things will begin to fail, costing a lot of money to repair, If it is a plain accident salvage, that would be as good as whoever did the repair. The good thing is that its a truck and they repair better than cars. Good luck HTB

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iland99

I knew that it had been in an accident because I ran a Carfax on it (after I bought it, dumb I know), but it didn't come back as a salvage vehicle. It's not a Katrina vehicle, it was involved in an accident in Wisconsin. It was a pretty significant accident, airbags deployed, ambulance service needed. I've been driving it for a year and a half without any significant problems, so whoever fixed it must have done a decent job. They haven't been the easiest miles either, a good portion of those miles have been in 4WD driving to or driving on frozen lakes.

I think what I may try to do is show them that blue book value on my truck is $15,500, not $13,000 as they claim. The payout they give you is based on your vehicle's worth. If my vehicle is worth $13K as they say, the check is $3,000. If it's $15,500, as KBB, Edmunds, and NADA all say, the reimbursement check will be $4,500.

I'm probably more mad at the dealership I bought the truck from. All I will say about them is steer clear of Dodge dealerships located in Burnsville, MN........

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ChuckN

My wife bought a car while in college. It was a cheap price for it (low miles, great shape, etc), and she was informed it was in an accident. I could tell the paint and body work was not perfect, and looked like a minor accident. Title was clear.

Drove the car about 70,000 miles before I sold it years later. I liked the car and didn't want to sell it, but time for an upgrade.

The guy who bought it from us contacted me about 8 months later stating that the entire exhaust system fell off and when they went to repair it, the mechanics were shocked to find that the car was in a major accident and if this vehicle ever had a front end collision, it was going to be disasterous for the passengers. The frame was shot and all this time we never knew it.

The owner asked if I purchased it from a dealer, and we did not. I guess he looked into this and he could have gone after a dealer over this situation....maybe you should look into it Hollywood Pete(?).

Before you purchase a car, any authorized dealer can run the VIN number on a vehicle and (sometimes) tell you the history and # of owners (to contact before purchase grin.gif). I bought a cheap car that had detailed history...it was a rental car in Florida, then owned on the east coast for many years before it came to MN. A lot of service records from dealer networks over the course of 10 years.

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iland99

We asked the dealership to run a Carfax for us, and the salesman claimed that they didn't run Carfax reports there. I found out why after I ran my own report when we had some initial problems with the truck. We contacted the BBB and the Attorney General's office about the dealership, but they both basically told me I was SOL - once you sign that contract you're stuck with it. About all I can do about the situation with the dealership is tell everybody I know to never buy anything from a Dodge dealership in Burnsville (which I've been doing ever since).

The truck has been fine for the last year and a half, but that doesn't mean they replaced the airbags. That's the thing that scares me the most.

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Valv

When an airbag deploys it will tear the steering wheel (or passenger dash) apart. You have to replace it with new airbags to have it complete again, you cannot re-assemble without it.

In doubt take it to the dealer (or a mechanic) and ask them to check it out.

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luckey

If you have been driving it for a year and a half without problems, I would take the money, pay down the loan and not worry about it. I have bought, used and sold a number of "salvage" cars over the years and have not had a problem. Just keep all the records you can get your hands on regarding what was done to the car and when. These will help you if you decide to sell the truck. Basically if I was to buy a truck that was salvage 5 years ago with 10,000 miles and now it has 50,000 I would think it's pretty much in the same boat as one that wasn't salvaged.

You should also get another $200 from the state because in effect you paid $3,000 less than what they used to calculate tax on.

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