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Read This Before You Buy a Car...

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Read This Before You Buy a Car...

Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 8:40 am

Mr. Bailey went to trade-in his current car (a Lexus SUV we bought from some friends when they moved last June). He was told that it was not actually a Lexus, it was an illegal parallel import -- it was really a Toyota masquerading as a Lexus. Yes, they come from the same factory, but there are supposed to be differences besides cosmetic. This car's mirrors were moved which is the most obvious difference in the body of the Lexus vs. the Toyota. You can actually feel where they used to be on the underside of the body and were bondo-ed over.

Our friends thought they were buying a Lexus and paid for a Lexus and got a Toyota, and so did we (but we got to trade it in for the original price Mr. Bailey had negotiated before the bait & switch was discovered, may be the deler offered a price based on the knowledge that it was probably an illegal import.)

So, more than ever caveat emptor. :shock:

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Postby madwolfie » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 9:42 am

:shock:

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Read This Before You Buy a Car...

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 2:16 pm

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:Mr. Bailey went to trade-in his current car (a Lexus SUV we bought from some friends when they moved last June). He was told that it was not actually a Lexus, it was an illegal parallel import -- it was really a Toyota masquerading as a Lexus. Yes, they come from the same factory, but there are supposed to be differences besides cosmetic. This car's mirrors were moved which is the most obvious difference in the body of the Lexus vs. the Toyota. You can actually feel where they used to be on the underside of the body and were bondo-ed over.

Our friends thought they were buying a Lexus and paid for a Lexus and got a Toyota, and so did we (but we got to trade it in for the original price Mr. Bailey had negotiated before the bait & switch was discovered, may be the deler offered a price based on the knowledge that it was probably an illegal import.)

So, more than ever caveat emptor. :shock:


MHB,

This is very common knowledge here in singapore. There are only about 15 to 20 Lexus' SUV's registered here in Singapore and about 250 Toyota Harriers Lexus wannabes masquarading as Lexus's. The easiest way to tell just how far the "conversion" has taken place is to look at the steering wheel (which if it was a el cheepo conversion, will still have the toyota wheel) also look at the the rear hatch window in the lower left-hand corner where the MOT label is located It will say Lexus if it is a for-real lexus otherwise it will say toyota. There are other differences but like you say, bondo may cover them up. To replace the steering wheel and windows adds a considerable amount to the "conversion" price.

To me it's kinda stupid. Drive up to Malaysia with it and get it stolen because someone thinks it's a lexus. Like going to the philippines and getting your arm hacked off for the fake rolex you are wearing! :?

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 3:28 pm

SMS, I should have known you'd be hip to this. So who is the bad guy? The dealer here in Singapore or the people who supplied them the car? Who pulled the switch?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 8:09 pm

The motor shops will do the conversions. They are not imported that way (or not without the importer knowing it in advance (In this case the importer isn't importing a new vehicle but a used vehicle) If you were to look up the registration you would find that it would be registered as a Toyota Harrier regardless of the trimmings. There are certain things that have to be logged when the vehicle is registered with LTA. Several of which are the engine & chassis numbers and these use different numbering sequences for difference models of badge engineered cars. Badge engineering is what GM used to do in the US with a number of model that except for the trim were the same vehicles. For that matter, the numbers on an engine and a chassis will be recorded to keep from having engine switches as well (these are recorded at the factory and will match the mfgr certificate.

I would have liked to see the registration book/card for Mr. Bailey's SUV. Did it say Lexus? or Toyota. If it said Toyota like it should have, they I would have to wonder about the people he bought it from. Didn't they inspect all the paperwork prior to purchasing the car? If it says Lexus then there's a totally different kettle of fish. Definitely something would be fishy there as usually LTA is a bit more thorough than that.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 8:25 pm

The car is at the airport, so no way to check for a few days. Our friends bought the car here in Singapore brand new about 2 years ago. As far as I know, everything on it says Lexus. They definitely bought and paid for a Lexus.

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Postby Spunky » Thu, 23 Mar 2006 9:41 am

if it's a 2.4L Harrier, then it could never have been a Lexus

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 23 Mar 2006 9:47 am

Spunky wrote:if it's a 2.4L Harrier, then it could never have been a Lexus


It's the other way around anyway. It's very much a Lexus now. Looks like every other Lexus you see driving all over Singapore.

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Postby Spunky » Thu, 23 Mar 2006 11:02 am

What I mean is that under the Lexus line, there's no such product, ie, a 2.4L model. So it's a known fact that any 2.4L 'Lexus' is really a Harrier in disguise and most dealers I saw advertised it as a Toyota Harrier and not a Lexus.

Anyway, I'm interested to know what is stated in the logcard of the car. Is the make 'Toyota' or 'Lexus'?


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