Published on November 14th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Would you buy a reconditioned/AP import used hybrid vehicle?
This should be given serious proper thought.
Soon, you will start seeing more used hybrids coming in from Japan as they age and get put into the Japanese used car system and also the scrap car yards.
Now, this is an added gamble because you will not able to get its service record or its true mileage report. Many Japanese hybrids imported from Japan used to be taxis or rental cars and might have very high mileage which has clocked back to look good for sale. These need proper reports to ensure their batteries are still good for a few years or else get the importer to provide a new battery or better still offer a lower price that reflects the price of a replacement battery in coming years.
So, what if the asking price is really reasonable?
Well, there are always good deals somewhere, do not jump at the first good deal you see unless you are ready to do a through check of the vehicle. Unlike a petrol or diesel powered car, a hybrid has added new components and of course that very expensive electric battery pack that needs a health check.
Most used car importers will not have a service history of the hybrid car on sale. So, you will need a tech support check of the software and electric motor battery system.
Was this car from a Japanese Typhoon?
In recent months we have seen typhoons hitting Japan and many pictures show cars damaged and flooded. Many of these vehicles could be hybrids and there is a possibility that some of the flood damaged hybrids have been dried, cleaned and readied for export via profit hungry dealers for unsuspecting Malaysian buyers.
If a hybrid has been in a flood, it does not mean it should be written off, but it should be repaired and have wet damaged components changed to ensure it is good for the next owner (the Malaysian owner). For most car importers, this is not important.
If you want to argue with us on this, then let’s look simply at regular imported petrol luxury cars from some of these dealers. Even simple items like tires are not changed. Tire alignment not done. Proper servicing not done. The only effort is in interior cleaning with seats wrapped in plastic and exterior polishing to get the vehicle as shiny as possible and looking like a hardly used vehicle. The selling game is simple. Get the metal shifted as fast as possible and then say bye bye to the customer.
Spend a little to save later!
You will need to get the car checked before you buy it and most dealers this will be a cost that you incur and it is better to spend a little now to make sure that vehicles is road worthy before or else when you buy a ‘lemon’ vehicle you will be plagued with repair issues that the dealer does not warranty.
Remember, this dealer is not an authorized brand and so they do not have after sales, service and warranty like with a new car dealer. You will need to go to a lawyer or a legal tribunal to make any claim and from our knowledge very, very few lemon car buyers in Malaysia have managed to claim in the past from car importers.