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Old 01-13-2010, 04:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 10,216 times
Reputation: 11

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A question for all you local Nova people! My family recently moved to Nova from Michigan. We own a 1999 Olds Silhouette that runs great. We still have a loan on it. We took it to the safety/emissions inspection station where it failed. We were told it would take no less that $3500 to fix. Failed airbags(2), rusty tie rod, electrical system failure for right blinkers, and emissions problems. We DO NOT have $3500 to fix this car. It isn't actually worth that much. Basically we have a totaled car that we can not drive legally. HELP!!!! Does anyone know of any consumer protection laws when it comes to this. We have only lived here 4 weeks and I'm ready to move back to MI. Has this happened to anyone else? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!
Holly
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: In the woods
3,286 posts, read 5,236,013 times
Reputation: 1414
Whoa, this must hurt . . . .
I haven't had a car inspected that had major issues--a few little things that could be remedied.

I know that in NJ, if a car fails and you can produce over $450 worth of repairs by a reputable/State-sanctioned auto repair facility that acts like a "waiver" for repairs.

BTW, did the facility who did the inspection suggest that they could do the repairs? If so, take the car somewhere else!
Maybe someone has had a similar experience. Good luck with this!
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:52 PM
 
5,179 posts, read 3,508,204 times
Reputation: 2392
I'm wondering how "failed airbags" show up in an inspection. Anyone? Is there a signal to a diagnostic device?

$3500 sure sounds like a lot, unless they're saying the emissions problems are due to serious engine problems. The tie rod isn't a big expense, and the right blinker problem could be due to anything from rusty connections (cheap) to bad wiring (not cheap).

Take it to another mechanic! As far as consumer protection laws, I don't think anything would cover this. It's out of warranty, unless you bought it used recently with a warranty.

Did you buy it used? With its electrical problems (that could include the airbags) and rust, I wonder if it's a flood car. Or just the harsh Michigan environment.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:58 PM
 
Location: South Riding, VA
83 posts, read 117,841 times
Reputation: 33
I feel your pain, my car recently failed inspection for having an airbag light on. This wasn't an issue in NY but down here it was. I have a Suzuki, so finding someone that could fix it was a real pain in the youknowwhat. I ended up having to bring it to a dealer about 45 minutes away to get it fixed. Luckily mine only cost me about $250.

I would suggest getting a subscription to Angie's List or to Consumers' Checkbook (which is DC/NOVA based) and look for a good high rated mechanic. They're both inexpensive compared to a large mechanic bill.

Also search some threads on here for mechanic suggestions, make an appointment and get a second opinion. I've always found when one place tells me something outrageous and I bring it somewhere else, its usually not as bad as I was originally told.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,131,988 times
Reputation: 219
Default Take it to another inspection station for comparison

You will have to pay again, but, hey, if the first guy ripped you off, you'll have a net savings. On the other hand, if he is correct, why in the world would you want to endanger your family's lives? Some of those issues are serious. Inspections are meant to save lives among other objectives. Find a way to afford a good used auto that has passed inspection.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,084,474 times
Reputation: 18806
Quote:
Originally Posted by South Jersey Styx View Post
BTW, did the facility who did the inspection suggest that they could do the repairs? If so, take the car somewhere else!!
LOL, good advice!

My sympathies to the OP. State inspections are enough of a pain as it is, but your situations isn't fun at all.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:01 PM
 
174 posts, read 238,409 times
Reputation: 139
Inspections are meant to save lives among other objectives

I can almost guarantee you that when state lawmakers were debating requiring Virginians to get a yearly car inspection, "will this save lives?" was probably their 153rd reason for exploring the option. I assume you want to know the top 3 reasons?

1. Will this get me reelected?
2. How much actual work is required of me to implement this?
3. As lawmakers, how can we become exempt from having to do this?

Any law trying to get passed has to have a positive response to those three criteria.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:01 PM
 
3,985 posts, read 6,589,988 times
Reputation: 2449
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger21 View Post
...I can almost guarantee you that when state lawmakers were debating requiring Virginians to get a yearly car inspection...

Not quite. When lawmakers were debating yearly car inspections...the debate was to DECREASE the frequency of the inspection. For many decades, the safety inspection was required every six months.


And they missed out on number three...the only cars that do not require the safety inspection are those that are over 25 years old AND registered as antique vehicles. One need not be a politician to enjoy this exemption.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 10,216 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks everyone for your quick replies and advice! I will definitely be taking it to another inspection station to see if we can get a better qoute. Unfortunately, the wiring on the whole passenger side of the car is fried. This seems to be a problem with most late model GM vans unfortunately. Our last van had the exact same issue. The bottom of the car is pretty much a rust bucket, and it is from the harsh MI winter, which I think is why they will never approve a safety inspection. One glorious thing about MI...you can drive around your crappy car as long as it runs. Any more advice would still be greatly appreciated! Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:12 AM
 
Location: South Riding, VA
83 posts, read 117,841 times
Reputation: 33
Well if the car really is as bad as you say it is, you may not have much hope for getting it to pass with just a few hundred dollars worth of work.

You do have a bit of time before you have to get everything switched over to VA, maybe use that time to either a) save up the money for the work or b) save up some money to look into getting a used car that may cost less than the repairs but be able to pass inspection.

Your situation stinks, especially since you say you're still paying for the van. But those are the best suggestions I can think of. Good luck!!
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