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Discussion Starter #1
This really concerns me, the car I want I just found out was a NHTSA Crash Test Vehicle. On their website when I enter the vin it says

"The following is a list of motor vehicles that have been subjected to destructive testing, starting with model year 1996, under the 200 or 300 series of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or under the New Car Assessment Program. When these vehicles are no longer needed for evaluation purposes, they are made available for sale to the public by the General Services Administration. Because of the nature of the destructive testing, each of these vehicles is sold for "salvage" only, with the transfer document bearing the restriction that the vehicle is not to be titled for use on the road.

This list is provided as a public service notice to prospective purchasers of NHTSA vehicles, and is updated periodically as additional vehicles are destructively tested. For specific details related to the sale of any of these vehicles, contact the General Services Administration."

Now here is the thing, I know it says "not to be titled for use on the road" but it shows there have been several owners, all drove the car no problem, the current owner has drove this car and put about 20,000 miles on it in the last 2 years, and has it registered insured no problem? So do I have any thing to worry about, I cannot seem to find an answer on this and I already have called the NHTSA, and GSA, but they really didn't know. They said they don't communicate with the DMV though? I just don't want to buy this, then go try to register it and find out I cannot drive it. Does any one know about this, thanks and sorry for all the post but I'm suppose to buy this week end after having a mechanic check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
this is the link I found it at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/ when you go to "test vehicles for salvage" but the car fax doesn't mention any thing about this besides the fact that its a salvage. thanks again.
 

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I'd personally stay away.

You can never guarantee that you won't be involved in a vehicle collision. Worrying about how the safety systems will react (if they do) in the event of a crash puts too much at risk (your life and your passengers').

Salvage vehicles should be just that, used for salvage and parts.

NHTSA tests are very unforgiving.
 

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Think about it...some salvaged cars get totaled out b/c they had light damage and the airbags were deployed...<--- yeah I would consider buying one of those if the price was low enough and the damage wasn't that bad..... BUT A CRASH TEST VEHICLE MORE THAN LIKELY SUFFERED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE AND HAD ALL THE AIRBAGS DEPLOYED!!!!! NONONONO STAY AWAY
 

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I wouldn't buy it no matter what kind of previous owner history it had. Good value E46's are a dime a dozen these days, especially out there in Lala land.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Every one is so quick to say stay away but not one person ask about the cost. The car is only $6,000 for an 01 325i with just 65k miles, the wreck was a rear end test and it has been driving fine since. It has has no frame damage. I could spend $13-14k on the same exact car and have the trans or engine die out within a month. There are no guarantee's for any thing in life, and every thing has a price. I don't see how i could go so wrong with the price being so cheap if a mechanic checks it out and gives it the thumbs up?
 

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I've owned a salvage vehicle that was 'right' in the eyes of more than one mechanic...but it wasn't. Sometimes all the measurements add up but the suspension still isn't right. But that all depends on the extent of the damage.


Like one poster already mentioned, the car might not fair as well in a second accident than the first. You yourself quoted the NHTSA website saying the car is not supposed to be titled for the road. Different states title cars in different ways, but either someone pulled some shenanigans to get that car retitled or somebody in the DMV looked the other way. If you ever got into an accident, and someone else was injured, and it came out that you were knowingly driving a car that should not be on the road, you could easily get sued....this is America after all.

I think you're looking really hard for someone to tell you it's fine...and it might be. I know a person with a flood car, something I'd go running from, and they've had no issues with it.

Bottom line...nobody on the internet can make the decision for you, and if you wait long enough you'll get somebody to tell you what you want to hear.


Bird
 

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technically, any vehicle that has a salvage title is not supposed to see the light of day as a car again. That's why they put "salvage" on the title. Coming from the insurance world, ideally, any car that I total loss and send to a salvage auction we hope never sees the road again, but it does happen.
People repair salvage all the time, whether it's light damage to an older model car or a newer car that's been crushed.

And the last thing: anything, anything, is repairable. The biggest question is how much time and money is going to be devoted to repairing it. You could take a brand-new Benz, crush it between two semi trucks, and then repair it. It will take a while and cost a lot to get it back to right, but with good technicians, You could never know the difference.

The road-worthiness of the car You're looking at will be determined by the skill of the people that repaired it and the intervening maintenence, not by the status of the title
 

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I've owned a salvage vehicle that was 'right' in the eyes of more than one mechanic...but it wasn't. Sometimes all the measurements add up but the suspension still isn't right. But that all depends on the extent of the damage.


Like one poster already mentioned, the car might not fair as well in a second accident than the first.

Bird
So true! I once drove up on the aftermath of a reconstructed Mazda 626 sedan involved in a rear/side impact. The car was making a left turn onto a busy highway was hit smack in the left rear wheel and was literally torn in half very cleanly at the B-pillar and through the floor almost as if you had placed the car in a giant band saw and just whacked it in half. Considering the not-so-horrific impact, the car should simply have caved and spun a little, but certainly should have held together. Thankfully, there were no rear seat passengers. I would bet that Mazda was probably repaired by one of the many backyard repair shops we have here in the South. Maybe they exist everywhere, but the car inspection laws here in the South are very lax. Some states let anything roll down the road.

Even if the passenger compartment of a car has not been compromised, more commonly just the front or rear sections, there is really no good way to evaluate what level of the engineered crash performance remains after a repair. Because ***8220;Salvage***8221; is often applied when repair cost exceeds some percentage of value, ***8220;Salvage***8221; titles are probably issued where actual structural damage is not an issue, but if some portion of the general structure beyond panels has been repaired or cut out and replaced, I would probably look elsewhere. There are too many decent cars to be hooked by these ***8220;deals***8221;. Just an opinion.
 

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Every one is so quick to say stay away but not one person ask about the cost. The car is only $6,000 for an 01 325i with just 65k miles, the wreck was a rear end test and it has been driving fine since. It has has no frame damage. I could spend $13-14k on the same exact car and have the trans or engine die out within a month. There are no guarantee's for any thing in life, and every thing has a price. I don't see how i could go so wrong with the price being so cheap if a mechanic checks it out and gives it the thumbs up?
If the price attracts you so much, you're willing drive around in a car that has been "in an accident"(albeit controlled, but an accident nonethless), and you're willing to ignore all the advice you asked for; then go for it.

Just think about this:
The damaged parts of the frame was repaired, great. The panels were repaired, great. All other components involved in the collision were repaired, great. What about weak points that develop in the frame as a result of the collision (crash test)? The only real way to tell if the repairs are "good enough" and if further stress won't cause the chasis to fall all around you is AFTER another collision.

Also, is the mechanic a family member? A very close friend? A loved one? Someone who'll give a damn after you have an accident? If the answer to any of the questions is "no", then you're putting too much faith in a mechanic's eyes. I don't see any mechanic stripping down this car to the frame in order to inspect every inch of the chasis, ensure every bolt is proper, every component is okay. Don't get me wrong, there are great guys out there that'll fix **** quick, cheap, and with no mistakes, but if you bring in a salvage and ask for an inspection, he'll look it over, probably tell you to bring it back in a week so he can replace fluids and a better look at the car. He is not going to put it under the microscope.

6K is a great price, no doubt.
 

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technically, any vehicle that has a salvage title is not supposed to see the light of day as a car again. That's why they put "salvage" on the title.
Not true. Different states vary but in Florida for example, they have Salvage Title and Certificate of Destruction. A salvage title car is allowed back on the road with a state inspection. Certificate of Destruction is not.


Bird
 
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