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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this on an earlier sub-thread and decided to repost on it's own thread.

Hmmm, I wonder:

1) If you as a knowledgeable person could send a (certified?) letter to the “responsible seller” (perhaps a printable electronic form with fill in the blanks) stating your observed structural damage, the possibility of unsafe or marginally unsafe drivable condition, and that a copy of that document became part of a VMF Car Registry; as an option a digital photograph of the car could be included when the form is filled out.

2) The VMF could as a public service maintain an electronic file that sorts by partial or full VIN#, state license plate#, seller name, and person making the observation/complaint. A “password” on the letter would give the same opportunity for the seller to rebut the claim or show that repairs were done. This would be like the VMF; only statements made to be judged by an interested reader.

3) For that matter other features could be added like a paid for structural inspection by someone certified or knowledgeable to do so.

The advantage is that rotten and non-rotten cars get identified on a database available to any Mustang buyer or seller. Given word of mouth and time this type of register would improve value for good cars, lessen chances of some naive person being hurt physically or financially by a rotten car and seller.
 

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Sounds nice, unfortunately regardless of how much we understand it is done with an altriustic goal in mind, that would leave Bob and redfive open to all kinds of civil liability and other types of claims POed POs and know nothing NOs and their laywers feel like filing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Where is the liability in this? These are simply letters to the editor on a personal observation. Pretty much what is already done in the forum. When was the last time a rotten parts vendor did more than crow a complaint about someones unfavorable message about them. The seller needs to show actual damages by the poster and that the statement by the posting party is untrue. An insurance company underwriter would asses and make comments to reduce the risk, and quote the additional premium cost increase, if any.
 

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I had the occaision to speak to my attorney about a very similar issue last week. I'm not an attorney, and don't play one on TV, but in my instance he advised me that dissiminating information, even if it is true, can be viewed as "being defamatory". Further, a civil action may be brought and if the plaintiff can show damages, they can get a judgement.

This is a good idea, with a good goal, that would get Bob sued in about 10 days to 2 weeks. I think he's got better things to do with his time/money than waste it defending himself against lawsuits.

One thing he could be doing with his time would be fixing my title! Hey Bob, can you make me Alright Guy this time? Being the "beerman" seemed to make people think I was an alcoholic or something.

I just want to live until I gotta die,
I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try.
I think I'm an Alright guy.
 

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The problem is not the dissemination of reliable information but rather, the validation of one's decision to buy a particular car. What's to stop a rotten seller from stacking the deck with supposedly reliable thrid party info on his own rotten car? Then, an unsuspecting buyer looks to VMF for its "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval and gets stung.

At present there is no such information service and thus no duty to insure that such information is accurate and truthful. Once someone undertakes to perform such a service, the duty to do it well often attaches and the liability for ANY mistakes, oversights, gaffs, etc, may rear its ugly head.
Then there is the issue of defamation...(someone extracting revenge from another for perceived injustices)...where the messenger may be found liable for the libelous message. Even as to frivolous claims and lawsuits, the defendant is put to the burden and expense of defending himself. Who needs the headache???
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just do not see a significant risk from doing this. The real test lays in insurance underwriting, and I do not think it significant. This is a site with opinions on just about everything expressed by those with little or no knowledge, to someone with professional qualification; or whatever qualification they claim. The chances of a lawsuit from a person selling a used car and having to prove a loss is remote at worst, especially if the loss is unreal. I suggest no parts vendor has ever sued based upon loss of profits steming from VMF comments!

This is just an idea for conversation and discussion about how it could be done, and what are the benefits.
 

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Problems are;
1. What might be a great car to XYZ might be a P.O.S. to ABC.
2. Who would maintain the service? Would you be willing to do this service for free? This year, or the next 20 years?
3. With the hundreds of thousands of Mustangs for sale, who would pay for the bandwidth? Would you?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Art,

I thought we were discussing structural rust damage that raises the question is it safe to drive. I do not see any difference between buyer XYZ or ABC on this matter.

I would consider some of the cost to maintain since I and most of us would be a direct and indirect beneficiary. How about you, if it was there would you recomend anyone else to use it? A lot happens in twenty years; I only make money commitments for shorter periods, but I would contribute.
 

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"caveat emptor"
comes to mind. translated
"buyer beware"
that's the way it is and always will be.
but you had a nice sunny idea.
 

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I thought we were discussing structural rust damage that raises the question is it safe to drive. I do not see any difference between buyer XYZ or ABC on this matter.

I know what you're saying, and it would be very useful especially for upper end cars where people would travel to see a car.... My point is that no two people look at a car the same...
 
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You must be assuming that the seller is knowledgeable enough to be responsible for structural damage. That is, however, not the way it is with used cars. As someone else said, let the buyer beware. All states require a licensed car dealer to be responsible for the structural soundness of a car; no state as far as I am aware holds a private seller to the same standard. If you have been ripped off by a licensed seller, report it to your state's consumer affairs department. It you feel you have been ripped off by a private seller, try to work it out with the seller. But remember, a private purchase leaves you responsible for inspecting the car before you make the purchase, a private "non - professional" seller cannot be held responsible for a defect in an used car.
 
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