I was getting good at this, so I purchased a used vehicle in the U.S. and imported it.
It didn’t have any airbags, so the warning lights were on. But I wasn’t picky.
I knew, based on my other tricks (please link to another story), I could solve that before I had it inspected and registered.
You just couldn’t be too worried about the truth.
I Googled airbags. I saw I had three options. Get certified replacements installed at a repair shop. Buy some and install them myself. Or, override the warning light.
I called and found that the first option was out of the question. Way too expensive.
But, option two had some promise. There were cheap ones online.
Of course, there were some warnings about dangerous fake airbags.
Option three, overriding the warning lights, went too far – even for me.
You can find how-to videos about anything on the web. So, I ordered cheap ones and had them sent to my U.S. mailbox. I used a buddy’s garage and put them in. Bingo! The warning lights went off and I was on my way.
Soon, I had an ad up on several classified websites:
Great car for sale. Moving out of the country and need to sell fast! Good condition. Recently inspected. Call cell. I’m flexible on price!!
I couldn’t believe how many calls I had.
I found my buyer not long after. A nice man about my age; divorced with three kids. That’s all I know about him – I don’t like getting too personal.
I was actually honest about the vehicle this time. I told him that the car had been in an accident and was from the U.S. I asked if he wanted a vehicle history report,* but he declined. He appreciated my honesty, as he’d gone through a few bad deals. With the transaction done, we parted ways.
Then I got a call from my buddy.
Being a curious person, he’d read the boxes the airbags came in that I’d left at his shop.
“You installed counterfeit airbags,” he said.
“So? They look identical to the original airbags,” I said.
“I’ve seen videos of bogus airbags catching fire and with metal bits exploding when they deploy. They’re not safe,” he scolded.
I’ll take my chances, I thought. It would only be a problem in an accident.
The next day, my buddy left a message. He ended our friendship.
Whoa, chill out. A guy’s got a right to make a few bucks.
*Vehicle History Reports – CarProof https://carproof.com/products/why-carproof/why-buy-a-report and ICBC http://www.icbc.com/registration-licensing/buy-vehicle/buy-used/vehicle-history vehicle history reports provide detailed information about the registration and accident history of a vehicle. CarProof Verified BC reports also include a lien search. These reports can’t tell you everything a physical inspection will, but they require the seller to Prove it! and not just say it.
Check it out online: WatchOutForWalt.com
The Vehicle Sales Authority of BC, CarProof Vehicle History Reports and ICBC are combining forces to help keep car buyers safe. Follow our series on Walt the Curber to learn how much you risk when you buy a used vehicle without proof of its history or condition. The price of buying a car from a curber can turn out to be much higher if you have nowhere to turn. Learn what you can do to protect yourself.