News

Barkhouser Ford Lincoln Mercury's automotive expertise is a product of our sustained interest in industry trends and characteristics. We are privileged to share the latest news, promotions and events with you and hope the information will enhance your shopping experience. As you know, there are many vehicles from which to choose, and we believe an informed customer is the best customer.

 

New Collision Repair Center ... under construction

currently under construction ..... PRECISION COLLISION CENTER ..... Work is under way to transform our former Lincoln Mercury facility into a new Collision Repair facility.  Once completed, this new facility will allow us to handle a significantly higher volume of business in a much more customer-friendly environment.  View construction photos and track our progress via our Facebook page

Crashed Cars For Sale (& Why Barkhouser Uses AutoCheck)

ATLANTA - Almost every one of us will buy a car, possibly even several cars in our lifetime.  It's one of the largest purchases many of us will make and there are few folks in the automotive industry who breed fraud, deceit, and there are some dealers who will do just about anything to make a sale.  CBS Atlanta News' hidden camera investigation reveals how one of the most trusted sources of information on car accidents, is being used by dealers to deceive customers into buying cars that have been involves in major crashes.  In some cases, they're unsafe to drive.  Zanobia Winstead is a typical college student; she's short on cash, but big on dreams.  It was her dream of owning a luxury car that drove her to Ultra Cars of Roswell where the dealership was advertising a 2004 Lexus for $12,000.  "At the time the price was really good,"  said Winstead.  Blinded by the sheen of the rows, and rows of luxury cars at Ultra Cars, she signed the papers and bought her dream car.  A salesman had already handed her a clean Carfax report, and told Winstead the car was accident free.  "They gave me the Carfax that says the car is in good condition," said Winstead.  But Winstead said she's had nothing but trouble since she drove off the lot, including lights on the dashboard warning of possible dangers to come.  "God forbid I am in an accident.  Whoever is in the passenger seat, their airbag is not going to deploy," Said Winstead.  Not only has the car had mechanical problems, but unknown to Winstead, it's been in a major wreck causing structural problems that not only devalue the car, but also may be a major risk in an accident.  "I'm driving around in a lemon basically.  I'm appalled that they can do something like that,"  said Winstead.  An auction is where Winstead's car and more than 9.5 million cars are bought and sold each year.  Each car goes through a multi-level engine, transmission, and accident inspection before the vehicle is places on the auction block.  Any damage is disclosed to dealers in advance.  They're forewarned of the potentially risky deficiencies in the car's frame and structure before they place their bid.  But, will they disclose that damage to you?  CBS Atlanta News took our hidden cameras into Ultra Cars to see if they would reveal the truth about cars that had been in major accidents, information that is announced at the suction where the dealer bought the cars.  They were notified the vehicles had frame damage, which can impact the structure of the car, it's basic integrity, and in some cases it's safety.  "We don't buy anything with frame damage.  We don't buy any vehicles with frame damage," said salesman Craig Bernard on our hidden camera.  Time after time Bernard assured us these cars were damage free.  "We don't keep anything with frame damage, no flood cars, that's not what we are in business for," said Bernard.  His promises were backed up with a clean Carfax.  A Carfax is a report that sometimes reveals crash damage, title problems, and recalls, on virtually every car on the road.  "Does this one have a clean Carfax," asked CBS Atlanta Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman.  "It does have a clean Carfax and everything matches.  There is no paintwork on the vehicle," said Bernard.  But what Bernard failed to tell us was that each of the vehicles he showed us was purchased at auction and in each of these cases, they were announced as having frame damage, a possible safety hazard that decreases the value of the car. "We don't buy anything that has been in major accidents, but if it does have an accident, we show that in a Carfax and we disclose that information to you," said Bernard.  But Ultra Cars didn't disclose the damage.  In fact they provided clean Carfax reports which would lead most customers to believe the car had never been in a wreck.  But CBS Atlanta News discovered all of the cars were in a crash, and announced at auction as having major damage.  It's all laid out in an AutoCheck report, a competitor to Carfax. (Like the major Auto Auctions, Barkhouser uses AutoCheck. Many local dealers do not.)  AutoCheck discloses damage discovered at auto auctions.  CBS Atlanta had evidence the cars being shown to us as accident-free had frame damage.  To confirm our concerns, we took it one step further and test drove the cars to an indenpendent mechanic and auto body expert, Steve Powell.  "I wouldn't want to drive [this car].  Just because what i see about this and knowing the majority of your accidents are on the left front," said Powell.  A BMW CBS Atlanta test drove had a clean Carfax, but the AutoCheck report we obtained revealed at auction it was announced as having frame damage.  Again, we were told by Ultra Cars it had never been in an accident.  "That's a crack, right in the structure," Said Powell.  "This is a serious problem."  Powell found undeniable evidence of a wreck so extreme, he says the car was repaintedall the way from the front to the back.  "It could have been a result of the front impact being so hard that they had to blend this far back," said Powell.  "That's not safe.  If it really were to get into a bad impact, something really bad could happen."  Out of the three cars we took to Powell, he said two were in such bad condition, he wouldn't recommend anyone to buy them.  "If you own this car and you don't know this damage is there, yeah, you are at risk," said Powell.  "It could crumple, worse, endanger the passengers in the car as well."  A black Lexus, also bought at auction, was hit from behind.  The AutoCheck disclosed the damage, but again, the Carfax said it was accident free.  The wreck was still obvious, because Powell pointed out, even though it was cosmetically covered up by putting on a new bumper, the car's frame was never fixed.  "The rear structure of the car is not intact, and it needs to be corrected," said Powell.  Again, the Carfax supplied by Ultra Cars could lead a customer to believe the crashed car was actually accident free.  A part of our month long investigation CBS Atlanta News documented a pattern of crashed cars being sold by Ultra Cars.  It wasn't just one or two cars, but more than 45 carson the lot had significant reported damage found in the AutoCheck report.  That was no surprise to dozens of unhappy bloggers posting their negative experiences on the internet.  There were few positive reviews, but most customers said Ultra Cars "misrepresented their vehicles."  Others discovered major accident history after the sale.  One person even bought a car he later claimed didn't have any airbags in it.  Again the bloggers say the Carfax reports showed the cars were clean.  CBS Atlanta News contacted Carfax to get their response.  Representative Larry Gamache flew down to Atlanta to speak with us about our report.  "Are these Carfax reports wrong," asked Saltzman.  "No they are not wrong," said Gamache.  "But they are not reporting all the damage," said Saltzman.  "We say on every single Carfax history report that there is no way for us to be able to tell customers about every accident that has occurred in a car's past," said Gamache.  "We do not currently receive information from major auto auctions, but we are receiving information from some," said Gamache.  Gamache confirmed Carfax does not get the damage reports from the main auctions, a major gap in their reporting, sinc some dealers get a smany as 90 percent of their used cars from auction.  "Carfax was the first company to make vehicle history available to consumers," said Gamache.  "We receive accident information from 9,000 service and repair facilities and from hundreds if police departments that report exclusively to Carfax."  Gamache defends Carfax as the most comprehensive source on a vehicle accident history, and say these car dealers are trying to make a buck, and using Carfax to do it.  "That is really the height of deception," said Gamache.  "I think people who do that are activelytrying to decieve the consumers."  When CBS Atlanta News went back to Ultra Cars, we confronted salesman Craig Bernard with camera rolling.  You have shown me several cars here that had frame damage on them, and you showed me a clean Carfax.  And you're not disclosing the damage on the vehicles," said Saltzman.  "I want to know why you did not disclose the damage.  Are you purposely deceiving the customers here?"  Bernard, who had previously assured us they didn't buy frame damaged cars, was short on words.  Instead of answering our questions, Ultra Cars called the police.  CBS Atlanta was issued a no trespassing warning when we tried to speak with the manager.  The offiicer removed us from the property and cautioned us not to come back.  "He asked me to give you a criminal trespass warning.  So if you come back here you'll go to jail," said the police officer.  But Georgia State Representative Tom Rice of Norcross said the people that run Ultra Cars should be in jail and used car board chairman Jeff Wilkinson say the actions of this dealer could be criminal.  "We can pull their license if there is enough proof that some of this is going on," said Wilkinson.  In Georgia right now there are no disclosure laws to require dealers to reveal even major known damage to the cars they sell and that means there may be no recourse for the victims like Winstead.  "They are manipulators.  That is what they are,"said Winstead.  "We should have laws that should protect the consumers and we don't."  Winkinson thinks that the dealers should be required to disclose if there is major known damage to a vehicle.  Wilkinson said he will investigate Ultra Cars and potentially pull their license.  Rice, who is chairman of the Houses Motor Vehicle Committee, is going one step further.  "I think legislature has an appetite for this kind of change," said Rice.  Rice said now he's looking at ways to change Georgia laws, requiring dealers to disclose accident damage, and criminally prosecuting them if they don't.  "Frankly, I think that is hard to defend, that type of behavior," said Rice.  "And the bill ought to have a disclosure portion to it that says there is a requirement for a disclosure if in fact theere is reported damage on a car.  And the second thing is that there ought to be a penalty portion to it that involves various levels of improper behavior."  Because the legislative session has ended for the year, the automotive disclosure law won't be introduced intil next year.  The best way to protect yourself is always to have a car checked out by a mechanic before you buy.  See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/investigates/19086976/detail.html for complete story.

Contact

Barkhouser Ford Lincoln

3604 Riverside Drive
Directions Danville, VA 24541

  • Sales: (866) 906-6196
  • Service: (888) 489-3449
  • Parts: (888) 505-2482

Sales Hours

  • Monday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed