Seller's name: Josh Robinson Platinum Motorcars, Inc.
Seller's eBay User ID: onlinecarsales
eBay Item number: 180229847051
Item information (year, make, model, and so on): (The areas of fraud are in green bold and underlined)
1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet, 3.2 liter Fuel injected 6-cylinder, Black w/beautiful gray leather & woodgrain interior and a like-new fully automatic black convertible top, automatic transmission, 8-way dual power heated front seats w/power headrests and 2-memory driver's seat, power tilt & telescopic steering wheel, ice-cold air conditioning, mint stock alloy wheels w/4 brand new tires as well as the original never used spare w/jack assembly and full tool kit, dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, power & automatic pop-up padded roll-over protection rear headrests.
Mercedes-Benz only built this model for 3 years (93-95) and 1993 was the only year that this model was called the 300CE Cabriolet.in 1994 and 1995 it was known as the E320 Cabriolet, but it was the exact same car with the exact same 3.2 liter motor. This car's original sticker price was just under $80,000. This 300CE Cabriolet was a trade-in at a large Mercedes-Benz dealership and has been fully inspected. It is in immaculate condition inside and out.
The leather interior is beautiful and has no rips or tears in the seats or door panels nor any cracks in the dash. The top works flawlessly and is in like new condition. The body is strait and the paint is beautiful. This car has never been in an accident and is Carfax Certified vehicle. (The Carfax report can be emailed or faxed) The engine is strong and the transmission shifts smooth. This Mercedes is an absolute creampuff. I have some additional pictures that I will email upon request. BUY-IT-NOW $13,950 or submit your best offer!!!
Purchase price: $12,000.00
Amount of deposit (if applicable): N/A
Shipping expenses (if applicable): $500.00 shipping
Date of purchase (end of sale): April 11
Date of possession (when you took possession of the item): April 21
Description of misrepresentation (outline your allegations):
We purchased a 1993 300CE Mercedes from Josh Robinson/Platinum motors and were led to believe that this car was in "cream puff" condition. I specifically asked Josh Robinson about the wiring harness and the oil leaks which he responded the car had no leaks and the wiring harness was fine. I had asked these specific questions b/c my mechanic had informed me that this was a problem on this model (dangerous and unsafe) and was a costly repair of around $1,500.00 dollars.
The first clue I had that the car was trouble was that it was not even the color listed in the advertisement in eBay, it is charcoal grey not black. The second clue was the steering wheel when I first sat in the car was completely dry rotted. The third clue was when I put it in drive on my inclined driveway it wanted to roll backwards down the length of the drive until I put on the brake or gave it gas.
I have had the car for under a week and finally; my mechanic and I looked the car over on the rack last night.
Here are the other items my mechanic and I found:
1. Oil leaks front and rear; remedy-Head gasket replacement (in a previous email he told me the car had no leaks)
2. Wiring harness needs to be replaced, wiring is exposed and will short out at some point (again in a previous email (that is attached to this document at the bottom) he told me the wiring harness was sound) With exposed wires like that the check engine light should be on; the light is not on because the actual light in the dash has been removed. (Attached are photos of the exposed wires and the dash light cluster proving the check engine light is missing). Please read the attached document on the dangers and history of the faulty wiring harness on this model year.
3. AC does not blow cold air (the eBay advertisement for this car said that the AC blew cold air) (it was probably juiced with Freon either before or during its time with Josh Robinson).
4. Stereo does not work
5. Steering wheel completely dry rotted
6. The engine is missing/hesitating and will require coils, wires, and plugs (Josh Robinson had been adamant about how well the car runs)
7. Center console board is broken and loose
8. It needs a new belt and belt tensioner to remedy the squealing noise when turning
9. Missing a light in the dash to illuminate the fuel gauge
10. The warning light with (the! Enclosed in a circle with lines coming out like the sun) comes on and off during driving (maybe the brake system warning lamp?) (without the owners manual I am not sure what this light means) In a previous email I had asked him if there were any lights on in the dash and he replied, no.
11. Transmission needs work; it wants to roll backwards when on an incline and in drive only resolved by using the brakes or the throttle.
12. The driver's door panel is loose for some reason
13. It was poorly repainted and the paint shows evidence of what mechanics call fish-eye
14. Front seats have been poorly repaired from obvious wear and tear and repainted leaving them hard and prone to more cracking in the future, definitely not in cream puff condition
15. The sun visor on the driver's side is sun damaged and one of the hinges is broken, in addition to the cracked and damaged clips on the windshield
16. There is a cigarette burn on the carpet next to the drivers seat
17. The seat belts in the rear seat are dry rotted and only one works less than satisfactory, the other does not even have the internal components to hold the belt in place
18. The headlight frame on the passenger side is cracked
19. Steering wheel's telescopic function does not work
20. The car came with no owner's manual, maintenance history, or spare keys as would a car would in cream puff
21The door jam metallic decals are ripped and torn showing signs of abuse
22. Drivers side door is loose and does not catch when opened and falls shut proving more abuse or possible damage internally
The car needs a minimum of $2,000.00 of repairs in order to make the car minimally Road Worthy and Safe, (photo 0193 cigarette burn, 0194 rust under the seats, 0192 is the bottom door jam, 0195 is the dash light cluster with the ignition on notice the check engine light is not illuminated) not Cream Puff as Josh Robinson described in the eBay advertisement which would cost at least another $2 -3,000 (replacing worn out front seats, repairing AC unit, center console wood, replacing torn and loose metallic bottom door jam decals, sun visors, steering wheel, stereo, missing lights in dash, and repairing the transmission). The seats have been painted to hide the sun damage repairs, and the car has also been repainted in a poor manner. Over all the car is less than exceptional and certainly not "cream puff."
In order for this transaction to become satisfactory he was asked to reimburse me for the following items that I had asked about in previous documented emails and items listed in the eBay ad that have proven to be untrue:
1. Wiring harness and labor (photo 0188 exposed wires on the wiring harness)
2. Head gasket and labor (oil leaks front and rear)
3. Stereo (stock is fine) (current one does not work, Josh promised to send one that did, but has not)
4. Factory floor mats (part of the sale agreement, also not received)
5. AC diagnostic and repair (the ad in eBay stated the AC worked; it does not)
He has never sent me a title for the car. He seems to be holding it as some sort of ransom for positive feedback... I offered him the following resolution:
1. Give me a refund for the price of the car and I will share in the cost of shipping it back.
2. If not willing to reimburse for necessary repairs, and are unwilling to take the car back for a full refund; I will pursue the VPP program through eBay.
I like this style of car and bought it under the impression that I would not have to spend any money on it in order to drive and enjoy it.
I would like to return this car to Platinum motors for full refund.
If that is not possible I would like assistance in making the car safe to drive by repairing the listed items.
I can not possibly give anything but negative feedback for this seller and will advise anyone who shops eBay to avoid Josh Robinson and Platinum motors at all costs.
Email evidence of fraud:
April 10th email exchange:
The car has no fluid leaks and I will take pictures of each wheel for you as well as all of the other pictures that you requested, but before I do all of that, I would just like to know if we have a deal on the car, after you get all of the shots and are happy with what you see.
Ok last round of questions:
Does it have any fluid leaks? Do the wheels have any curb rash?
Can you send me some photos of the car with the top partially up, interior shots of the top liner, and close ups of the top, the hood, under the engine (if possible), and the front under bumper lip spoiler?
This car has none of those issues. No lights on in the dash. Cooling fans are running properly. All required services, the last one was at 67,500. I don't think it required the timing belt. No odors. Definately garage kept, because the top looks like new and no paint fade as well as no cracks in the dash, both of which you'd get if the car was kept outside. I will get a brand new set of Mercedes floor mats from the local Mercedes dealer. No accidents listed on the Carfax report. This car is pretty rare. It's 100% reliable, dependable and durable. It runs and drives like new. It looks excellent inside and out.
All power options are working properly. It has a brand new set of tires. And as I said before it has been meticulously maintained. As to the price, I was originally looking for $16,500 for it. I then came down to $14,000 (plus $500 to ship) and then $13,000 (plus $500 to ship). I have come down $3500. Where do you need to be? What if I include shipping at $13,000? Let me know.
Sorry I have been busy busy busy.
After a little more research: I have found that these cars have a history of convertible top trouble, moisture getting into the motor under the rear seat, mechanical failure at the windshield release point, etc. Has this car had any of those kinds of issues? Any lights coming on in the dash? How are the cooling fans running? Timing belt service? Any odors in the car? Is it kept inside or outside?
Does it have the original floor matts?
Any accidents not listed in the car fax report?
My wife really would rather us purchase a newer model, such as a 2002 or later 430, so it is becoming a hard sell. So I have to move towards Value, dependability, reliability, durability, etc
What is the rock bottom price for this car? I don't want to insult you by any means; I know you have to make an honest buck. And you know as a buyer yourself I want to get the best deal I can. So what is the magic number?
More email evidence of fraud:
April 11th email exchange:
I wanted to speak to you over the phone to talk more about the car, but to answer some of your questions, the car has no porblems with the wiring harness, nor any oil leaks (front or rear). Please try to call me before the auction ends tonight at 954-575-2886.
My mechanic had the following comments:
The car looks good and documentation sounds encouraging. This is the car that has engine wiring harness degrading problem. It would be nice to be able to check the dealership service history to see if it has ever been replaced. Also this engine is notorious for oil leaks at the rear and front of the cylinder head, which is cured by head gasket replacement. Though it is not that it is a big deal, $600.00 labor $200.00 parts. It adds up! This is also when the wiring harness problem arises if it is degrading, because it must be disconnected and moved.
What do you know about the wiring harness or head gaskets? Can we see the dealer service history?
More email evidence of fraud:
April 8th email exchange:
No rust or damage to the body or undercarrage. It is in excellent condition inside and out. It was not always in FL. It has had 2 owners.
I can ship it to TN for $350.