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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

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I originally got this car back in Feb of 2013. In late 2014, my wife lost her job and we were out almost $50k a year, so I needed to get out of the payments. :( Put it up for sale. What turned out to be an unscrupulous buyer made an offer, did a bank transfer for the money (and my bank said they got it, and verified everything). 5 days later, my bank called me and said there was no money in the account. The "buyer" also apparently took the OnStar fuse out and we couldn't track it. The police said it was a local ring that operated this way and that there had been a rash of it over the previous month. Insurance paid it off and that was the last I heard of it. (lessons learned)

Fast forward to a couple months ago and I was looking up Volt prices for a friend and the first car that comes up on a CL search was this Blue Topaz Volt with the pebble beige suede interior at a dealer in PA. Pretty rare combo and looked real familiar, with fairly low miles. So I checked the VIN with my records and lo and behold, it's my old car. Called my insurance company to see if they wanted to know about it since they had paid it off. Turns out they had got a call from the police back in 2015 about it being found in WV but never returned the call. So the police had held it for another year and then auctioned it off. The dealer that was advertising the car said it had a clean carfax with one owner... I was like I don't think so, so I called them. They said "you want it back? We'll give you a heck of a deal." Turns out that even though the carfax said no accidents and one owner, it ALSO said it was stolen/recovered and they were having a hard time selling it. It had been auctioned a couple times and had been as far as Texas for a while. I negotiated for a bit, and struck a deal a bit less than wholesale on it and went to check it out.

It was filthy. And it seems that it had gone 11k miles since I last had it (so it was now at 28k miles) and no one had bothered to charge it (there was no charging cord with it anymore, probably gone at the police auction), so lifetime "fuel mileage" had dropped to 48.9 mpg. Damnit. But seemed to mechanically be in good shape and drove as I remembered. They cleaned it up, gave me a new charging cord from another Volt they had on the lot, and I paid them and brought it home.

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Took it to my local dealer where I originally bought it and got all updates and recalls done and had it inspected. Everything was as it should be. Passed the MD safety inspection as well. I've been driving it for a month now and it drives excellent. This week I got it's Level 2 wall unit installed.
 

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Talk about a rare story. Most stolen cars get physically totaled before they're recovered. I'd be looking for a new insurance company however, especially since your's didn't bother to call the police back on a stolen car recovery to recoup their payout costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah, I though it maybe got chpopped up or shipped off to China. And USAA is usually pretty good to me. They admitted that the loss department dropped the ball on it, and couldn't say why that might have been. But it was a year after it had been taken.
 

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yeah, I though it maybe got chpopped up or shipped off to China. And USAA is usually pretty good to me. They admitted that the loss department dropped the ball on it, and couldn't say why that might have been. But it was a year after it had been taken.
USAA is usually very agressive on recovering their costs, which keeps our premiums down somewhat. This was a free-be and they definitely dropped the ball on it. Are they reinsuring the car now?
 

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WOW, crazy story. Hope you got it real cheeeeep too.

For about the first 15 or 20 years of car ownership (all used except two new at that time), I had a streak where I somehow managed to stumble upon every one of my previous rides sometime later; most were parked at a home or business while only two were seen at used car lots. One was my second car in high school that I found 12 years later. That streak went cold for at least a decade but recently by pure dumb luck stumbled upon my wife's previous C-Max Energi on craigslist.
 

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Glad to hear you are driving your Volt again. Did you find out how the "buyer" was able to fool your bank for 5 days? And did the bank say how they would prevent this from happening in the future? What would you do differently now if you had to do it all over again?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Glad to hear you are driving your Volt again. Did you find out how the "buyer" was able to fool your bank for 5 days? And did the bank say how they would prevent this from happening in the future? What would you do differently now if you had to do it all over again?
Looks like they had an available balance so when the banks originally talk to each other, it's there, but when the draft comes through it's gone. My bank for this car was Ally, and I've never used them before or since. The car was bought with cash this time.

What would I do differently? Cash only sales. Or a 5 day waiting period for the car to leave my possession (until the transfer clears at least).
 

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I absolutely LOVE the pictures. Did you have those done? She looks so happy charging in your driveway. I swear that mine (named Lulu) smiled when I plug her in too...
 

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So what happens if the car gets stolen again and the insurance company discovers they are paying a second total claim on the same VIN to the same person? Will that trigger all kinds of red flags at the insurance company that they will never get straightened out?
 

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So what happens if the car gets stolen again and the insurance company discovers they are paying a second total claim on the same VIN to the same person? Will that trigger all kinds of red flags at the insurance company that they will never get straightened out?
USAA is awesome. They would figure it out.
 

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This is one helluva story. That car is meant to be yours for life! Not even thieves can take it away for long.

I will say -- very surprised your car was targeted. There's no real market for a Gen 1 Volt for "parts" as it's a VERY low volume/ low-demand vehicle. They probably couldn't even move it.
 

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This is one helluva story. That car is meant to be yours for life! Not even thieves can take it away for long.

I will say -- very surprised your car was targeted. There's no real market for a Gen 1 Volt for "parts" as it's a VERY low volume/ low-demand vehicle. They probably couldn't even move it.
I like that our cars are not targets!


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Wow, incredible! Lassie come home! Or was it Black Beauty? Or some other tale of prodigal return?
 

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Wowzers, I am really encouraged when I read about these cars recovering so well. A lot of ordinary cars don't recover from abuse very well so I just naturally figured that hybrids suffer even more. But it looks like GM made these very robust and tolerant.

Doesn't that remind you of the old days with those famous old 1960's Chevy C10 pickups. You could just beat on them all day long and they loved it. Not that I'd beat up on a Volt but it's nice to know that they aren't porcelain dolls that wither up and crumble.
Eleven thousand miles without being charged - - poor baby! :D
 
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