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I have been car hunting and recently saw a 2015 Toyota Corolla LE with 15,000 kilometers at a Toyota dealer. There is an accident claim of $4,496 on this vehicle. The salesman informed me that the claim is "insignificant.” I suggested taking this car to my body shop for a second opinion. He replied that this step would not be necessary because the car is precertified and inspected by their own on-site mechanics. Should I take the chance and purchase this car in view of the low mileage, despite the accident claim? – Barbara, in Ontario

Disclosure laws in Ontario require used car dealers to declare all known accidents over $3,000 on the sales contract. A $4,496 repair on a high-end luxury vehicle would easily be deemed as insignificant. On the vehicle in question, I would imagine that we are dealing with a moderate cosmetic accident, without air bag deployment or frame damage.

Accident repair is reasonably straightforward but does have a human element involved, as two different body technicians can have contrasting quality output.

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That being said, the mileage is very attractive, and I presume that a precertified dealer product would have had a very thorough inspection prior to its listing.

I believe, in this particular situation, you will be okay, but for any other vehicle with average kilometres that is not part of a manufacturer precertification program, a third-party second opinion is recommended.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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