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The Globe and Mail

Buyer beware: Buying cars online a tricky task

I recently purchased a high-end used vehicle from an apparently reputable new-car dealer in Edmonton. The vehicle was purchased "over the Internet" with discussions and negotiations going on by phone. I asked the dealer if the car came with a set of winter tires, to which the reply was, "Nope, just what's on the car." After having received this vehicle, I was shocked to find it equipped with Blizzak winter tires. The dealership told me this is what was on the vehicle when it was traded in. However, as a "certified used vehicle," is there not a reasonable expectation that it should be equipped with summer or regular all-season tires as that is basic and standard safety equipment? This one really has me all worked up. – Markus

I am afraid this is a case of caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

The arrangement was for the vehicle "as is" and that would include the tires. The Blizzaks are obviously designed for winter or cold conditions, but will serve in warmer weather as well. The difference is that they will wear much more quickly and, because of their compounding and structure, be a little "squirrely" in hard cornering situations. They might also be a little noisier than an all-season or pure summer tire.

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While far from ideal, the Blizzak winter tires are better than a set of cheap all-season tires.

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