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We bought a brand new, with 200 miles on it, 2008 Element in June of 2009. Today I was looking at some service department paperwork on this vehicle and it stated something I never noticed before. It said that the "in service" and "delivered" date on this vehicle was August of 2008: ten months before we bought it. I called the dealership and was told, "The in service date was the date they did the PDI on it". If so, why was this vehicle's PDI 10 months before we bought it?
 

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The short answer is, it was registered........

Federal regs require a saftey inspection as well as the manufacture in most cases. For liabilty/insurance reasons.

The long answer is, why was it registered? Was it used as a transort for the dealership?, sold and reposessed?, was it damaged on the lot and required an insurance claim?, did your stealership buy it from Honda outright? They do that sometimes to get better price on models that are not moving. Sometimes they use vehicles to transport without registering and sell them as new saying the 200 miles is just from people test driving, but, if someone gets pulled over or gets in an accident could pay some hefty fines both locally and federally. In some case it may have been sold stealership to stealership.

So anyway…
 

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The short answer is, it was registered........

Federal regs require a saftey inspection as well as the manufacture in most cases. For liabilty/insurance reasons.

PDI does not mean it was registered. A PDI is just a post delivery inspection. A dealership does this to all their new cars. This is to take care of things that the assembly plant may have missed, or even if damage occured by the transport company that delivered it to the dealer.

An in service date does not mean it was registrered either. Sounds to me as though the dealer may have used it shortly as a demo? Contact your DMV and they can tell you if the car was registered to a private party prior to you.

My 09 had a little over 200 miles on it when i got it. Lets face it, Elements dont exactly fly off the lots. Hence, the original poster buying an 08 in 09.

To the original poster, I would assume you got a smokin deal on it being an 08? Sometimes a good deal comes at a small cost; such as giving up some months on the factory warranty.
 

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The in service date is the date it was registered with Honda. It could have been sold and the buyer backed out after it was too late. Or the dealer could have registered it to fudge sales numbers for the month. Not an uncommon practice if the dealers needs to make targets for the month.

Demo vehicles are typically not registered until they are actually sold to a retail customer. My last demo went on the road in september 2008. I drove it for 11 months but it did not get registered until september 2009 when it was sold.

If in this case it was registered in august 2008 the warranty clock has already started ticking unless you have paperwork that states otherwise. Something you want want to look into further.
 
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