CarMax faulted over recalled cars
Two consumer groups have asked California’s attorney general and the Department of Motor Vehicles to investigate the sales practices of used-car giant CarMax.
The California Public Interest Research Group and the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation said the retailer regularly sells used vehicles that have been recalled but not repaired — despite advertising that its autos undergo rigorous “quality” inspections.
Researchers visited two of CarMax’s 18 stores in California, one in Oxnard and the other in Sacramento, and cross-checked vehicle identification numbers with a federal database that tracks whether a vehicle has been recalled and if it has been repaired.
They found that more than 10% of the 455 cars at the Oxnard CarMax had unrepaired recalls. In Sacramento, 9% of the 386 vehicles had unrepaired recalls.
“All of these safety defects pose serious risks,” the consumer groups said in a report released Wednesday.
CarMax’s practice of selling “certified” vehicles with known defects could violate a variety of California laws and motor vehicle regulations, the consumer groups said in calling for a state investigation.
Casey Werderman, spokesman for CarMax, said it makes full disclosure of any outstanding recall work to customers before they buy a vehicle. Every vehicle advertised on CarMax’s website and mobile app has a link to its recall history on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s site.
Before signing documents, the CarMax sales staff member and buyer review the vehicle’s NHTSA recall report and the customer signs a form acknowledging receipt of the information, Werderman said.