Published: June 2014

Does CarMax sell dangerous cars to consumers?

Consumer Action joined 10 organizations in asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate auto retail giant, CarMax over claims that its advertisements are deceptive because CarMax does not fix used vehicles under recall before it sells them. CarMax, the nation’s largest used-car retailer, runs ads promising that the vehicles it sells have undergone rigorous quality inspections.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), coalition advocates urged an investigation into the sales and advertising practices for auto retail giant, CarMax. The advocates' major concern lies in CarMax's "CarMax Quality Certified" label that promises that its used cars are inspected, repaired and checked for water damage. However, the company doesn't check to see if all pending recall repairs are complete on the vehicle. The company's advertising could mislead even sophisticated car buyers into thinking the cars are safe. CarMax should easily be able to check the recall status and supply that information to consumers. As it stands, the company's certification of quality could put consumers in danger.

The CarMax petition being sent to the FTC also includes the support of Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). In a letter to the FTC he explained "It is bad enough that used-car dealers are not required by law to fix a safety recall problem prior to selling the recalled vehicle to a consumer, [but] compounding the safety risks with misleading and deceptive advertising and sales practices only further endangers the safety of used-car customers and everyone who shares the roads."

We hope that the FTC will act expeditiously, considering the serious threat CarMax's practices pose to public safety.

Lead Organization

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS)

Other Organizations

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Center for Auto Safety | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America Consumers Union | Courage Campaign | National Association of Consumer Advocates National Consumer Law Center | National Consumers League | Trauma Foundation | U.S. Public Interest Research Group

More Information

For more information, please visit CARS website.

Download PDF

Does CarMax sell dangerous cars to consumers?   (FTCinvestigateCarMax.pdf)




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