CarMax Targeted for False Promises of Safety

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CarMax, the country’s largest dealer of used cars, is named in a petition filed by a number of consumer safety groups. The petition claims that CarMax falsely claims in its advertising, that it inspects its automobiles for auto safety defects, before they are sold.

The petition was filed by a group of 11 consumer groups, who asked the Federal Trade Commission, to take strong action against the dealer. The consumer groups are especially concerned about the company's promise, that the cars that it sells are inspected for safety defects. Those promises are made even though CarMax does not have a policy of fixing recalled cars, before these are sold.

Those concerns about recalled cars are especially high, with the increased number of recalls in 2014. This year alone, the number of recalls is expected to exceed previous years. General Motors is expected to recall more than 20 million cars in 2014. Add to this recalls by other manufacturers, and the total could be very high this year.

There are concerns that defective recalled cars could make their way to used car dealers like CarMax when they haven't even been fixed, increasing the new owner’s risk of being involved in a car accident. CarMax proudly claims on its advertising that its cars are inspected before they are sold. However, the company does not have a policy of identifying which cars are involved in recalls, and fixing these before they are sold. The company claims that it inspects a number of car components for safety defects before the cars are sold. However, many of the safety components may have been involved in recalls, a fact that CarMax conveniently fails to mention in its advertising.

The groups want the Federal Trade Commission to get the car dealer to fix its advertising, so that it no longer makes such dangerously deceptive promises.


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