Consumer and safety non-profit organizations petition the FTC to investigate CarMax over sales of used cars

CarMax

A dozen major national consumer and safety non-profit organizations are urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and take enforcement action against CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, over its sales of recalled used cars. In a petition filed at the FTC on Monday, the groups charge that:  CarMax advertises on its website, on television, in newspapers, and at its dealerships that each of the used vehicles it offers for sale are “CarMax Quality Certified” and has undergone a rigorous, “125+ point inspection.” However, as alleged in the petition, CarMax fails to ensure that safety recalls are performed prior to selling used cars to consumers. As reported by the New York Times, “CarMax, the nation’s largest seller of used cars, offers a “Certified Quality Inspection,” which does not include fixing [safety] recalls.”

The Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center and the Center for Auto Safety are among the groups that have signed the petition.

Federal law prohibits auto dealers from selling new cars that are under a safety recall, but there is no similar law to protect used car buyers.  Under federal law, auto manufacturers are responsible for performing safety recalls, and work closely with their franchised dealers to oversee the repair process, often including providing specialized training for their dealers’ auto technicians. CarMax can have recalled cars repaired free of charge by authorized franchised car dealers. The fact that CarMax is not permitted to make the repairs itself is no excuse for selling consumers unsafe, recalled cars– particularly when CarMax advertises them as “Quality Certified” and as having passed a rigorous inspection.

View the petition: FTCpetitionCarMax

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