CarMax Agrees to Give More Recall Info to Used Vehicle Buyers
A major used car seller is pledging to give buyers more information about vehicle recalls before deals are completed.
CarMax recently agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 36 states, accusing the company of failing to disclose open safety recalls, Reuters reports.
The company also will "clearly and conspicuously" disclose open recalls before presenting other paperwork.
The suit stemmed from a 2014 probe led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. CarMax at times referred to used cars as “safe” even if they were subject to open recalls, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement following the settlement announcement.
“When someone buys a car, they need to know that it will keep them safe,” James said.
The settlement also requires CarMax to provide consumers with hyperlinks and QR codes to look up recalls.
Some 40% of used cars being offered for sale across the country are covered by at least one open recall that has not been addressed, according to research from Consumers’ Checkbook and the Consumer Federation of America. Federal legislation that would require used car dealers to address open recalls before they can sell covered vehicles has stalled in Congress.
“As CarMax is not authorized by manufacturers to complete recall repairs and close out recalls, we work hard to ensure our customers have the information they need to take action and have recalls repaired at a manufacturer-authorized facility,” said Joe Wilson, CarMax’s Chief Operating Officer.
Legal Rights for California Car Owners
The CarMax settlement highlights a real safety threat for car owners and everyone else on the road with them.
Manufacturers call back nearly 30 million vehicles in the U.S. alone each year. They often cite serious safety issues, from malfunctioning airbags and seatbelts to various engine defects that pose the risk of engine fires.
The recalls are routinely announced long after vehicles have been sold to unsuspecting buyers. As the lawsuit against CarMax suggested, used car buyers often do not know that they are buying a vehicle that is covered by a recall that has not been addressed.
There is some good news for car owners in California, however. The state’s lemon law gives you some important rights and protections when it comes to defective cars.
The lemon law requires auto manufacturers to do a wide variety of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also forces them to buy back cars that they cannot or will not fix. That includes compensating the owner for the vehicle’s purchase price, as well as financing fees, rental car costs and other related expenses.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney at Our Firm
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.