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Carmax Has Settled Charges It Sold Cars with Unrepaired Defects

» Posted April 14, 2017Resources | Share This Post

Automobile consumers should remain skeptical that car dealerships and manufacturers always sell cars that are safe to drive.

Carmax, for example, promises a rigorous safety inspection of all vehicles that it sells... and yet, Carmax recently had to recently settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission for selling vehicles with safety defects which were not repaired.

Since car buyers cannot necessarily trust that the selling dealers will necessarily do everything possible to ensure that those cars are safe, it is up to buyers to protect themselves. One way they can do that is by understanding both what the law requires and does not require of those selling cars.

Car buyers should also understand the legal protections available to them in the event a car turns out to have serious defects. A California car lemon law lawyer can provide help to certain consumers whose cars have problems and who are eligible for legal relief.

Carmax Settles FTC Charges, but Advocates Say Defect Risks Still Exist

Consumer Affairs reported that Carmax got into some trouble with the FTC because the company touted the “rigor with which they inspect cars before selling them.” Despite ads assuring customers cars were carefully inspected, Carmax was at the same time selling vehicles that were known to be under active recall without fixing the problem that led to the recall.

The FTC brought charges which Carmax resolved with a consent order. To resolve the charges, Carmax promised not to continue the behavior.  Carmax and other dealers which the FTC brought charges against defended themselves by explaining it can sometimes take a long time to get access to the car parts that are necessary to fix recalled vehicles.  Letting the cars sit around on the lot while waiting for parts would not be financially feasible, according to the dealers.

The problem is consumers could buy these cars with the expectation that the cars are safe and in good working order as a result of the promises that Carmax and other dealers make.  The consumers don't realize that the car has been recalled and are sometimes driving cars that could be deadly.

Although Carmax has promised to discontinue this conduct, some lawmakers and safety advocates do not think that is enough. One Congresswoman has sponsored a bill to legally require that car dealers make fixes before selling a car that is under active recall. However, the bill may not pass and car dealers likely will continue to advertise vehicles as safe even when they are aware of unresolved problems.

Any consumer who is buying a car should be aware of the protections afforded should the buyer later encounter vehicle problems. Consulting a car lemon law lawyer is a good idea for those who buy a new car that turns out to have serious problems, and an attorney can help you to understand your rights.  Contact us today.


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