Consumer Groups Petition FTC to Investigate CarMax

CarMax might just be our favorite dealership for shopping out-of-warranty and notoriously expensive European hardware. The dealership chain is known for their friendly no-hassle sales and excellent warranties. But not all is well in CarMax country...11 consumer groups are asking the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to investigate the company because it is selling cars with open recalls.

Prompted by the massive GM recalls, and the millions of vehicles for sale in the pre-owned with open recalls, consumer advocacy groups such as Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety,Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Auto Safety, the National Consumer Law Center and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have petitioned the FTC to look into CarMax's advertising claims.

From the NY Times-

"It is inherently deceptive for an auto dealer to represent that its vehicles have passed a rigorous inspection, while failing to take even the most basic step of checking the vehicle's safety recall status,"

"Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, wrote in an email: "Consumers may think they're buying a safe used car, but if CarMax isn't making sure that recalled cars are fixed, consumers are being misled. That's a problem, and one we hope the F.T.C. and CarMax can rectify."

There is currently a bill in the California legislature that would require all car dealerships, including independent used-car stores, repair open recalls before selling the vehicle. CarMax supports this bill but only with the stipulation that the manufacturers provide the tools and parts necessary to those independent dealerships so they can perform the fixes, rather than waiting on the new car dealer. In response to the investigation CarMax says they give customers all the information necessary to get any recall fixed at the appropriate manufacturer's dealership.

(photo credit- Timmons.com)