A major used car seller in the United States has reached a settlement with 36 state attorneys general, including Illinois, after authorities accused the company of selling cars that could pose potentially serious risks to indoor security.
The multi-year investigation into used car retailer Carmax dates back several years, along with the allegations the company insists it has already addressed.
This month, the coalition of attorneys general announced that Carmax had agreed to pay a $1 million fine, split among the 36 affected states, as well as secure changes to its business plan after authorities of the state accused the company of “not disclosing open safety recalls on used devices”. vehicles to consumers prior to sale.
Airbags, brakes, fuel pumps and other critical safety parts have been subject to recalls on its vehicles, but state authorities have alleged buyers were none the wiser.
Among its fine findings, attorneys general said Carmax had “misled consumers” and classified vehicles for sale as “safe” despite open recalls.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul reacted to the writing of the settlement: “Consumers deserve to know if a vehicle they are considering buying is subject to an unrepaired recall that could jeopardize their safety and that of motorists.
This is not the first time that Carmax has faced these claims.
In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission also accused Carmax of “failing to disclose unrepaired safety recalls,” despite the company touting rigorous inspection processes on all of its vehicles via print and television ads.
The FTC alleged Carmax, “regularly advertised vehicles subject to open recalls for defects that could cause serious injury.”
Carmax also settled those charges and was not required to pay any fines, the company said in 2016, but among the terms of the settlement the company was prohibited from making safety claims on its vehicles, except unless they are free from defects. There is no indication that Carmax violated this regulation.
As part of this most recent settlement, Carmax has agreed to display QR codes for vehicles on its sales lots, linking directly to recall information, as well as presenting buyers with hard copies of recall notices before a customer signs a contract.
Carmax responded to the GA settlement, telling NBC 5 Responds, “CarMax has been disclosing open recalls on a vehicle-specific basis since November 2014 and has been negotiating this current multi-state settlement with attorneys general since the same period. ”
“The terms of the settlement are consistent with longstanding CarMax practices, not new,” a Carmax spokesperson wrote via email.
To read Carmax’s full statement on the recent settlement, Click here.
Does your vehicle have an open recall?
Whether you’re buying a used car from Carmax or any used car dealership, there’s a convenient and easy way to find out if there are any open safety recalls that need repairs.
All you need is a phone and the vehicle’s VIN, usually located on the corner or door of the driver’s side windshield.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a tool to look up the VIN of any vehicle for recalls.
To use the NHTSA tool, Click here.
Do you have a consumer complaint? Call 1-844-NBC-RESP or click here to let us know so we can help you.