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Protestors Gather at Calif. CarMax Location Over Recalled Vehicle Sales

September 30, 2014

An image from an ad run by the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety  in the Sacramento News & Review.
An image from an ad run by the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety  in the Sacramento News & Review.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Protestors gathered outside a CarMax store here today to demand that the used-car retailer cease its practice of selling recalled vehicles. The protest was supported in part by Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), one of the 11 consumer groups that launched a petition in June to get the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate CarMax’s business practices.

CARS claims that, as of Sept. 29, the CarMax location in Roseville is offering more than a dozen recalled vehicles for sale with defects like “sticky gas pedals, faulty steering, window switches that can catch on fire, and air bags that may not inflate when needed in a crash,” according to a release on the organization’s website.

"CarMax is playing recalled car roulette with its customers' lives," said CARS President Rosemary Shahan in the release. CarMax promotes that it conducts a 125-plus point inspection on every vehicle, a claim CARS and Courage Campaign, a non-profit organization promoting the FTC petition, said constitutes false advertising. More than 25,000 people have signed the Courage Campaign petition requesting an FTC investigation into these allegations.

In May, Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced Senate Bill 686, which would have made it illegal for used-vehicle retailers to sell used cars with open recalls issues in the state. The bill was killed in June. On a federal level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires new-car dealers to fix recalled vehicles before they are sold, but it must be granted authority by Congress to require the same of used-car dealers.

In April, as part of the Grow America Act, the Obama Administration proposed the authority to require both used car dealers and rental car companies to fix recalled vehicles before they are sold or rented. Congress has yet to make the proposed change.

“Dealers have a legal obligation not to sell a new vehicle after they have been notified of the recall by the manufacturer until the defect has been remedied,” the NHSTA said in a statement emailed to F&I and Showroom. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not, however, have the legal authority to require used-car dealers or individual consumers to have recalled vehicles fixed prior to resale.”

Among the protestors in Roseville were CarMax customer Angela Davidson and her daughter Jasmine, who purchased a recalled 2010 Dodge Ram from the retailer’s Irvine, Calif., location on May 19. The Davidsons said the vehicle burst into flames on the freeway 11 days after the purchase.

"It would be a federal crime for CarMax to sell recalled cars like the Davidson's Dodge Ram to consumers if it were new," said Eddie Kurtz, political director of Courage Campaign, in a press release.

CarMax, which recorded second quarter revenues of $3.6 billion this year, told a legislative committee in Sacramento in June that manufacturers do not permit independent auto dealers to repair recalled vehicles. The company also has a policy in place in which customers must be given a form titled "Important Information Regarding Your Purchase – Manufacturer Recalls" before any sales document is presented.

“CarMax instructed the Davidsons, as we instruct all customers, to have any open recalls fixed with a manufacturer-authorized facility,” said CarMax in a statement to F&I and Showroom. “The Davidsons have reported to multiple media outlets and to the CarMax store that they took their vehicle to the manufacturer-authorized Chrysler dealer and had the open recalls addressed and closed out prior to the accident.

“CarMax has worked to help the Davidsons throughout this process,” the statement continued. “In addition to providing the Davidsons with a loaner vehicle after the accident, CarMax offered to repurchase the vehicle and reimburse the Davidsons for all out of pocket expenses. This offer has not been accepted.”

Comments

  1. 1. Bubba B [ September 30, 2014 @ 03:47PM ]

    I'm not a fan of CarMax, mainly because they're a competitor, but seriously... CarMax advised the customer of the recall in writing and the customer took the car to a Chrysler dealer and had the recall completed. Then, a few days later the car burst into flames and it's somehow CarMax's fault? Have they considered going after the manufacturer? ???

  2. 2. Sal Salinas [ September 30, 2014 @ 04:29PM ]

    We are a new car dealership and we won't sell a car with a recall, if it's not our brand we take it to the corresponding dealership to have the recall performed. Carmax can do the same before the car is retailed.

  3. 3. Sheldon Wolff [ October 04, 2014 @ 08:00AM ]

    Everyone wants to drive a safe vehicle, and they should. This issue is multifaceted, first how does one track the recall, I believe the vin# follows the title on used cars, so if there is an open recall the official notice goes to the current owner. Titles don't change until it's registered officially with the state. Ok we hear about recalls on the news, like the recent Chevy ignition switch, but they don't have the parts in stock to replace them. Who pays for the loss of use, floor plan, or interest while the suspect vehicle sits on your lot when it was purchased in good faith and now can not be sold because of a design flaw by the manufacturer. Should there be another level of buying with confidence in the wholesale market like auto check. As the vehicle goes the the block an announcement of,,open recalls,,, be made which would affect the value. Should the state get involved as part of its inspection it would fail until the recall is completed.... What if the manufacturer doesn't have the part, the owner can't drive to work? This is clearly a manufacturer issue, consumers are attacking the dealers because of accessibility.
    To all the new car stores and independents, if you have an affected vehicle, just get it fixed. The new car store will love you for the warrantee work, while building a professional relationship with your local dealership, and most importantly gaining credibility with the consumer you've corrected any outstanding issues for them to be buying a safe, dependable vehicle.

  4. 4. Nick [ October 04, 2014 @ 10:29AM ]

    I'm a used car dealer and 80% of the time we have no way of knowing if it has recall or not, maybe a manufacturer should send some kind of news letters to used car dealerships like they do to customers
    Sometimes when we call for recalls they tell us recall it's expired most recent Mazda ex-8, 2007 mustang and a Mini Cooper.

  5. 5. howell clark [ October 06, 2014 @ 02:38PM ]

    i'm like the first responder. im a small dealer who buys some program( leases and rentals) cars. i check for recalls and do them if any are outstanding. if customers ask i tell them to always check any car with the brand dealership in their local area.. its not hard and its sure not rocket science. Carmax has gone above board to satisfy this customer who it appears is in the clutches of a lawyer or agenda driven organization. i say appears because by doing what they have done Carmax is inviting a lawsuit by being nice and trying to take care of a customer ,and the customer not taking them up on it is holding out for what.

  6. 6. Robinson [ August 03, 2015 @ 11:51AM ]

    I am responding for one reason. I am victim just as the family with the Dodge. I bought a 2013 BMW from Carmax a week ago. Only during the sales process (paperwork) did the business office rep mention that there is an open recall. Again, ONLY DURING THE SALES PROCESS was it mentioned (not the test drive when i asked if there are any issues) that there is an open recall. I was told, that it's very minor, and I should make an appt with BMW within the next 2-4 weeks. He said the only reason, they did not do it themselves is because the BMW dealership (located a mile away) is a competitor, and they would not get the car back for over a month. By me going myself, I will get the car back in a 1-2 days. I smelled BS right away. Too late! I already traded-in my SUV and signed all paperwork for this car. BMW did not have this particular color/model.

    Get this. This weekend I decided to not take the freeway when traveling across town. Lucky for me! My car completely stalled at an intersection. Luckier for me...I was the only car in the intersection. Just imagine if this happened on the freeway. I need not say anymore. Fact is this: I was planning to bring the car to BMW on Wednesday. Just so happens that they have it now because of this life-threatening situation.

    Carmax does not give a damn about its customers and the culture of the company is reflected in the attitudes of Carmax employees. Theyonly care about the dollar! So, to respond to the "small car dealer" that thinks the family has some other motive in regards to not taking a loaner car etc in hopes to get more with a lawsuit; I say hit them where it really matters to them...Their Dollars! I know that's my goal now' only because I am luckily alive to do so.

  7. 7. Robinson [ August 03, 2015 @ 11:51AM ]

    I am responding for one reason. I am victim just as the family with the Dodge. I bought a 2013 BMW from Carmax a week ago. Only during the sales process (paperwork) did the business office rep mention that there is an open recall. Again, ONLY DURING THE SALES PROCESS was it mentioned (not the test drive when i asked if there are any issues) that there is an open recall. I was told, that it's very minor, and I should make an appt with BMW within the next 2-4 weeks. He said the only reason, they did not do it themselves is because the BMW dealership (located a mile away) is a competitor, and they would not get the car back for over a month. By me going myself, I will get the car back in a 1-2 days. I smelled BS right away. Too late! I already traded-in my SUV and signed all paperwork for this car. BMW did not have this particular color/model.

    Get this. This weekend I decided to not take the freeway when traveling across town. Lucky for me! My car completely stalled at an intersection. Luckier for me...I was the only car in the intersection. Just imagine if this happened on the freeway. I need not say anymore. Fact is this: I was planning to bring the car to BMW on Wednesday. Just so happens that they have it now because of this life-threatening situation.

    Carmax does not give a damn about its customers and the culture of the company is reflected in the attitudes of Carmax employees. They only care about the dollar! So, to respond to the "small car dealer" that thinks the family has some other motive in regards to not taking a loaner car etc in hopes to get more with a lawsuit; I say hit them where it really matters to them...Their Dollars! I know that's my goal now' only because I am luckily alive to do so.

 

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