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CarMax Accused of Misleading Consumers About Vehicle Rental History

Lawyers say company doesn't properly disclose vehicles once used in rental fleets, violated 2008 class-action suit.

By Joshua Condon Dec 28, 2011 12:13PM
CarMax is being accused of violating the terms of a 2008 class-action lawsuit, and lawyers for the plaintiffs are asking a Maryland judge to find the automotive retailer in contempt of court. At issue is the assertion that CarMax does not adequately alert consumers when a used vehicle for sale was previously part of a rental fleet. Former rental fleet cars are worth less on the used-car market, as their full driving history and maintenance records are unknown.

CarMax will ask the judge to throw out the petition. A company representative said that CarMax "is in compliance with Maryland law” and that it uses a window sticker to identify some vehicle information, "which includes the word rental where applicable.”

Lawyers for the plaintiffs assert that information about a vehicle's time in a rental fleet is "camouflaged and deceptive" and that ambiguous terms such as "business use," "loaner" and "executive vehicle" are used to confuse or mislead buyers as to a vehicle's rental history. The petition also notes that while rental-history disclosures are found on the buyer's order, it is not present in the legally binding financing agreement.

According to Wheels, the judge "has been asked to require CarMax to immediately comply with the 2008 settlement; to appoint an official to monitor CarMax compliance for five years; and to order compensation for consumers who bought vehicles without being given the proper disclosure."
8Comments
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where did you get the idea that rental cars are worth less because their full driving history and maintenance records are unknown? The typical used car trade-in has little or no history unless the owner only took the vehicle back to a dealership for service. Places like Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, etc. do not maintain any public  records of  any service done to a vehilce and owners can't even keep track of their vehcile's  title, let alone keep all of their service records. A great majority of trades are high mileage, problem prone older vehicles that never actually hit the dealers lot. They go straight to the auctions. Good clean used vehicles are hard to find and consumers should not be given any more misinformation than the already get.
Dec 30, 2011 12:55PM
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Rental cars are worth less because of the general belief that renters abuse them. However, most have excellent and very thorough maintenance history. 

Also, it's too bad CarMax is getting their name drug through the mud in this case. All car dealerships purchase used rental cars from auctions and put them on their lot with no documentation at all that they were ever a rental. 

This is part of the due diligence for a buyer when purchasing a car. Any VIN check report will tell you if a car has been a part of a rental fleet. This is just another case of people trying to not take responsibility for their own actions.
May 6, 2013 2:44AM
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Ok, So you find that used car at the price you want, Before you pay for that car. Look around the local area for a dealership; This means, You want to buy a ford? Then look for the closest ford dealership, Go in and find out about the dealership inspecting that used ford (with a fine tooth comb) Yes it may cost you quite a bit., Some inspections have cost me $250. But have saved me far, far more money. And time. And problems.. Ok, So now you have a place to inspect Everything on the vehicle, And dealerships can run a VIN report too. You make an appointment for the next day, Yes an all day appointment. You go back to the seller, And ask that the ford be taken to the nearby dealership today (now) for inspection tomorrow morning. If the seller, be it carmax or whoever gives you any excuse's, Go back to dealership and cancel the inspection. And Go Find Another Car. Don't even think about it, Just Leave That Seller. And go..Now let's say the seller take's the car to the dealership, You want to be there tomorrow Before they open, With Donuts and Coffee. The mechanics will love you (be sure to bring plenty of donuts) Next find the mechanic who is doing the inspection, Introduce yourself say hi and shake his/her hand as you do so quietly shove a $100 dollar bill from your hand into the mechanics hand, Yeah you might get a strange look, But just say " Your the one getting your hands dirty, So give me the best inspection that you can. Now leave them to their work, Don't hang around like an expectant parent. Plan on comming back after their lunch, 3:00 PM is a good time. Most likely there will be a list of repairs needed, Deduct this from the agreed upon price go to the nearest bank, And get a bank check for that adjusted amount. offer it to the seller, If the seller take's the check Have the dealership start work on your car, The mechanics like you and will do a fine job. In the meantime arrange for insurance, Please get full insurance, Also the dealership can probably Install Lojack, Which will lower your insurance, And I highly recommend it, As it Has worked for me. And put people in jail. Ok Now, Thank You for reading through this Very long rant. But this is how I buy used vehicles, And I've never been burned. Sam I Am 
Jan 6, 2012 6:29AM
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I don't care what kind of used car you buy, fleet, rental, or individually owned, you have no idea how that car has been treated.  Things like getting a CarFax are a joke.  I've run two of my vehicles through their system that have been in multiple serious accidents ($4K-$7K worth of damage each time) and even a car that was totaled and they come up clean.  If I trade the remaining two vehicles in, there is no way the dealer or subsequent buyer would know the cars' histories unless they tracked me down and asked me personally.  A careful inspection by a mechanic/body man might give them some insight, but they'd still be hard pressed to determine the severity of the accidents.

Used cars of any kind have inherent risks.  The best way to protect yourself is to buy a "Certified Pre-Owned" vehicle with a comprehensive extended warranty from the original manufacturer and make sure there is a free loaner car provision. 
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Car max isn't the only pack cheating car sales companies out there..... Buyer beware especially if its a GOLD CERTIFIED INSPECTION these are meant to miss lead the consumer and avoid a real Inspection by the buyer from their mechanic NEVER buy a rental vehicle in my opinion they look good and may have low Mileage but how many times has it actually been hit repaired and hit again and again or worse stolen stripped and repaired 
and  being driven by customers with at best very limited skills behind the wheel of a unfamiliar vehicle trucks and vans are the worst........  So most certainly get a second opinion from a certified mechanic you are familiar with and get that bumper to bumper ......good luck and happy buying everybody   ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Apr 8, 2013 12:03PM
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Well...I've bought 4 vehicles from CARMAX over the years and have had NO TROUBLE with any of them.The reason I bought often was because I was stepping UP to a better class car each time. Buying USED allowed me to trade the car BACH to THEM and buy another. I couldn't afford to do this with NEW vehicles like many people do. It's the next best thing, I guess.....(*_*)
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Maddddd Maxxxxxxx of course RENTAL cars are a load of rolling garbage why sell them if they could actually rent it out more   DAH get a grip and expect the best when dealing with a national chain the customer should and always get a Inspection independent the seller common sense my man very common 
Sep 3, 2014 7:29AM
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Well I brought a car from CarMax and the only problem thank God was they had replaced the original windshield with a non Kia one. Some of you are right people just tear up other **** cause its not theirs. But bottom line if u can afford a new one more power to you but if not you got to do what it do
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