CarMax is in hot water with consumer groups over what they accuse of deceptive advertising. Eleven consumer groups petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate CarMax over the sales of recalled vehicles.

These eleven groups accuse CarMax of falsely advertising used vehicles as “CarMax Quality Certified,” while not ensuring safety recalls were performed before buyers drove the cars off the lot.

“CarMax is playing recalled used car roulette with its customers’ lives,” said Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), the Sacramento-based group at the forefront of the criticism.

Don’t federal laws prohibit selling cars currently under a safety recall? Only for new cars. No law protects used car buyers.

CarMax helped stop a recent initiative in California that would have stopped car dealers from selling recalled used cars without first repairing any safety recall issues.

CarMax fired back in a statement and said auto manufacturers only authorized new car dealers to perform recall repairs. CarMax isn’t against the consumer groups push for used car dealers to make the repairs. They just want a legal mandate that manufacturers allow used-car companies such as CarMax to make the repairs.

“The legislation should require manufacturers give used car retailers all recall notices, the same diagnostic and repair information, and the tools and parts that manufacturers make available to their franchise dealers,” the company said in a statement.

New York Senator Charles Schumer lent his support to the consumer groups in his own letter to the FTC.

“Dealers selling used cars should be held to the same standard,” he said in a letter to the FTC. “I believe the Federal Trade Commission has the regulatory power to take appropriate action to protect the safety of used-car buyers.”


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