CarMax Selling “Certified” Recalled Cars with Lethal Safety Defects—Blumenthal, Consumer Advocates Call on FTC to Crack Down on Deceptive, Potentially Deadly Sales Practices

CARS Foundation Investigation Found CarMax Dealerships in Hartford and East Haven  Connecticut offered for sale 74 “Certified” Cars With Potentially Lethal Safety Defects Subject to Recall

 Blumenthal Champions Federal Legislation to give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Authority to Bar Car  Dealers' Sale of Unrepaired Recalled Used Cars

(Hartford, CT) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and consumer advocates urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take immediate action to halt CarMax’s dangerously deceptive marketing of used cars with lethal safety defects. U.S. Senator Blumenthal also called for enactment of federal legislation to give NHTSA authority to police car dealers' sales of recalled used cars.

A bombshell investigation by Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation and M & R Strategic Services found 74 “certified” recalled used cars with potentially-lethal safety defects offered for sale at CarMax dealerships in Hartford and East Haven during two 24-hour periods in July and August. The safety defects included airbags that may not inflate when needed in a crash, short circuits that can cause electrical fires, child safety seat anchors that may fail to latch, faulty fuel pumps that can cause engines to cut off in traffic, and other serious safety defects. CarMax advertises that each of its cars must pass a rigorous “125+ point inspection" before it can be sold as "CarMax Quality Certified," yet the CARS Foundation/M &R report found that CarMax had not taken even basic measures to get known safety recalls repaired.

“CarMax's practices endanger the lives of their customers, their customers’ families, and everyone who shares the roads,” Blumenthal said. “CarMax advertises that all its vehicles must pass a rigorous ‘125 point inspection,’ but no inspection that routinely ignores outstanding safety recalls can be called ‘rigorous.’ Regardless of whether they are buying a new or used car, all consumers deserve to know they are buying a safe car.”

CarMax should not be allowed to make Connecticut, or any other state, a dumping ground for unsafe recalled vehicles with potentially lethal safety defects,” said Evan Preston, ConnPIRG Executive Director.

“CarMax is playing recalled roulette with its customers’ lives,” said Rosemary Shahan, President of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation. “That is also putting their families, other passengers, and everyone who shares the roads at risk.”

Blumenthal has introduced the Used Car Safety Recall Repair Act, which would make it a violation of federal law, enforceable by NHTSA, for car dealers to fail to get any outstanding safety recalls repaired before selling or leasing a used car.

###