In 2016, a Federal Court of Appeals found that CarMax, the country’s largest used vehicle retailer violated California disclosure laws. California requires that used car dealers give buyers of “certified” vehicles a detailed report of all the components inspected on the vehicle. The ruling, which was sparked by a lawsuit filed by a customer who claimed CarMax sold him a “certified” lemon, shines light on the retailer’s long-running deceptive vehicle inspection practices.
Travis Z. Gonzales, who bought a 2007 Infiniti G35 from a Costa Mesa, filed a lawsuit against the giant used car seller after finding a large number of problems in a newly purchased used car that allegedly had been subjected to CarMax’s 125-point inspection program.
According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, CarMax failed to detail to customers the condition of various components inspected through its certified used vehicle program. Under the State’s Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights, passed in 2006, a certified used car seller must provide a detailed checklist. In the court’s decision, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, “Sellers cannot merely list components that have been inspected, thereby leaving the consumer ignorant as to whether the various components satisfactorily passed the inspection……After receiving this certificate, the consumer knows neither the condition of the individual components nor which, or how many, components must pass the test before a vehicle is ‘certified.’”
Gonzales’ lawyer, Hallen Rosner of the law firm Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, (also known as the Auto Fraud Legal Center) alerted the courts to the illegality of CarMax’s heavily advertised inspection program. He estimates that there are probably thousands of other California car owners who have been similarly victimized by CarMax’s illegal inspection process. CarMax customers who have been plagued by problems with a car they purchased within the last three years are encouraged to contact the Auto Fraud Legal Center at (800)-466-5366.