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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Announces Multistate Settlement with CarMax Over the Disclosure of Safety Recalls

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong today announced a $1 million multistate settlement with CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc. and 35 attorneys general that will require CarMax to disclose open, unrepaired recalls related to the safety of its used vehicles. Connecticut will receive a payment of $20,589.46 through the settlement to support consumer protection enforcement.

A multistate investigation found that CarMax advertised that its cars underwent “safety” inspections, but did not ensure safety-related recall services were complete before selling a vehicle. The settlement forces CarMax to provide written disclosures both in writing and on the vehicle itself of any open recalls, and information on how to check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to confirm any recalls. Further, CarMax may not describe its cars as “safe” or not having “safety issues.” CarMax will use the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) vehicle identification number tool to provide this important safety information to consumers. Consumers can also avail themselves of this tool to check for any open recalls on their vehicles.

“Open safety recalls can be a serious safety risk to drivers, passengers, and all others on the road. Today’s settlement with CarMax sends an important industry-wide message that used car dealers must disclose these open safety recalls to consumers before any sale. If you are considering purchasing a used car, I strongly encourage that you consult the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration site to learn of any open recalls. Manufacturers are responsible for these repairs at no cost to consumers,” said Attorney General Tong.

“Consumers have a right to know the full history of any vehicle they’re considering purchasing, including any past recalls,” said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull. “I am pleased this settlement requires consumers receive the full scope of the recall information available about any used vehicle they may consider purchasing.”

This industry-changing settlement establishes that used car dealers should generally disclose open safety recalls to consumers before they buy. CarMax now includes hyperlinks for vehicles advertised online and QR codes for vehicles on the lot that link directly to any open recalls on the vehicle so consumers can access this data as they shop. CarMax will also present the consumer with copies of any open recalls and obtain the consumer’s signature on that standalone disclosure document before presenting any other sales paperwork.

CarMax cooperated fully with the investigation.

To read a copy of the settlement click here.

Assistant Attorneys General Joe Gasser, Rebecca Quinn, and Brendan Flynn, and Deputy Associate Attorney General Mike Wertheimer, head of the Consumer Protection Section, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.

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