Thinking of Buying Your Next Vehicle from CarMax? Your Vehicle May Not Be as Safe You Think
Buying a car is not a positive experience for many people. They may dread being pressured by a used car salesman who will lie to them just to make a sale. That’s why many people in the market for a vehicle visit CarMax. CarMax offers a friendly experience with no haggling. The price you see is what you pay, plus each car is thoroughly examined through the company’s 125-point inspection – or so you think. An investigation showed that two CarMax locations in California were selling 80 vehicles subject to safety recalls – about 10% of the cars available for sale at each location.
These cars had possible air bag failure, worn parts, electrical defects, stalled engines, flood damage and ignition switch failures. In addition, many of the cars had been involved in major accidents that involved structural damage, according to Carfax. Yet when the vehicles were found on AutoCheck, the vehicle history database that CarMax uses, no such information was found. The salespeople claimed that these vehicles had spotless records, even though nothing could have been further from the truth.
With the recent flooding in Texas, these “lemons” will be showing up more frequently at a dealer near you. Processing facilities work with insurance companies to salvage flooded vehicles. They are cleaned up and given a new VIN and clean title and then sold out of state. Unsuspecting buyers have no idea that they are buying a water-damaged car.
Water damage can cause serious issues with a vehicle. As such, it can seriously lower a car’s value or be declared a total loss, so you don’t want to be stuck with a car that not only doesn’t run, but cannot be sold.
Think the car you’ve had your eye on might have flood damage or some other defect? Have it checked by a mechanic first. You should also perform your own inspection of the vehicle before making a purchase. A mildew odor should be the first thing you look for. You should also note any water stains along the interior. Water will cause electrical shorts, so start the engine and look for any warning lights or signs of a stalled engine. Exterior lights should also be free of moisture. It’s a good idea to check under the hood and look for rust or mud, leaves and grass – signs that the car has been in a flood.