Attorney General Ellison settles with CarMax over disclosure of safety recalls


December 2, 2022

December 1, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced a $1 million multistate settlement between CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., and a bipartisan coalition of 36 Attorneys General that will require CarMax to disclose to consumers open — that is, unrepaired — recalls related to the safety of its used vehicles before consumers buy them.

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. Additionally, CarMax agrees to not represent vehicles as “safe.”

CarMax will continue to 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.

“It’s tough to afford your life if businesses aren’t up front with you about the condition of the products you’re buying from them — and that’s especially true when you’re considering a big purchase like a car,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Car dealers in Minnesota should be honest with Minnesotans about the safety and reliability of the cars they sell. But CarMax advertised its used cars as ‘safe’ while failing to disclose that the vehicles had open recalls for safety issues. I’m pleased CarMax agreed to make unprecedented changes to its sales practices to ensure that consumers are made aware of open recalls before making a purchase. This settlement will empower Minnesotans to make educated decisions about their vehicle so they can keep themselves and their families as safe as possible.”

Minnesota will receive approximately $20,000 from the settlement. CarMax cooperated fully with the investigation.

Attorney General Ellison urges Minnesota consumers who wish to report concerns about car dealerships to submit a complaint online or call the Attorney General’s Office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro area), (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or (800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay).

Joining Attorney General Ellison in the settlement are the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


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