One of the country’s largest chains of used cars, CarMax, proudly advertises their “Rigorous 125 Point Quality Inspection” on its used car ads. CarMax says its used cars are “certified.” However, when we bought a 2007 Infiniti G35 from one of their franchised locations, we discovered that the car had a number of issues. It needed new brake pads, had a clicking engine, the windows wouldn’t stay up, and the transmission had a problem.
The 125-point inspection performed at CarMax is much less painful than a traditional appraisal. Each CarMax vehicle is subject to a thorough 125-point inspection by a professional mechanic. This inspection is mandatory for all used cars sold by the company. In addition to being a thorough check on every vehicle, CarMax also offers a five-day money-back guarantee. In New York, the vehicle comes with a 60-day limited warranty and a guarantee of its quality.
The 125-point inspection conducted by CarMax is very different from the traditional dealership inspection. Its 125-point inspection meets the standards of a full-service independent car service center and is comparable to a multi-point inspection conducted at a dealership. However, every service center has a multi-point inspection procedure, starting from the initial greeting at the curb to setting an appointment with the customer. CarMax runs a large number of cars over the curb and claims that every single vehicle gets inspected 125 times.
In fact, consumers have complained about the 125-point inspection by CarMax. Complaints have included power steering line leaks, seepage of engine oil, transmission problems, and a vehicle accident that was not reported to the consumer. Furthermore, there are 700 consumer complaints filed against the company and eleven consumer groups have petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to investigate it. In light of the widespread concerns over the quality of CarMax’s car inspection, CarMax is being forced to do more to protect consumers.