On Monday on ABC2's "In Focus," we told you about the estimated 60,000 cars for sale in Maryland with unfixed recalls.
Now 11 consumer groups, led by the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) , are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate CarMax , the nation's largest used-car retailer, over the issue of unfixed recalls.
In their petition to the FTC, the groups write that CarMax advertises a "rigorous, 125+ point inspection" of all of its used cars prior to selling them, but that that doesn't include checking and fixing safety recalls.
In a news release, CARS president Rosemary Shahan said,"CarMax is playing recalled used car roulette with its customers' lives."
By law, dealers and private sellers of pre-owned cars aren't required to disclose or repair an unfixed recall on a vehicle they're selling.
In response to the petition, CarMax spokeswoman Catherine Gryp e-mailed ABC2 this statement:
"CarMax was built on the idea that there should be a better way to buy a used car. The company was founded on the principles of integrity and transparency. That is why we encourage customers to register their vehicle with the manufacturer as soon as they make a purchase. When they register their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), they can get the most up-to-date information on open and future recalls, as well as other important information, directly from the manufacturer.
Unfortunately, the current recall system is based on the manufacturer’s relationship with its dealers and vehicle owners and does not take used auto retailers into account. The current system requires manufacturers to direct recall communications to the vehicle owner of record, not used auto retailers like CarMax. New car manufacturers do not give used auto retailers, including CarMax, the authority to complete recall repairs and close out the repairs. CarMax operates within the limitations of this system, encouraging our customers to register their vehicle with the manufacturer. Because there is no national individualized recall database and notices are only sent to registered owners, the customer is in the best position under the current system to learn about recalls and get the vehicle repaired.
CarMax would like the opportunity to fix recalls ourselves, and has long-supported federal legislation that would allow for this. The legislation should require manufacturers give used auto retailers all recall information, the same diagnostic and repair information, and the tools and parts that manufacturers make available to their franchise dealers.
CarMax also actively anticipates the release of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) VIN database, which will provide a means for consumers to be better informed on all recalls. "
ABC2News reached out to the FTC to get a response to the petition. Spokesman Peter Kaplan would only confirm that the agency has received it.