• Report: #434239

Complaint Review: Carmax Auto Superstores Inc.

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  • Submitted: Sat, March 14, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, December 28, 2009

  • Reported By:Baltimore Maryland
Carmax Auto Superstores Inc.
10201 Philadelphia Rd. White Marsh, Maryland U.S.A.

Carmax Auto Superstores Inc. sells customer used VW Passat that cost thousands to repair in just 16 months of ownership!! White Marsh Maryland

*Consumer Comment: Great to see justice!!! :-)

*Consumer Suggestion: Civil Suit against 1999 VW Passats--we did & got our $4,000 back

*Consumer Suggestion: Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

*Consumer Suggestion: Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

*Consumer Suggestion: Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

*Consumer Comment: It seems like you're barking up the wrong tree.

*Author of original report: Consumer takes CARMAX to Court

*Consumer Comment: Well..

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On May 29, 2006, I purchased a 1999 Volkswagen Passat from CarMax for $13, 011.85. The exterior of the car appeared in excellent condition and the interior was appealing as well. The mileage on the vehicle at the time of purchase was 85, 221. I was concerned with the mileage being so high, but the salesman assured me Carmax thoroughly checked this vehicle before placing it on the lot for sale. He suggested I purchase the extended warranty and I did for $1,169.00.

What I wasn't prepared for, was the insurmountable repairs and return visits for service that began on July 21, 2006, just 2 months after purchasing the car. There were a dozen subsequent visits within a year and a half totaling over $5,000.00 in repairs that were not covered under the warranty. Today, there are still repairs pending on this vehicle with an approximate cost of over $3,000.00 and it cannot pass emmissions testing. Essentially, this vehicle was never reliable or dependable and never served its purpose. Soon, it will be of no use to us because the granted extension on the emissions service will run out in May, 2009.

I have been widowed for 11 years and have raised 4 sons on teachers salary. This car was intended to get my sons back and forth to sporting practices and games, school events, their part-time jobs, and college. I still owe approximately $7,000.00 on this car and basically, the car is only worth $3,500.00.

I met with the manager of the Carmax Service Department on March 21, 2008. We went through the file I accumulated; discussing the date of service for each item, the mileage at the time of service, the necessary repairs, the expense of the service, and the pending repairs. He mentioned, "Carmax would give me an estimate to buy the car, but indicated since it was over 100,000 miles, it wouldn't be much and certainly wouldn't be enough to pay off the balance owed." He stated also, "he did not think Carmax would buy me out from under this car."

I told him I saw negative feedback on the internet about Carmax and I would do the same. He didn't seem concerned. I told him I got the Carmax Corporate Headquarters information off the internet and was going to contact them next. He said, "they will only tell you to talk to the service center where you purchased the car." He said, "he would discuss my concerns with the other service manager and get back to me." I never heard from him.

One week later, I filed a complaint against Carmax with the State of Maryland, Office of The Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.

Unfortunately, they were not able to help because the vehicle was over five years old when purchased and over 60,000 miles. However, they did contact Carmax's Legal Department, who felt they met their obligation to me under the Limited Warranty and declined any relief related to the vehicle.

I filed a small claims lawsuit against Carmax in the District Court of Maryland. Judgement was granted in favor of Carmax on October 24, 2008. The judge said, "I failed to provide an expert witness to claim the repairs rendered to the vehicle were most likely there at the time of purchase." I have appealed this judges decision.

My advise to anyone who has read my story, is to avoid purchasing a used vehicle from Carmax. They spend millions in advertising. How could they not offer assistance to a widowed mom and teacher; a mother, raising 4 children on her own on a single salary? I will NEVER patronize CARMAX.

Elaine
Baltimore, Maryland
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/14/2009 01:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Carmax-Auto-Superstores-Inc/White-Marsh-Maryland-21162/Carmax-Auto-Superstores-Inc-sells-customer-used-VW-Passat-that-cost-thousands-to-repair-i-434239. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Great to see justice!!! :-)

AUTHOR: Jax143 - (United States of America)

Yeah, good for you!!!!  Carmax is the worst compeny I have ever dealt with in my forty years!  I managed an Engineering Ctr for the largest financial institution in the US, if I ever treated people there the way I was treated by Carmax the Bank would have tossed me out in an instant.  I experienced a very "clone like" respose from every employee, the corporate office was very "clone like" as well, there is rigorous training behind this I am sure.  My details are long and sordid like yours.  I was offered the 8500.00 to pay off my loan if I would buy another car from them.  Right now I am just deciding.  I am pretty sure my story is being picked up this week by the local media...and I do have proof that Carmax had the same issues with the car prior to the car (three weeks prior) being sold to me, the Carmax lady accidentally faxed it to me, hilarious but you know what??  I am a child of God and God is good...all the time God is good!!  I am so excited for you though, congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Civil Suit against 1999 VW Passats--we did & got our $4,000 back

AUTHOR: Txsparkle - (U.S.A.)

We purchased a used 1999 VW Passat (which I loved & have since bought another) and around 80,000 miles the timing belt broke and (in layman's term) screwed everything up. We got a letter in the mail about 9 months ago making us aware of a civil suit against this particular year and model. We had to prove that we paid for repairs which was around $4,000.

The civil suit was "won" and our claim was verified and approved and we are waiting for "the check in the the mail"........now, we did not get the full about we paid for repairs becuase they (VW) said it some repairs were not related to the timing belt issue--but we are getting right at $3,000 back.....that was good for me.

Hopefully you can look into this if this was one of your problems....although it might be too late, due to time to file the claim--not sure. I LOVE Passats--you just HAVE TO FOLLOW scheduled maintenance, which is very expensive (however, now they are offering it for FREE during this economy).
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

AUTHOR: Tbone - (U.S.A.)

I certainly feel for you but you should not waste your resources on this car or fighting Carmax on this case because you will lose anyway. Regardless of who you buy a used car from it is always a risk, this is why used cars are much cheaper than new cars. There is no way to predict if a car will give you many years of good service or nothing but headaches. When you buy a used car it is important to know when to get out. When the repair bills start to pile up get out. I would suggest if you want to buy a high mileage car look towards Honda or Toyota. Those cars are more likely to be reliable in the second half of their life. You should move on from this car, take what you can get and find something that is more likely to be reliable. I really don't think Carmax has done anything wrong here. Their warranty is not great but it is all there in writing so it is a case where the consumer needs to be aware of what is and is not covered with this warranty.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

AUTHOR: Tbone - (U.S.A.)

I certainly feel for you but you should not waste your resources on this car or fighting Carmax on this case because you will lose anyway. Regardless of who you buy a used car from it is always a risk, this is why used cars are much cheaper than new cars. There is no way to predict if a car will give you many years of good service or nothing but headaches. When you buy a used car it is important to know when to get out. When the repair bills start to pile up get out. I would suggest if you want to buy a high mileage car look towards Honda or Toyota. Those cars are more likely to be reliable in the second half of their life. You should move on from this car, take what you can get and find something that is more likely to be reliable. I really don't think Carmax has done anything wrong here. Their warranty is not great but it is all there in writing so it is a case where the consumer needs to be aware of what is and is not covered with this warranty.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Buying a used car with 80,000 plus miles is a crap shoot

AUTHOR: Tbone - (U.S.A.)

I certainly feel for you but you should not waste your resources on this car or fighting Carmax on this case because you will lose anyway. Regardless of who you buy a used car from it is always a risk, this is why used cars are much cheaper than new cars. There is no way to predict if a car will give you many years of good service or nothing but headaches. When you buy a used car it is important to know when to get out. When the repair bills start to pile up get out. I would suggest if you want to buy a high mileage car look towards Honda or Toyota. Those cars are more likely to be reliable in the second half of their life. You should move on from this car, take what you can get and find something that is more likely to be reliable. I really don't think Carmax has done anything wrong here. Their warranty is not great but it is all there in writing so it is a case where the consumer needs to be aware of what is and is not covered with this warranty.
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#6 Consumer Comment

It seems like you're barking up the wrong tree.

AUTHOR: Booninator - (U.S.A.)

There is no way for a VW Mechanic to tell you if the repairs were necessary at the time of purchase or not unless you have a time machine.

The last poster was absolutely correct and took the words out of my mouth when he put it simply that the age and miles of the car mean that there is a good chance of you not getting the dream car you expect to last forever. Instead of going for the trendy VW, all mile'd up and old. You should have gotten a brand new base model car on the cheap end of the spectrum. Hyundai's have a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty!! Then you know you have a new car, no previous owners. And if something breaks down in 2 months you have a great deal more support.

Carmax does a broad range of checks on every car but because of the complicated nature of cars there truly is no way to predict everything that is currently and might be wrong with it one day. The only thing they can do is exactily what consumers should do when shopping for a car. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly and test drive it. And this, is why you are getting a used car at a price less than a new one, it isn't because of the body style, it is because of the risk involved with buying a car that had more wear and tear on it than a brand spanking new one.

I'm sorry for your current situation having lost your husband. But I hope you don't win this case. This will only add fuel to the fire of people filing pointless and idiotic lawsuits. This is clogging up our legal system, and makes it hard for companies like Carmax who cares about their customers to conduct business.

I guess you were really surprised that when you went to a manager 2 years after you bought the car to complain that he wasn't going to give you the total amount you owed on the car. I wouldn't be surprised because this would be a terrible business decision on his part. If he did this for everyone they would be out of business. And then no one would have Carmax to buy cars from, because there would be no Carmax.

Next time, try going to one of these thrown together car dealerships on the side of route 1. You know, the ones with 10 cars out front which may or may not have working A/C and most definitely hasn't had a thorough quality check. You will buy it, pull out of the parking lot and the chewing gum holding it together will fall apart. See if they buy it back... I don't think so.

Be thankful that the manager was willing to sit with you and make an offer to help you out at all. Whether it bought you out from under the car completely or not.
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#7 Author of original report

Consumer takes CARMAX to Court

AUTHOR: Elaine - (U.S.A.)

I took this case to the District Court in Baltimore County, Maryland. The judge said I lost my case because I did not provide an expert witness to say, "The repairs necessary to my car were probably necessary at the time of purchase and I was not advised of them." I decided to take CARMAX to Circuit Court in Baltimore County, Maryland. I am presently looking for a Volkswagen mechanic to act on my behalf as an expert witness and/or a lawyer willing to represent me. Please email me at the following address if interested: (((Redacted)))


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Well..

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Without trying to find the Blue Book Value from 2 years ago, and any additional items you purchased such as the Extended warranty it is impossible to say if they overcharged for the car or not. However, based on the current value of around 8K-9K, two years ago the price you paid does not appear to be out of a normal range. Especially if that included everything, such as Taxes, and any options such as the Extended Warranty.

Now, with that said you bought an 7 year old car with 85K miles on it. If you financed it for 5 years it would be 12 years old(and probably way over 100K) by the time it was paid off. The reason you lost your case(and will also probably loose your appeal), is because it did have high mileage, and worked for 2 months without repairs. Had it falled apart 1 or even 2 weeks after you bought it, your case would have been stronger. But in 2 months for a car with that mileage the dealer could make a very legitimate arugment that the part wore out after they sold it.

You should however look over the Extended Contract with a Fine Tooth Comb. Some EC companies are (in)famous for finding any little reason to not cover a repair. Get all of your paperwork together along with the mechanic who repaired your car. See if they can claim that it should have been covered. Just be aware that you have a limited amount of time and may only be able to go back the last couple of years of repairs(2007).

While it's too late now, perhaps you could use this advise for your next purchase. You could have gotten(actually still can get) a NEW(or 1-2 old) car for around that same price that would have met your needs. Yes it would be a "base" model without a lot of options. But it would include one big thing a new factory warranty, or if it was used what is remaining on it. I don't know if this was your case, but if finances are limited(and who's is not), you have to make a distinction between NEED and WANT. Such as do you NEED a premium sound system, or do you NEED leather seats?
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