• Report: #223373

Complaint Review: CarMax

  • Submitted: Fri, December 01, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, June 25, 2012

  • Reported By:Sacramento California
CarMax
1450 Eureka Road Roseville, California United States of America

CarMax extended warranty proves expensive for consumer to initiate claim, exhausting for repair shop to get authorization for obvious mechanical failures ripoff Roseville California

*Consumer Comment: Satisfied Customer

*Consumer Comment: Carmax Warranty Stinks

*Consumer Comment: maxcare/carmax

*Consumer Comment: Do you...

*Consumer Comment: Get your facts straight

*Consumer Comment: CarMax warranties are a ripoff

*Consumer Comment: You need to read the extended warranty

*Consumer Comment: Warranties that are not actually warranties

*Consumer Comment: The facts of Carmax warranty

*Consumer Comment: The facts of Carmax warranty

*Consumer Comment: The facts of Carmax warranty

*Consumer Comment: The facts of Carmax warranty

*Consumer Comment: Sounds Familiar

*Consumer Comment: "CarMax sells the warranty, but we are not the warranty company."

*UPDATE Employee: CarMax is NOT the warranty company!!

*Consumer Comment: Good Job

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As a mechanic certified by ASE in advanced engine performance,I am qualified to diagnose engine failures, or problems. I am currently working with a consumer that has major engine damage due to the failure of portions of the cooling system and related gaskets.

The consumer purchased from CarMax an extended warranty that is still in effect,as CarMax warranty people agree. After a week, and several conversations, they refuse to authorize any repair, even though initial diagnostics have pinpointed the problem. (Blown head gaskets)

CarMax required that the upper engine be torn down at the customers expense. Once this was done, they were called as requested, so they could send in their expert to verify the diagnosis.

When CarMax was called, a different agent said they would not be sending out an expert, as he couldn't determine cause of damage. Now they want us to send the heads to a machine shop, which was our original diagnosis.

The major problem is that after numerous phone calls to CarMax, the financial responsibilty for this expensive work is being placed upon the consumer, a single mother with two small children. The heads are now at the machine shop and CarMax is still not accepting financial resposibility.

This is a simple, straightforward diagnosis of a blown head gasket that CarMax has now turned into lengthy process, and all the while, still not accepting the resposibility. This is all covered by the extended warranty that the consumer purchased in good faith.

At this point, CarMax is telling her that they aren't sure if she is covered, which she clearly is. Further telling her that they have to determine whether this was caused by abuse or neglect. CarMax cannot determine this, only increasing her anxiety as to whether they will ever pay for this.

The long and short of this, it is clear that CarMax is trying to wear this woman down so that she will get tired and go away. One requirement after another, all the while clearly accepting no responsibility.

Peter Sacramento, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/01/2006 10:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CarMax/Roseville-California-95661/CarMax-extended-warranty-proves-expensive-for-consumer-to-initiate-claim-exhausting-for-r-223373. 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

Satisfied Customer

AUTHOR: austinapril - (United States of America)

I have yet to have an issue with the Carmax MaxCare warranty or service policy.  I've taken my car back to CarMax for the necessary service (I drive a Mini Cooper, and many shops will not service them due to the fact that they require so many "special" items), and even the latch for the glove box were covered, with no fuss.

The only problem I have is CarMax doesn't have a "loaner car" program, so if there's a delay for waiting for parts then I have to rent a car, which is subsidized through MaxCare.  I haven't had to pay for any diagnostic work, the only out of pocket expense to me has been the routine service (oil changes and the like) and the deductible.

The only time my car has been sent out of their shop and to a specialty/third party shop, which was covered by CarMax, was for one repair of a fan motor very early on in my ownership of the car.

Again, I want to reiterate, I have never had an issue with CarMax's warranty.  I may be the exception to the rule, but I'm happy to remain that exception.  I highly recommend taking the car back to CarMax and dealing directly with their service department.  They have always been extremely helpful and customer service oriented.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Carmax Warranty Stinks

AUTHOR: Ashley - (USA)

Here is the big whopper that Carmax never tells anyone about their extended warranties.  If you get tired of all the problems of trying to get car repairs via one of Carmax's extended warranties and try to cancel it for a refund you are in for even more problems.  There is a ripoff $150 "administrative fee" charged the consumer when you go to cancel one of Carmax's ripoff extened warranties. 

Moreover, it will take months before you ever get the small refund due you, after you cancel one of Carmax's ripoff extended warranties. 

Bottom line, if you must buy from Carmax, never ever purchase one of their extended warranties.  They are a ripoff!
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#3 Consumer Comment

maxcare/carmax

AUTHOR: kat - (United States of America)

I'm not sure if I agree with that comment.  I am having terrible issues with Maxcare authorizing a simular claim.  They are stalling every way they can. After telling us a decision would be made yesterday afternoon, we called again last night to see what was the status since we had not heard.  They told us we needed to provide the towing receipt to have this considered. We have been dealing with Maxcare and it's horrible customer service for 2 1/2 weeks now!  They just decided to ask for the towing receipt?  We have jumped hurdles for this company and still no go.  They told us to fax the copy of the towing receipt to CARMAX.  When asked why, the response was CARMAX is the parent company or MAXCARE.  SO I don't believe that they are 2 separate entities as previously claimed.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Do you...

AUTHOR: Been there done that - (U.S.A.)

 ...Really think that the carmax crew would be any better help? using your logic she is no better off having it brought to an independent, even though thats not stated anywhere in the post, since as you claim anyone can "pass the test" with their eyes closed. The carmax techs could find their butt with a roadmap, GPS and written directions.

Its all about risk mitigation they (the warranty company) will always find some excuse not to pay on large claims so they can maintain the value built into the cost of the warranty. Unless your buying a "branded warranty" one underwritten by the manufacturer of the car you bought its a crap shoot if you'll be covered. Just my personal experience.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Get your facts straight

AUTHOR: TankBuster - (USA)

The extended warranty that carmax offers is covered through an aftermarket warranty company. Even if carmax works on a customer car with the extended warranty, someone from the warranty company has to come out and verify the repairs before carmax can fix it.

Going through a second hand shop like yours only lengthens the process. It's not carmax's fault, it's the fault of the warranty company. Had the customer simply brought the vehicle back to carmax to be repaired, she would have avoided most of the problems of getting the car fixed.

Oh, and I am L1 certified also and the test can be taken with your eyes closed so it doesn't make anyone an expert just because ASE says so.
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#6 Consumer Comment

CarMax warranties are a ripoff

AUTHOR: TimG - (Virgin Islands (US))

I also was pressured into buying one these lousy warranties by the CarMax in Midlothian VA. Just prior to its expiration, my transmission failed. The 3rd party warranty company sent an inspector, but I kept impeccable service records, and they had no choice but to honor the claim. Against the recommendations of my mechanic, who advised using GM parts, they sent the cheapest replacement junk they could find. Lo and behold, the transmission died again two months later. In the meanwhile, my agreement had expired. They agreed to fix the tranny again (and again, refused the shop's request to use GM parts), but are refusing to pay towing and rental car fees. True, the agreement has expired, but the second breakdown is inextricably linked to the first, and was the direct result of the warranty co's decision to send cheap, inferior parts. They should pay for the tow and the rental fees as well. I have been e-mailing the company repeatedly, and have spoken to the Ops Mgr at the CarMax where I purchased the vehicle. To his credit, he has been on the phone with someone higher than a CSR at the warranty company. I am not going to hold my breath, but I am not giving this up with out a fight! I am going to make as big a stink as I can. I may not get reimbursed, but I'll do everything I can to see that other folks steer clear of CarMax AND the ripoff warranties that they push on consumers.

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#7 Consumer Comment

You need to read the extended warranty

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

I am sorry to say you have not been ripped off at all. I also have a Carmax extended warranty and I can say that it is very clearly documented that they will use used parts when they decide to. They only state the car will be in working order not that it will get new parts. What is disturbing is based on the first and second incident it should have been obvious to them the head gasket was blown. If they would have pressure tested the engine they would have seen this right away. Anytime a cooling system is losing coolant this test should be done because cars should not consume coolant. I am considering cancelling my extended warranty with them because after reading all of the fine print I am not convinced this warranty is very good. They actually also state that all diagnostic costs are to be covered by the customer. So at the end of the day they will pay for a used part and labor to put it in until it fails again then you pay a deductible and diagnostic costs while your car sits and waits for another used part.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Warranties that are not actually warranties

AUTHOR: Jimbo Esq - (U.S.A.)

I happened to be shopping at Carmax.com in Costa Mesa, CA just last night, and the carmax agent showed me the "extended warranty" plan. At no point during our conversation, did the agent mention that this plan was not actually serviced directly by Carmax.

I would just like any Carmax managers who are reviewing this site to know that I have $15,000 cash-in-hand to buy a car, that I was intending to purchase a car at Carmax, and that after reviewing this story and another horror story on this site about a consumer's experience with Carmax in Irvine, I will be taking my business elsewhere.
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#9 Consumer Comment

The facts of Carmax warranty

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

Carmax warranty is admininstered by Virgina Surety, a division of Ryan Warranty, which is in turn a division of AON Insurance (owned by Pat Ryan, Ryan in Ryan Warranty). Administered is the key phrase. Many extended warranties are sold by dealerships who derive a commission for selling them. Not so with Carmax. The funds go to Carmax and Ryan is paid a fee to administer the warranty. The more money they save Carmax the bigger the fee, so both parties have a vested interest in denying claims. Did anyone see the movie or read the book "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham. Deny, deny, deny. That is how they make money.

Additionally, Ryan has the reputation of being the most difficult of all warranty companies to work with. Their claims adjusters are rude and force the shops to jump through all sorts of hoops when calling in a claim.

In the above case, what they will base their decision on is the condition of the heads. If the heads are warped the the vehicle was driven in an overheated state which constitutes abuse (according to them). Anyone with an iota of automotive knowledge is aware that driving a short distance with a bad head gasket will warp an aluminum head. It does not matter to them. They will still call it abuse.

The owner does have one recourse if the shop denies the claim. She can appeal the decision to Vice President of Operations, or better yet, Thomas J. Folliard, their new CEO. They both have the authority to over rule a Ryan denied claim. It would probably be worth the $200 or so to have an attorney draft the letter and send it to Richmond.

A word about extended warranties in general. What you are buying is not an extended warranty. If it was, there would be no question of covering the claim regardless of abuse. That is why I always buy one for laptops. Even if I drop it, it is still covered. With a car/truck, what you are buying is a Vehicle Service Contract. A VSC is something very different from a warranty.

A VSC is very specific in its terms and conditions. If your transmission goes out and you cannot document a fluid change? Denied. Your head gasket fails and you cannot document your coolant was changed according to the mfg.'s service schedule? Denied. Your engine develops a rod knock and you cannot document regular oil changes? Denied.

When purchasing a VSC it is very important to read what is NOT covered (called Exclusions) in addition to what is covered. Often the very things that you have to worry about on older cars (seals, gaskets, & electronics) are not covered or available for a surcharge.

I have been an Operations Manager for Carmax, a claims manager for an automotive warranty company, and currently have my own 12 bay shop. And I don't honor Carmax warranties.
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#10 Consumer Comment

The facts of Carmax warranty

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

Carmax warranty is admininstered by Virgina Surety, a division of Ryan Warranty, which is in turn a division of AON Insurance (owned by Pat Ryan, Ryan in Ryan Warranty). Administered is the key phrase. Many extended warranties are sold by dealerships who derive a commission for selling them. Not so with Carmax. The funds go to Carmax and Ryan is paid a fee to administer the warranty. The more money they save Carmax the bigger the fee, so both parties have a vested interest in denying claims. Did anyone see the movie or read the book "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham. Deny, deny, deny. That is how they make money.

Additionally, Ryan has the reputation of being the most difficult of all warranty companies to work with. Their claims adjusters are rude and force the shops to jump through all sorts of hoops when calling in a claim.

In the above case, what they will base their decision on is the condition of the heads. If the heads are warped the the vehicle was driven in an overheated state which constitutes abuse (according to them). Anyone with an iota of automotive knowledge is aware that driving a short distance with a bad head gasket will warp an aluminum head. It does not matter to them. They will still call it abuse.

The owner does have one recourse if the shop denies the claim. She can appeal the decision to Vice President of Operations, or better yet, Thomas J. Folliard, their new CEO. They both have the authority to over rule a Ryan denied claim. It would probably be worth the $200 or so to have an attorney draft the letter and send it to Richmond.

A word about extended warranties in general. What you are buying is not an extended warranty. If it was, there would be no question of covering the claim regardless of abuse. That is why I always buy one for laptops. Even if I drop it, it is still covered. With a car/truck, what you are buying is a Vehicle Service Contract. A VSC is something very different from a warranty.

A VSC is very specific in its terms and conditions. If your transmission goes out and you cannot document a fluid change? Denied. Your head gasket fails and you cannot document your coolant was changed according to the mfg.'s service schedule? Denied. Your engine develops a rod knock and you cannot document regular oil changes? Denied.

When purchasing a VSC it is very important to read what is NOT covered (called Exclusions) in addition to what is covered. Often the very things that you have to worry about on older cars (seals, gaskets, & electronics) are not covered or available for a surcharge.

I have been an Operations Manager for Carmax, a claims manager for an automotive warranty company, and currently have my own 12 bay shop. And I don't honor Carmax warranties.
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#11 Consumer Comment

The facts of Carmax warranty

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

Carmax warranty is admininstered by Virgina Surety, a division of Ryan Warranty, which is in turn a division of AON Insurance (owned by Pat Ryan, Ryan in Ryan Warranty). Administered is the key phrase. Many extended warranties are sold by dealerships who derive a commission for selling them. Not so with Carmax. The funds go to Carmax and Ryan is paid a fee to administer the warranty. The more money they save Carmax the bigger the fee, so both parties have a vested interest in denying claims. Did anyone see the movie or read the book "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham. Deny, deny, deny. That is how they make money.

Additionally, Ryan has the reputation of being the most difficult of all warranty companies to work with. Their claims adjusters are rude and force the shops to jump through all sorts of hoops when calling in a claim.

In the above case, what they will base their decision on is the condition of the heads. If the heads are warped the the vehicle was driven in an overheated state which constitutes abuse (according to them). Anyone with an iota of automotive knowledge is aware that driving a short distance with a bad head gasket will warp an aluminum head. It does not matter to them. They will still call it abuse.

The owner does have one recourse if the shop denies the claim. She can appeal the decision to Vice President of Operations, or better yet, Thomas J. Folliard, their new CEO. They both have the authority to over rule a Ryan denied claim. It would probably be worth the $200 or so to have an attorney draft the letter and send it to Richmond.

A word about extended warranties in general. What you are buying is not an extended warranty. If it was, there would be no question of covering the claim regardless of abuse. That is why I always buy one for laptops. Even if I drop it, it is still covered. With a car/truck, what you are buying is a Vehicle Service Contract. A VSC is something very different from a warranty.

A VSC is very specific in its terms and conditions. If your transmission goes out and you cannot document a fluid change? Denied. Your head gasket fails and you cannot document your coolant was changed according to the mfg.'s service schedule? Denied. Your engine develops a rod knock and you cannot document regular oil changes? Denied.

When purchasing a VSC it is very important to read what is NOT covered (called Exclusions) in addition to what is covered. Often the very things that you have to worry about on older cars (seals, gaskets, & electronics) are not covered or available for a surcharge.

I have been an Operations Manager for Carmax, a claims manager for an automotive warranty company, and currently have my own 12 bay shop. And I don't honor Carmax warranties.
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#12 Consumer Comment

The facts of Carmax warranty

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

Carmax warranty is admininstered by Virgina Surety, a division of Ryan Warranty, which is in turn a division of AON Insurance (owned by Pat Ryan, Ryan in Ryan Warranty). Administered is the key phrase. Many extended warranties are sold by dealerships who derive a commission for selling them. Not so with Carmax. The funds go to Carmax and Ryan is paid a fee to administer the warranty. The more money they save Carmax the bigger the fee, so both parties have a vested interest in denying claims. Did anyone see the movie or read the book "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham. Deny, deny, deny. That is how they make money.

Additionally, Ryan has the reputation of being the most difficult of all warranty companies to work with. Their claims adjusters are rude and force the shops to jump through all sorts of hoops when calling in a claim.

In the above case, what they will base their decision on is the condition of the heads. If the heads are warped the the vehicle was driven in an overheated state which constitutes abuse (according to them). Anyone with an iota of automotive knowledge is aware that driving a short distance with a bad head gasket will warp an aluminum head. It does not matter to them. They will still call it abuse.

The owner does have one recourse if the shop denies the claim. She can appeal the decision to Vice President of Operations, or better yet, Thomas J. Folliard, their new CEO. They both have the authority to over rule a Ryan denied claim. It would probably be worth the $200 or so to have an attorney draft the letter and send it to Richmond.

A word about extended warranties in general. What you are buying is not an extended warranty. If it was, there would be no question of covering the claim regardless of abuse. That is why I always buy one for laptops. Even if I drop it, it is still covered. With a car/truck, what you are buying is a Vehicle Service Contract. A VSC is something very different from a warranty.

A VSC is very specific in its terms and conditions. If your transmission goes out and you cannot document a fluid change? Denied. Your head gasket fails and you cannot document your coolant was changed according to the mfg.'s service schedule? Denied. Your engine develops a rod knock and you cannot document regular oil changes? Denied.

When purchasing a VSC it is very important to read what is NOT covered (called Exclusions) in addition to what is covered. Often the very things that you have to worry about on older cars (seals, gaskets, & electronics) are not covered or available for a surcharge.

I have been an Operations Manager for Carmax, a claims manager for an automotive warranty company, and currently have my own 12 bay shop. And I don't honor Carmax warranties.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Sounds Familiar

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

This is not the first I heard of the same issue. I have also experienced the same behavior at Carmax. So the employee states "this is NOT a Carmax warranty". Well what is a consumer to believe when its called "MaxCare" and there is a picture of a mechanic with a CarMax jersey on the front of the ID card? If Carmax doesnt sponsor it they shouldnt present it in a manner in which they do.

I experienced the same frustration on a car where there was knocking in the engine, I was told spend the money have the car torn down and a rep will be out. I decided not to trust them and said no, decided to live with it for now if I keep the car. Then I read another report where the owner did tear the motor down and was told it appears to be neglect and they refused to pay. I understand they are trying to limit their expense but once again it was determined by a trusted mechanic that it should be covered as it was preexisitng condition since the owner had it less than a month...WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY YOU BUY A WARRANTY.

So if Carmax is not going to stand behind the product they sell then they shouldnt provide them, its that simple. The 125 point inspection is just that an "inspection" which implies a visual inspection. These guy are mechanics but may not be experienced in the car they are "inspecting" so keep that in mind. When they say they spend 2 hours thats possible but unlikely given the volume of some of the stores the pressure is on to minimize downtime and deliver to inventory as quick as possible. Thats standard with any dealer.

I read a bunch of the stories here and while I dont approve of Carmax tactics their business model is buy cheap, fix cheap and sell high...not hard to understand but with buying anything especially a used car the phrase is never more true...caveat emptor
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#14 Consumer Comment

"CarMax sells the warranty, but we are not the warranty company."

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

In other words, you flim-flam naive customers that don't know they should bring a lawyer along when they deal with you. You aren't happy just selling them the worn-out junkers you offer, you want to wring every last dime out of them and then play word games when their POS is on the side of the highway, a smoking wreck.

Right now I have a vehicle in my shop, a car very recently bought from you and the rear-end is already howling. It has a decal on the back that says CarMax on it. When we drained the rear, water poured out so I guess this gem spent some time under water, perhaps New Orleans?
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#15 UPDATE Employee

CarMax is NOT the warranty company!!

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

CarMax sells the warranty, but we are not the warranty company. The warranty Companies are national warranty companies sold by several dealers across the United States, and Canada. CarMax sells three different auto warranties depending on whick region of the US you live. When service facilities call in for authorization of repairs, they are not calling CarMax. They are calling the warranty company. So if they are not happy with the warranty company please address them and not CarMax. Thanks.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Good Job

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

The woman has one major thing going for her - a good mechanic who cares! This is likely to make all the difference. Good job, Peter.
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