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What car dealers didn’t say about their inspections

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If you’re doing business with a car dealer that advertises 100-plus-point inspections for its used cars, you’d expect the dealer to make it clear if some of those cars had open recalls for safety defects, right?

Dealers should make it clear. But in the case of CarMax, West-Herr Automotive Group, and Asbury Automotive Group, they didn’t, the FTC alleges in complaints announced today. The FTC settled similar allegations against GM and two other dealers earlier this year.

Used car dealers aren’t required to — and sometimes can’t or don’t — fix manufacturer recalls on the cars they sell. But if they make claims touting their inspections, they need to clearly let people know about the possibility of recalls, so people can get them fixed or decide to buy another car. Under the settlements, the companies must stop making misleading claims about their recall-repair practices, and must notify recent customers who may have bought a used car subject to a recall.

Anytime you shop for a used car, make sure you check up on recalls:

  • Ask questions. Ask the dealer if the car you’re considering has a recall, and whether the dealer can and will fix it before you take the car home.
  • Check for yourself. Take down the VIN number of a car, and enter it at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall look-up website, You also can get information to help you follow up with a manufacturer or dealer about a recall.       
  • Check out the vehicle history report. The report will tell you about a car’s title, odometer, theft, or salvage history, and might also provide recall information. Ask the dealer — they’ll often provide a vehicle history report for free. For links to companies that sell the reports, go to
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


You have to research when you buy a used car as pointed out in article. What that "100 point" inspection covers is to insure car wil be in driveable condition to get off lot. It is buyer's responsibility to really know condition of car.

Good thinking go get them

I need more information.

Excellent and very helpful to get car history and past repairs. Also is good to check
your car past history for actual repairs trouble shooting and expensive repairs, if
you have the problem issue link to past problems and past auto repair.

This is a shocker for us car buyers and those selling cars even on the common site of E BAY MOTORS.

On 06/19/14, I purchased a 2013 model car at RICK CASE dealership, Lauderhill, Florida. Odometer showed 7413 miles. Supposedly certified and with 10 yrs warrantee, etc.
I drive some 7000 miles/yr so vehicle stays in driveway most of the time. VERY seldom do I take it our on the highway. At about 7715 or so miles of slow, street driving, I take it on the highway and notice a LOUD racket, a banging noise. I take it in the dealer. Dealer says they found "a couple of loose bolts" which they tightened and that was it. They returned the vehicle to me. About a week later,[around 7850 miles] I take it again on the road. It took about 15 miles or so of 70+ m/h driving for the racket to show itself again. I take it once more to the dealer. This time I pointed our that I had noticed something unusual with the alignment of the rear,left shock absorber. Upon inspection the dealer tells me the car has been in a serious accident of some sort as the undercarriage is all banged up, the shock absorber is misaligned, the brake line is hanging precariously close to the tire, etc and that I MUST HAVE CAUSED THIS PROBLEM. [Their audacity is amazing!], As a result, I have to assume all costs!. They clearly want to take advantage of me, the customer. Sales manager says that I "should have inspected" the car before I bought it..Again, the gall of this man! I saw no proof that the car had been "thoroughly inspected" as he claims. I swear under penalty of perjury that this car was like that when I bought it. I contend that the dealer had full knowledge of this and willingly and wantonly sold it to me in the hope that I do not notice it. Finally, when I told the service manager the danger involved in driving this car, his solution was to "keep it in the garage" until I'm able to pay for the fix...AGAIN, the gall of these guys!.
Bottom line: I was robbed and insulted by this team.

Paying a trusted mechanic a reasonable fee to check out a vehicle you intend to buy could be a good investment. Hindsight is 20-20.

I only purchase new cars and drive them for 12 to 15 years. I take it in for the oil change and other inspections as suggested and have never replaced anything on any car except one battery, tires, one pr of windshield wipers and one belt since my first new car in 1973.

Always when purchasing a used car get a inspection done. You wouldn't buy a home without a inspection? Your car is second biggest investment. Rule of thumb always take it to a trusted shop and have a buyers inspection done!!!!! Even if it has 500 miles on it. Car could of been in a accident and they traded it back in. In there eyes since the accident "it's not new anymore" I have been around dealership's 15 plus years. Seen and heard it all.

Any consumer information available to Ford owners battling with their faulty transmission/clutch problem.

I purchased a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 from Carmax in April 2015 unbeknownst to me that both Airbag safety recalls were open! And now Im still having the issue since Chrysler does not have the parts! This is a safety risk ! Does someone have to actually be killed in my vehicle before I can get anybody to listen. Carmax but back this truck now!

Here is my VIN so that Carmax and Chrysler can figure out how their multimillion dollar companies are going to buy back this truck and help me before someone is killed by this open recall! 1D7HA18298xxxxxxx this truck is in group 1 as it sat in North Carolina humidity for years and is a fatality waiting to happen FORD WILL BE MY FUTURE VEHICLES AND MY FAMILY TOO

You can report this problem to the FTC at The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also contact your state Attorney General.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

any consumer information on Ford 2008 problem with còils burned and destroyed the computer.

are In-house inspections of cars at a dealership sufficient for an objectionable inspection?

My daughter bought a car from dealer. 2006 Jetta and paid cash. Going to the dmv they informed her the vehicle had been through inspection and failed. Are dealerships required to inspect or inform a buyer if vehicle they are selling does not pass inspection?

Asking questions is really important while dealing with a car dealer so that you make sure you aren't getting played. You should also check the shape of the tires and how old are they!

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