I was working today on one of my car dealership fraud cases when I came across a Carfax Vehicle History Report. Having seen Carfax’s recent television commercials, some of which are pretty funny (check this one out: Carfax Commercial), I thought another brief blog entry might be in order because I’m really bothered by how unreliable I have found Carfax reports to be. Now, I’m not saying they’re useless. In fact, I have recommended to family and friends that they purchase both a Carfax and Autocheck report on any vehicle they are considering purchasing. The primary reason is to see if anything shows up. If it does, I have found that it tends to be accurate. But if nothing shows up, it really doesn’t mean much. Carfax reports are very often incomplete and really shouldn’t give you the peace of mind the Carfax commericals imply you should receive from their report (“Get the truth about used cars.”). Sadly, some dealers love to find a car that sells for less at auction because of a defect but has a clean Carfax report (which the dealer will use to sell the vehicle to a consumer for more profit without disclosing the defect) .
Here is what Carfax says about the reliability of its report: “CARFAX DEPENDS ON ITS SOURCES FOR THE ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY OF ITS INFORMATION. THEREFORE, NO RESPONSIBILITY IS ASSUMED BY CARFAX OR ITS AGENTS FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THIS REPORT. CARFAX FURTHER EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES…”
Be warned: obtaining a Carfax report is not the end of your investigation into the purchase of a used car, but the beginning.