Thinking of investing in CarMax? You may want to take a close look at their breathtakingly risky practice of selling unsafe, recalled cars to consumers.
CarMax is already under fire from consumer groups, faces potential action by the Federal Trade Commission, and has been repeatedly exposed in undercover investigations by TV news organizations, including ABC’s 20/20, over its sales of unsafe, recalled cars to consumers.
Here’s the rub: CarMax advertises that all their cars must pass a “rigorous 125+ point inspection” before they can be sold as “CarMax Quality Certified” cars. But how can a car with a killer defect possibly pass a rigorous inspection and meet their standards?
Despite the mounting scrutiny, CarMax recklessly persists in selling “CarMax Quality Certified” unsafe, recalled cars at retail to consumers. Case in point: Even when competitors like AutoNation have wisely announced their decision to cease selling used cars with unrepaired Takata air bags, CarMax continues to sell them anyway.
Defying common sense and responsible business practices, CarMax somehow seems unable to bring itself to stop selling consumers cars with the notoriously defective air bags, which can explode on impact, hurling shrapnel at the driver and front-seat passenger’s face and neck.. In cases that are making global headlines, the defective air bags have caused serious injuries, including blindness, while other hapless victims have bled to death.
This particular defect remains the focus of Congressional investigations in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Takata also faces possible legal action by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and by the US Department of Justice.
So — what does AutoNation know and take into account that CarMax doesn’t seem to grasp?
Is CarMax waiting for a total PR catastrophe, before they stop making that added bit of profit by selling lots of unsafe, defective, recalled cars to consumers, instead of having them repaired or selling them for a somewhat lower price, at wholesale?
Whatever CarMax’s motivation, wise investors may wish to rethink the company’s self-inflicted level of exposure.