CarMax Accused of Selling Used Vehicles with Defective Takata Airbags

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 3-Nov-2017

A new report released by three consumer safety organizations has accused CarMax, the largest chain of used car dealerships in the country, of selling vehicles with deadly defects. The report was compiled by the Center for Auto Safety, the MASSPIRG Education Fund and the CARS Foundation. These organizations assessed 1,699 vehicles sold at eight CarMax locations in three states. According to the report, more than 25 percent of vehicles sold by CarMax are under recall and contain unrepaired defects.

Forty-five of the 1,699 vehicles contained defective Takata airbag inflators. The inflators cause the airbags to deploy with excessive force, which sends metal shrapnel flying into vehicle cabins. Takata airbag inflators are linked to 13 deaths in the United States. These airbags are also linked to disfigurement and blindness.

CarMax claims its vehicles are “safe” on its website. However, the details of this report suggest otherwise. Nineteen of the vehicles assessed in this report had three or more defects under recall. One of the vehicles, a GMC Sierra, contained six unrepaired safety recalls. Defects in the GMC Sierra could disable the airbags during a crash or cause seatback failures. The latter defect is notorious for causing catastrophic injuries to children.

CarMax criticized the new report by claiming that it tells customers when vehicles have unrepaired safety defects.

Did I Buy a Recalled Vehicle at CarMax?

The easiest way to check for an unrepaired recall is to use, a website operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA’s website has a VIN search tool that allows you to check the recall status of a vehicle even while you are still in the dealership lot. Just do not forget to bring a mobile phone the next time you go car shopping.

Simply pull the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and plug it into the website’s search tool. In many cases, the website will display unrepaired recalls. There are a few exceptions. does not always display recent recalls and it may not cover certain types of vehicles sold overseas.

If you or a loved one were harmed by a defective vehicle, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or other parties. Dealerships and even rental car companies could also be liable. Therefore, you should speak to an attorney about what happened. An attorney could investigate your claim and help determine which parties may be responsible for your injuries or loss.

The Washington DC product liability lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC offer free consultations that can explain your possible legal options for filing a lawsuit.
Categories: Product Liability
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