Austin, Texas
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Since purchasing my vehicle a little over a year ago, I have had nothing but problems with Carmax honoring both the warranty I bought for my Nissan Versa, and the alleged "quality check" that was supposed to have taken place before I bought the car. Carmax should acknowledge that I had to return to them five times just to get them to address the first major set of problems issues with my Versa's struts. I was given similar “technician cannot duplicate the issues” explanations the first four visits I made to Carmax, before the car was taken to Nissan in South Austin on my fifth visit, and then and only then were my Nissan's struts repaired. At the time the vehicle only had about 24,000 miles on it- which seems like an unusual repair in such a "young" vehicle to begin with. This being my initial experience with the Carmax Service Department, it should be understandable that I am skeptical of their explanations. Once again, I feel completely blown off by this company and their Service Department.

When your company starts their relationship with a customer this way, it is very difficult to shake off that negative first impression. I have every single piece of paperwork for this vehicle including all service documents and notes I had written on the drop-off envelopes, and I can prove that I have had the same precise squeaking issue with this car since September of 2014. What is also strange is that Carmax's internal records do not show all of my service visits, I know because one of their technicians said “that's odd, I don't see records for those visits in our system” on my most recent trip to Carmax in North Austin. It's almost like they don't want someone to know how many times I have had to come back. At the very least, it is poor record keeping and unprofessional- at worst it is negligent and done to conceal their lack of service. I am continuously told that nobody can duplicate the issue at Carmax (and now suddenly also with Nissan). That seems strange to me, since everyone else that has ridden with me in my “new car” has asked me about my constant squeaking sound. You would seriously have to be deaf not to hear it. The squeaking sound has gotten increasingly worse, it is now very loud, and it comes from the front and back of my vehicle. When I turn and hit a bump in my vehicle, the wheels feel “sideways”, as if they do not roll straight in the wheel wells, and the steering wheel jerks out of my hands in a way I have never felt in another vehicle. A friend that drove my car suspected it may be the bearings or something related to the spindle, but I would not permit him to look any closer for fear of somehow violating the warranty for my Nissan Versa. Additionally, my car behaves very strangely in the rain. The brakes behave normally so long as I am traveling in a straight line, but if I break while turning in wet conditions, it feels like the brakes slip off the wheels, and then the brakes simply do nothing to help the car stop. Twice now I have nearly had accidents at low speeds due to this issue. I would like to think my safety would be more important to Carmax, but that does not seem to be the case. I have complained about this issue to Carmax with the same reply of “technician cannot duplicate concerns” response from them. Is it any wonder I no longer trust them, and feel as frustrated and disappointed as I do now?

I welcome Carmax to reach out to me in an effort to right the wrongs I have experienced from the beginning since purchasing my 2012 Nissan Versa in August 2014. I officially hate my vehicle, and I will continue to hate it every time I have to get in and drive it as long as it makes me feel unsafe and sounds and feels horrible to drive. Carmax states in their response: “The referenced oil pan pins do not exist for the Vehicle model and as such, CarMax is unable to replace the components.” That is incorrect. When I recently went to my local Auto Shop for an Oil change, I got to go out and see the process done with my own eyes. I asked the Mechanic that did the oil change if he knew why my car made so much rattling noise when I drove it. He took me out and showed me the underside of my Nissan Versa. He showed me that there is a pan-type piece that has to be taken on and off in order to perform the oil change. He showed me that over half of the pin-like pieces that hold this part up against the oil pan area were missing on my vehicle, and he then explained that this was where I was hearing the alarmingly loud, constant rattling and metallic banging sounds from underneath my car. So once again, Carmax either does not know what they are talking about, or has completely blown off my concerns.

If I must, I will go to another mechanic in town outside of both Carmax and Nissan if that is what it takes to get an honest assessment of my car's problems. If said mechanic is able to diagnose these issues and it is something that should have been addressed at one of my many previous return visits to Carmax, I will be even more frustrated than I am currently. Additionally, if the mechanic finds that any of these problems have at any time compromised my health and safety, I will pursue more aggressive legal action to protect myself. I feel that I have been patient with Carmax considering my initial, very negligent treatment. We “got off on the wrong foot” so to speak. It was my hope that this BBB complaint would motivate them to take my concerns a bit more seriously. The ONLY acceptable response from Carmax should have been “We will get your vehicle in immediately because we are concerned for your safety, and want you to be happy with the vehicles we sell”. Instead I get the same string of excuses and lame promises to return again, which requires at least another two week wait time. Needless to say, I have completely lost faith in the Carmax Service Department, and regret not only purchasing the vehicle but also the additional warranty for it. I have nothing to show for my investment, and wonder now how on Earth this car will last even until it is paid off since it seems to be in such poor shape. This is disturbing because all I have done since buying this car is drive it around town and to and from work!

At this point, I regret ever trading in my older more reliable Mazda for this unsafe, rattly, squeaky, Nissan Versa. It is a terrible feeling to know that I am spending a large chunk of my income on something that does not make me happy in the least. I see that bad business is fairly common for Carmax, as they have 780 bad reviews on www.pissedconsumer.com, and that on www.yelp.com for Carmax South Austin rates three out of five stars at best, with many others reporting similar issues to my own with their Service Department. Not only are there tons of other unhappy customers like myself out there, I also see that Carmax sells vehicles still in need of repairs and that they have ignored recalls from the original manufacturer. I thought that I was buying from a prestigious company by purchasing my vehicle from Carmax, but my experience and that of many others in nationwide seem to demonstrate the opposite.

Please know that until and unless my vehicle's problems are addressed in good faith, I will make it my personal mission to spread the word about my negative experiences with Carmax in an effort to prevent anyone that I know from experiencing the prolonged stress and disappointment I have felt since purchasing my 2012 Nissan Versa from Carmax South Austin. We, your customers, deserve better from service from Carmax. You charge higher prices for used vehicles, and had I known about Carmax South Austin's sub-par reputation prior to making my purchase, I would most definitely have gone somewhere else. Carmax has treated me unfairly, unprofessionally, and does not seem to care about my safety, the warranty I purchased for my vehicle, or repairing this issue that has existed right from the very beginning and should have been addressed with the Carmax Quality Check they advertise so vociferously. There is still a chance to right this wrong, contact me and offer to get my vehicle in immediately. Allow me to drive with your technicians and with my own witness. Take my car in immediately and give me something else to drive to and from work. When you finally do figure out what is wrong with this vehicle, consider refunding me some money for all the time I have spent trying to get these issues addressed in good faith, rather than continuing to behave dishonorably. Until then, every opportunity I get I will tell this story to others, and make sure that they avoid Carmax. I will also be posting public complaints on every available consumer platform so that others know the hassle I have endured in just one year owning a sub-par Carmax vehicle. It seems I am one of many who has been disappointed by Carmax and their big promises to deliver quality. I hope they will take the necessary steps to try to remedy this situation.

Regards,

Stephanie Jordan

Please reference:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/carmax-austin-2 (Carmax South Austin 3 stars on Yelp.com).

http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1098707_is-carmax-selling-unrepaired-recalled-vehicles-you-betcha---and-so-are-other-used-car-dealers (Article demonstrating that Carmax sells unrepaired vehicles with open recalls).

http://classactioncentral.com/consumer-groups-petition-ftc-take-action-carmax-failing-fix-defects/ (Consumers asking the FTC to step in and advocate for them because Carmax will not repair defects).

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/carmax.html (More consumer complaints for Carmax's poor service).

Product or Service Mentioned: Carmax Oil Change.

Reason of review: Poor cust. service, Warranty not honored, sold me a lemon.

Monetary Loss: $15100.

Preferred solution: Deliver product or service ordered.

Carmax Cons: Customer service after purchase.

  • lemon car dealerships
  • Carmax Extended Warranty
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Anonymous
#1104662

Stephanie,

Before going to Carmax, did you think to check them out on the Internet? Seek out reviews people have written about the company?

When it comes to buying anything big like a car, a major appliance, etc., I will always seek out the opinion and experiences of others. I'm sure if you had checked out these reviews on Carmax first, you would have never gone near the place.

I learned this lesson long ago and it's a valuable one.

Thanks for writing such a definitive complaint letter. I hope you have saved others from making the mistake of going to Carmax for their next purchase.

James

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