Six months ago Carmax sold me a car, a great 2010 Toyota Corolla. They marketed the car as accident free with one owner, which was displayed on their website at the time and onsite. I could work with this and it sealed the deal for me. As a single, female, parent, their transparent, easy to understand way of business is what attracted me to them over game playing competitors... One owner, no accidents, and a fair market price. They made me feel safe and everything was on the table. If I had known there was an accident on record, I would have not purchased the vehicle.
Flash forward; I was interested in trading this car in for a car that I had really wanted a 2010 Mini Cooper, about the same price as the Toyota Corolla. Why not drive something fun! I was getting my vehicle appraised and the manager asked me if I knew that this car had been in an accident. Of course I said no and that they told me it hadn't. He then produced a printout that displayed the accident against the VIN and it had happened about 5 months before the person sold it to Carmax. At that time he told me that the claim was around $4,000 in damages. Of course I'm blown away. I asked him how much equity had I lost because this showed and he said about $2,000. I thought wow. Needless to say, the Corolla had way too much negative equity to trade it in without substantial out of pocket money. BTW, I went to two other dealerships Mazda and Toyota and
they both said this about my Carmax car.
I went back to the dealership where I bought it and they did the typical walk around and said that none of the welds were broken etc. I explained to them and home office that this was not the problem, the car was functioning. The point was, that I paid $2,000 more for this car than I should have, which misrepresents my original understanding of Carmax. 1. Prices are fair and 2. No accidents on the record. Double whammy!
To make it right, Carmax then offered to get me a Mini Cooper and to see what they could do to make it right. I thought this was fair and that they would rectify the issue. After they made me an offer on my Toyota, cashed in the extended warranty, and my additional $1,000 down, they came back to me and said that I would have to pay a negative equity figure of $2,197 in order to get this car. I don't have $3,197 to put down on a car. Again, I don't have that kind of money lying around.
Here is the irony, they are asking me to pay the negative equity $2197, in order to purchase another full priced car from them, which is the about the amount of equity lost I from the undisclosed accident. I asked them to cover the negative equity and they said no and that they are legally in the right... There claim was that there was no frame damage, so too bad for me.
All in all, this was misrepresentation and unfair business practice. Carmax is not what their marketing claims they are. I will be in the negative with this car for many years to come and there is nothing I can do but buy my way out.