A history report is like any
tool, and there is a limit to what each tool can accomplish. For example, you
can’t rebuild an engine using only a screw driver, and you can’t determine the
current condition of a vehicle with a history report.
Not all totaled vehicles end up with negative “reconditioned or salvage” titles.
Carfax report will show if a vehicle was totaled only if two things happen. First,
someone has to create and submit the paperwork which changes the status of the
title, and second, Carfax must retrieve that information. If the paperwork was
never submitted to the State’s DMV, the title will never be changed. For
example, State Farm was sued for not reporting 32,000 to 40,000 “totaled”
vehicles to the State’s DMV. Since the titles were never changed, these totaled
vehicles were patched together and re-sold to the public
with the original "clean" title and a "clean" Carfax report. State Farm was
found guilty and agreed to pay $40 million in fines. Automotive experts estimate State Farm made
between $60 to $80
million buy not reporting these vehicles to the DMV. This is an easy way to
achieve high profit margins and this is not an isolated incident.
In addition, Carfax fails
to inform their customers that there are States that do not report
negative comments on their titles. These titles will not show any past problems
such as “salvage, rebuilt, true miles unknown, theft recovery, etc…"
Carfax’s buyback guarantee is not enforceable since the title was never changed
There is no centralized database for accident reports or accident repairs.
Not all insurance companies disclose or share their accident information to
Carfax. Carfax admits that there are thousands of accidents each day which will
never show up on a Carfax report. Even if Carfax reports an accident, it cannot
inform the buyer the extent of the accident damages, or the quality of any
There is no centralized database for automotive repairs.
Carfax does not have any type of reporting mechanism to obtain
automotive repairs that are performed
each day by franchise repair facilities, independent repair facilities, used car
dealers, auction reconditioning, wholesalers, shade tree mechanics, and the
millions of do-it-yourselfers. Most Carfax reports show little or no repair information
compared to the hundreds of thousands automotive repairs performed each day. Even if
Carfax reports a repair, it cannot tell if the problem was fixed
correctly or if there are additional mechanical/electrical problems with the
Carfax does not verify its information.
Carfax does not verify the
information provided by its sources. Today’s vehicle identification number (VIN)
is comprised 17 letters and digits. It is easy to input an incorrect VIN or
mileage or other identifying information. Any mistake can cause a Carfax report
to wrongly show "mileage discrepancies, airbag deployment, accident damage,
salvage, ect…" Any database manager will tell you, “garbage in, garbage out”.
Used car dealers know the limitations of a Carfax report.
dealers knowingly buy vehicles with frame and accident damages but have a
"clean" Carfax report. They sell these damaged vehicles to
unsuspecting buyers by showing
a Carfax report with “no structural damage reported" and “no
accidents or damage reported to Carfax”.
Carfax can't tell you who owns the vehicle.
Carfax does not tell you who
currently owns the vehicle. Carfax only displays the registration state. You
have to contact the DMV to determine the registered owner.
Any State's annual safety and/or emission tests are very limited.
Carfax report might show that a vehicle passed a States’ annual safety and/or
emission test. However, these annual safety and/or emissions tests do not cover
most mechanical and electrical systems. A previous safety and/or emission test cannot
tell the buyer the current condition of any component or systems.
8) Carfax is a "history" report not a “current” report.
There will always be a time lag from when a
negative incident occurs and when (or if) it get into a Carfax report. This time lag can be significant
and allow a damaged vehicle to be re-sold before Carfax reports the negative
9) Carfax reports are expensive for the small amount of useful information.
A Carfax report sells for $40. Pay that amount and
1) you can’t be 100% sure if the vehicle was ever in an accident(s) or totaled,
the quality of any previous accident damage, 3) if the vehicle was abused or
well maintained, 4) the existing condition of ANY mechanical or electrical
10) Carfax is not consumer friendly.
Internet sites are full
of complaints and problems with Carfax. If you have a complaint or see a
mistake on a report, you must contact them via email and wait for them to
respond (Carfax does not allow phoned in complaints). Carfax will not perform an
investigation when you dispute a negative report. Carfax requires the consumer
to get documentation disputing what Carfax has in its database. Obtaining proof
is usually tedious and time consuming. Some errors are impossible to dispute
especially if the reported information is erroneous.
11) Carfax hides behind their disclaimer.
Many Carfax customers have purchased used vehicles with a
“clean” Carfax report only to discover existing problems and accident damages
resulting in a financial loss. When confronted by their customers, Carfax
refers them to their disclaimer.
perception created by Carfax, is that their history reports contain
comprehensive historical information on used vehicles. Carfax touts it has over
34,000 data sources of information. However, that's less than 10% of the
estimated automotive industry sources.
For years, Carfax advertised itself as “your
best protection against buying a used car with costly, hidden problems”.
Currently, Carfax advertising states: Don't run the risk of buying a used car with
costly hidden problems. Get a detailed vehicle history report from our
nationwide database within seconds”.
Consumers are led to believe that if the Carfax report is
“clean” they eliminated the risks when purchasing a used vehicle.
A history report is
like any tool, and there is a limit to what each tool can accomplish.
No history report can
determine the current condition of a vehicle.
You cannot negotiate your best deal unless you know the exact condition of the
The ONLY way to determine the current condition of all
the mechanical, electrical, body & frame is to have it
professionally inspected by an ASE Certified Master Technician for all the
mechanical and electrical systems, and Body & Frame Specialist for accident