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Call Kurtis Investigates: Are Carfax Reports Accurate?

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – Gene Knowles says Carfax didn’t include an accident on his used Corvette.
But then it popped up on the report after he bought it.

It got us wondering how much should we rely on these reports.

“I’ve always wanted to have a Corvette,” said Knowles.

Buying it used, he says the Carfax report showed no accidents or damage. But later he ran another report on his prized car; it said accident or damage was reported.

“I thought it was a mistake,” he said.

Flipping through the pages of the report, it shows the accident was in February of 2015, months before he bought it.
On the next page, it says Carfax began reporting this information on 12/02/2016.

Knowles says that when he contacted Carfax for more details about the damage, they told him that it was confidential.

Knowles replied to Carfax, “I said if it’s confidential, then you should be able to tell me because I own the car.”

Rosemary Shahan with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety says Carfax reports don’t always tell the full story.

“This has happened to a lot of people. A lot of times, Carfax’s data is out of date,” she said.

Shahan says you should have a used car inspected first. Carfax agrees and puts that in each of its reports.

We reached out to Carfax asking about the potential for inaccurate or delayed information. The company told us, “Not all information about a used car is reported to us. We’re constantly adding new information, as well as new sources of information, to our database.”

We asked Carfax why they refused to give Knowles more information about the damage to the Corvette. Carfax didn’t answer our question.

Knowles is concerned the latest information that showed up in the report will keep him from selling his Corvette later.

“If the Carfax was accurate, I would not have bought the car,” he said.

Carfax says it has 17 billion vehicle records from 100,000 sources, which they say they get from insurance companies, the Department of Motor Vehicle, and police databases.

Rosemary Shahan says don’t ever, ever buy a used car without having someone you trust check it out first.

If you want to check on a car, she suggests consumers also go to VehicleHistory.gov.

 

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