In December 2012 Automotive News published a piece on dealers unhappy with Carfax, alleging that the most well known used vehicle history reporting company had maneuvered itself into a monopolistic position. Dealers were paying the price for it by being charged more for Carfax reports than they'd have to pay for those from similar agencies, and there was nothing they could do about it. Now it will be for a judge to figure out: Automotive News reports that 120 dealers have joined a class-action lawsuit against Carfax over anti-competitive practices and violations of anti-trust law, and more are signing up to join the suit.
As to that alleged monopolistic position, Carfax is the provider of record for the certified pre-owned programs of 37 out of 40 manufacturers, so if a dealer wants to be part of the program he has to buy Carfax reports. Carfax also has exclusive deals with Cars.com and AutoTrader.com, so when a dealer lists a car on either site he can only use reports from Carfax. That's how, even though there are ten companies accredited by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to provide used vehicle reports, some that are less expensive than Carfax, it isn't in a dealer's best financial interest to consider them.

Leo Bellavia out of Mineola, NY, who also handled cases for Saab dealers trying to compel the Swedish firm to enter bankruptcy and Chrysler dealers fighting their involuntary franchise terminations, is the attorney of record for the plaintiffs. The dealers want more than $50 million in damages. Carfax has said it can't comment on the suit.


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  • 113 Comments
      bdhauto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carfax advertises ask for your free carfax. Carfax is not free.That in and of itself is a lie.
      dartingd
      • 1 Year Ago
      I used a different company last time. Maybe it was that autocheck eBay one. I don't remember. Carfax is too pricey imho. I mean we're typing in a number that a computer runs a query on, then returns the data related to the value (The VIN) in the query. A human probably does nothing on the side of us getting the report other than an IT department keeping the systems running. I am not, however, familiar with the details and such of what it takes to get all that data gathered.
      phick11858
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carfax is only as good at what is reported to it. Joe Blow automotive in the wooden shack does not report the work he does on cars to carfax. That is a no brainer. I have had dealers try to sell me on a report and I tell them it's a BS. It does tell you how many times it's been titled and where it came from. That's about it. Carfax sucks as far as I'm concerned.
      bcjim
      • 1 Year Ago
      Many used cars are previous rentals sold at auctions. Most of the large rental companies have their own repair shops and never report accidents/repairs so they don't show up on Carfax or any of the other company reports.
      hottubsolutions
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carfax is a joke. I paid for three reports, got two and a few months later when I requested my third report they denied me. POS business. I'll never do business with them again. The two reports I got were worthless anyway. Goodbye earned money, hello new lesson ...
      bwhitedjr
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is no different than two major air-lines merging to create the countries largest air-line. That merger was approved through the courts against other air-lines, the consumers objections, and the law about forming monopolies.
      Feurig
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carfax sucks. It's not always accurate, and it depends on the whims of police offers, insurance companies, and body shops who report things, which may or may not be correct.
      chrisindanorth
      • 1 Year Ago
      Any company that uses a horribly ugly fox in their commercials should get run out of business. For all the money they make, they can afford to do better.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        bryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        i agree with juanb60 - they are extremely reluctant to correct errors in their reports. DO NOT trust them entirely! i had to almost yell at a manager at carfax, in order to correct a wrong report on my vehicle i was trying to sell. no dealers wanted to take it, because it was listed as "being in a collision with another vehicle." it was not. it was broken into. good job carfax.
        johnbravo6
        • 1 Year Ago
        They're a reporting agency. They don't dictate the information. If someone had the mileage wrong, you need to contact the agency they gathered that information from. If an accident is misreported, again, contact the agency responsible for reporting it as such. Pretty simple stuff.
          johnbravo6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnbravo6
          Oh, so the reporting agency can't change info, but Carfax should change their info for them? Because you call or emial them and tell them to? Yeah, that's a path not rife with litigation.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnbravo6
          [blocked]
          gracecfl
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnbravo6
          And what about credit reporting agencies? What about stuff being on somebody's credit report 8 years after the fact when it has to be removed after 7? That happened to my neighbor's son. Then when he contacted them, they said it wasn't their responsibility that he had to tell them it was longer than 7 years. When he said my attorney will discuss that with you, funny that this was all cleared up a couple of days later. They could not see for themselves that it was over 7 years old and according to their own statement, and federal law, it has to be removed.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnbravo6
          [blocked]
      DrWardBondTV
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carfax is a joke. Had a car in a shop seven times due to accidents. Not one ever showed up on a Carfax. Carfax is a waste of money and time. Find a car you want, take it to a trusted mechanic to go through it before you buy it.
      Jim
      • 1 Year Ago
      I sure hope they don't (win). Carfax is a waste, expensive compaerd to everyone else, and bordering on the "General scum of the Earth" title Reports can be inaccurate, (many are), and their "customer service" is a joke. They're nasty and rude Autocheck, while not providing as much service information are at least more accurate and have NICE people to deal with
      dvdedwest
      • 1 Year Ago
      Following up on what juanb60 said, there needs to be a consumer class action against them as well. In 2006, I bought a 2003 car with a clean CarFax report. The car showed no signs of accident damage. In 2009, I tried to trade the car in and, to my surprise, a "Damage" marker showed up on the CarFax under the previous owner's tenure (in addition to a bunch of other information). The dealer was not interested in my trade in with an accident marker. CarFax devalued my asset without informing me. I would never have found out unless I paid for and ran a CarFax on my own car. This is exactly what got the credit reporting companies in so much hot water (and litigation).
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