CarFax is becoming an increasingly popular tool used by both buyers and sellers of vehicles as a way to verify a vehicle's history. Unfortunately, the internet-based service outfit has had to settle a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of misleading customers into thinking that its reports contain more information than they really do. Despite the settlement, CarFax admits to no wrongdoing.
If you purchased a CarFax vehicle report anytime before October 27, 2006, you now have to decide weather or not you want to take advantage of the settlement offer from CarFax. It is offering eligible customers either free or reduced price reports or $20 towards a vehicle inspection at a technician of their choice.
Read the entire settlement letter after the jump
[Source: Consumer Reports]
NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
West v. Carfax, Inc., No. 04-CV-1898
Court of Common Pleas, Trumbull County, Ohio
161 High Street, NW, Warren, Ohio 44481-1006
IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED A CARFAX VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT FROM CARFAX PLEASE NOTE THAT A SETTLEMENT OF VARIOUS LEGAL CLAIMS RELATING TO SUCH PURCHASES HAS BEEN PROPOSED IN THIS CLASS ACTION. THE SETTLEMENT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.
WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
Plaintiff claims that Carfax violated the consumer protection laws of all fifty states by not properly disclosing terms and conditions for, and limitations of, Carfax Vehicle History Reports. Carfax denies all of Plaintiff's claims of wrongdoing.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M A MEMBER OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASS?
If you purchased a Carfax Vehicle History Report directly from Carfax at any time before October 27, 2006, you're a Class Member for purposes of this settlement.
WHAT DO I GET IF I REMAIN IN THE SETTLEMENT?
Class Members who remain in the settlement can claim a Voucher good for $20.00 off a vehicle inspection by a designated third party within six months of final approval of the settlement, a Voucher good for two free Carfax Vehicle History Reports from Carfax within one year of final approval of the settlement, a Voucher for one free Carfax Vehicle History Report from Carfax within two years of final approval of the settlement, or a Voucher for 50% off an unlimited number of Carfax Vehicle History Reports (for personal, not commercial use) over 30 consecutive days within three years of final approval of the settlement. The Court will also order Carfax to make certain changes in its disclosures and contracting process with customers.
HOW DO I CLAIM A VOUCHER?
To claim a Voucher, you must fill out a claim form and return it to the Settlement Administrator so that it is postmarked no later than May 27, 2007. Claim forms are available at www.WestCarSettlement.com or by contacting the Settlement Administrator at:
West v. Carfax, Inc. Settlement
PO Box 91190
Seattle, WA 98111-9290
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?
On April 27, 2007, at 1:00 pm, Judge Andrew D. Logan will hold a hearing at the courthouse at
161 High Street, NW, Warren, Ohio decide whether to approve this settlement. If he approves
the settlement, all Class Members will be bound by the resulting judgment and court orders, and
eligible Class Members will be entitled to claim benefits under the settlement. IF YOU DON'T
OPT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT AND IT IS APPROVED, YOU WILL FOREVER
RELEASE ANY RIGHTS YOU HAVE TO SUE CARFAX OR ITS RELATED ENTITIES
FOR ANYTHING RELATED TO THE FACTS OR CLAIMS COVERED IN THE
HOW DO I OPT OUT OR OBJECT?
If you're a Class Member and want to opt out of this settlement, you must do so in writing by
March 13, 2007. You must provide your full name and address, state that you want to opt out of
the Carfax settlement in West v. Carfax, Inc., No. 04-CV-1898, and deliver your request by mail,
hand or overnight delivery service to the Settlement Administrator so that it is received on or
before March 13, 2007. If you want to object to this settlement, you must do so in writing by
March 27, 2007. You must provide your full name and address, include all arguments, citations,
and evidence supporting your objection, specify who, if anyone, will attend the hearing to speak
for your objection, deliver your objection both to Class Counsel and to Defendants' Counsel by
mail, hand or overnight delivery service so that it is received on or before March 27, 2007, and
file at the same time a copy of your objection with the Clerk of Court in Warren, Ohio.
WHO REPRESENTS THE CLASS?
Plaintiff Edward B. West represents the Class. The lead Class Counsel is William B. Federman
of Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson, Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102.
Local Ohio counsel is Curtis J. Ambrosey of Ambrosey & Fredericka, 144 North Park Avenue,
Suite 200, Warren, Ohio 44481. You will not pay their attorneys' fees and costs. The Court may
award them and their co-counsel attorneys' fees and costs. Carfax has agreed that it will pay up
to $566,000 in such fees and costs if awarded by the Court. Defendants are represented by
Christopher M. Mason of Nixon Peabody LLP, 437 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
10022. Local Ohio counsel is Hugh E. McKay of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, 925
Euclid Avenue, Suite 1700, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION, VISIT www.WestCarSettlement.com or contact the
Settlement Administrator at West v. Carfax, Inc. Settlement, Settlement Administrator, PO Box
91190, Seattle, WA 98111-9290, 1-(888) 257-8216. If you have further questions, you may
write to Class Counsel c/o William B. Federman, Federman & Sherwood, 120 North Robinson,
Suite 2720, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102. DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT FOR
No response to this email is necessary. For additional information about the settlement, visit www.WestCarSettlement.com. This notice does not mean that the Court has made any decision as to how it would rule on the claims or defenses asserted by any party. This notice is not intended to be, and should not be considered as, an expression of any opinion by the Court with respect to the truth of the
allegations or the strength of the claims or defenses asserted in the case.