Having problems with CarMax?

File a complaint and get it resolved. It’s quick, effective and absolutely free!
Proudly resolving consumer concerns since 2004

Customer Service

+1 800 519 1511 (Head Office)
+1 800 925 3612 (Auto Finance)
+1 888 922 7629 (Stale Check Team)
+1 888 922 4911 (Stale Check Team)
+1 844 765 5757 (Supplier Inquiries)
12800 Tuckahoe Creek Parkway
Richmond, Florida
United States - 23238
Mon9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thu9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
CarMax Auto Finance
Attn: Customer Service, P.O. Box 440609, Kennesaw, GA 30160

Customer Relations Department
Attn: Customer Relations Department, 12800 Tuckahoe Creek Parkway, Richmond, VA 23238

Complaints & Reviews

bad service

Carmax started out with a vision to change the way cars were sold and repaired. Company motos like " Happy associate make happy customers and happy customers make happy stock holders" and " accept no defect, create no defect, pass on no defect" were words to live by.

Now under new management and reacting to a poor economy, Carmax has resorted to the same cost cutting tactics that give all used car lots bad reputations. Quality used cars are a thing of the past at carmax.

Please do not expect to get the best quality used vehicle. Do not expect to get a fair price for your trade in. Shop around to major new car dealerships for your next used car. With all of the dealerships building cerified used cars these days, the products they are producing are of a much higher standard then Carmax vehicles. Parts used during the recon process with be OEM vs cheapest part available.

Corporate america has destroyed an upstart company that had the potential to be something special.

  • Valerie Jun 05, 2008

    I purchased a Chevy Trail Blazer last summer @ a Charlotte NC location and did also purchase a 3 year extended warranty. Carmax skips hoops & jumps barrels when making the sale then something goes wrong and just try to get service! October the 'service engine light' starts up, call South Blvd local in Charlotte, was told 1200plus things could cause light and I should, "spin and click my gas cap 3 times". I'm an educated person, majored in law, 30 yrs in my field and there I am clicking my gas cap!!!

    Called again, light on & off, they can't make appointment convenient to my schedule, tried 4 times over 3 months, can not get the vehicle in. No one told me I could go to another CARMAX or the dealer...(Husband who listens to every detail also confirmed NO they did not add that in sales pitch)

    Forward to last Thurs. we realize inspection going to expire EOM, call for inspection, oil change and light issue...to my surprise once again I must wait into the following week to get it in there but finally someone with brain cells mentions I could go to another CARMAX! I contact the other location in Charlotte and can drop it off Thurs night they would look at it Friday morning. Before doing this I bring it for an oil change and inspection to mechanics we trust & know...all pass except the idiot light issue, they do diagnostic and it is the cam sensor, must go to dealer and we do and drop off vehicle.

    Service guy nice, helpful did good job thus far. Most calls I had to make and they only get a "D" on returning calls. Vehicle needs...camshaft sensor, and thermostat sensor and steering rack and 4 new stabilizer links, they were playing (as does Carmax)...well good thing I needed my inspection huh?

    Move to Monday, many calls and p.s. NEVER GOT THE LOANER/RENTAL info they promised so tough ( :grin ) on me!

    Monday night finally pick up, unfortunately it is at the same time CARMAX's computer system NATIONWIDE according to them has just crashed...I had to pay my 'co-pay' so I swipe, IT GOES THRU - SAYS APPROVED - and thank you...it does not "talk to the Carmax computers" so 3 brain surgeons tell me it's some kind of problem on thier end, please swipe again it did not go thru. I knowing it did, hesitate and swipe, turns out the "manager" of the business office or so he posed as, keeps telling me he cancelled the transaction and continues to swipe my card 4 times and manually enters info into the 'crashed system they do not yet know has crashed!" I tell them the card went thru...lo and behold after 45 minutes I realize I have a check with me, pay and go, get home later, online to bank and there it is, 4 consecutive charges from CARMAX out of my bank!!!

    Call 7:30am yesterday on phone almost 5 hours back & forth, they claim they are still 'crashed', I fax them the bank statement, they say they will handle ASAP...no calls back all afternoon...

    This morning funds still out of bank, I am now in full menopausal Sicilian B*&_*% mode...the people I spoke to yesterday are conveniently not in...

    I call corporate in Richmond VA (800-519-1511) FYI>>> Director of Customer Relations is Monica Westbrook (but of course she is only a voicemail 4x's - CEO is Thomas Folliard x2000 (but he does not take consumer calls) his admin that does take his calls but is a secret...is Katherine Roll x2002 (she is also a voicemail) but now all you readers have that info if needed.

    1:45pm still on this, nothing resolved and they have my funds still tied up, they have passed the grey area of legalities, they have NOT followed the bank's instructions to resolve.

    I would not deal with them again for another vehicle, which is a shame because we will be needing a 2nd truck for my husband and 2 cars for our boys ...I'm sure at this point CARMAX could care less about losing our sales, they will just find new prey.

    Complaints are filed this morning with the state attorney general, consumer affairs, BBB, FTC and Dun & Bradstreet just to humour myself.

    CARMAX has communication and proper training failure and would be well suited in spending constructive time in those areas.

    LAST note...they low balled on the rack, used NAPA aftermarket to save money instead of Chevy rack and listed on my work order, "historically they have problems on the aftermarket and it would need to be replaced again"...aren't they bright?

    1 Votes
  • De
    Defensa81 Jul 08, 2009

    I bought a 2003 Silverado at the Greensboro, NC Carmax. While talking to the salesman I find out the truck is from New York. Immediately I know it's going to have some rust so I have them put it on a lift for an undercarraige inspection. The sales manager assures me it's an acceptable amount of surface rust, so I buy it. Fast forward past the gasoline price hikes- I go to Fayetteville, NC Carmax to trade it in on a 2006 Colorado. The Fayetteville Carmax sales manager refuses to give me fair value for the Silverado because it has surface rust on the frame. I laugh it off to keep from hurting someone, but eventually buy the Colorado. I've had it less than 2 months and the service engine light comes on simultaneously as my windshield washer goes dry. {Colorados are known for the service engine light coming on for any and everything} Service staff won't give me an appointment during July 4th weekend, so I have to miss work for a 9:15am weekday appointment. Service manager tells me he won't even look at the truck until 3pm. I say that I can't miss that much work, I'll take it somewhere else on a weekend. Service manager tells me if I take it away I can't bring it back. I see red. I talk to a sales manager about cancelling my warranty, so he talks to the service manager, who agrees to uphold the appointment. [[All the truck needed was to reset the engine light]] After a two hour wait I see my truck waiting so I ask the service manager if it's ready. He say's it is, but he's waiting to see if the warranty will cover it. An hour and a half later I talk to the sales manager again. The 3 of us talk, and the service manager then say's its not ready, waiting on a part. 3pm rolls around, service manager tells me the wrong part came in, that it was the HVAC sensor switch. Thats a blatant lie and a scam, I know engines. Now I'm waiting to pick my truck up - hopefully tomorrow. I paid for the truck in full when I bought it, with the 3 year warranty. You would think there would be some service after the sale. Fayetteville is a terrible town, I guess the Carmax has to match.

    1 Votes
  • Li
    Ling Chi May 25, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hylda - for an "educated person who majored in law", you sure write like crap and must have skipped the contract law classes where you were instructed to actually read and comprehend contracts before signing them. However, you stated you majored in law but didn't say you actually practiced it. Trying to beef up your ego a bit to the people who read your complaint, eh?

    As far as the gas cap issue - a common cause for the CEL to come on is from a loose gas cap. This usually happens from those idiots who like to keep their vehicles running while fueling, but also arises when the cap just isn't tightened enough. It was a valid suggestion to make, and will usually solve the problem.

    Defensa - you know Autozone will clear CELs for free, right? If you know engines, then you should probably know that little tidbit as well. Also, when gas prices hiked and no one was buying SUVs, why would you expect a great offer on your SUV?

    So many holes in both of your complaints...

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    KatherineC Jul 31, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Autzone will not clear CELs. It against their company policy and illegal in some states. Any Autozone employee who clears a CEL risks losing their job.

    0 Votes
  • Pi
    pickeral Apr 21, 2012

    Carmax sells unsafe vehicles. Technicians are honest to managers about what repairs are needed. Managers who were fry cooks a week ago now make the decision as to whether a vehicle gets safety related repairs depending on cost per vehicle reports. If the numbers are too high they throw the dice and hope the customer does not return in 30 days. SAD SAD SAD company especially Naperville IL location. Jacob Janowski is the service OPS manager and is clueless about cars just managing numbers on a report. Beware...you never know what they decided not to fix to save money.

    1 Votes
  • Br
    Brimms Oct 19, 2014

    I agree with Pickeral. The technicians are honest, it's the greedy managers that give the techs at carmax a bad name. For example, at the Saint Peters MO location, a Ford F-250 diesel pickup truck was going through the reconditioning process when a tech pointed out that the tires had cracks in the tread and sidewalls, and the tires should be replaced. But what does management do? Tells the tech to flip the tires on the rims to hide the cracks! I feel sorry for the customer who's driving that truck right now, most likely unaware that the tires which their 7, 000 lb truck is rolling on have been flipped to hide dangerous cracks from the customer's view. The service and operations managers at location #6052 in Saint Peters need more than a curbside or a coaching, they need to be fired!

    0 Votes

sold me a lemon

NEVER BUY A CAR FROM THIS PLACE! They sold me a 06' Chevy Colorado with 36k miles on it 2 weeks ago...

don't waste your time

I took my vehicle to CarMax for an appraisal to see what they would offer me for it. But before going, I did plenty of research to know the true value of the car, which was a 2003 model with only 52k miles and in outstanding condition both inside and outside:

Kelley Blue Book Private Party Sale value = $10, 325

Kelley Blue Book Trade-In value = $8, 200

CarMax Offer: $6, 500!

I then pulled out two current CarMax listings for similar vehicles (same year, make, and model -- although the two active CarMax listings were a lower trim level than mine). One had 50k miles and was listed for $11, 998 and the other had 58k miles and was listed for $10, 998.

When I discussed the absurdity of CarMax's offer with their appraiser, he admitted that they would probably sell my vehicle for $12, 500-$13, 000. Needless to say, I promptly walked out of their store, never to set foot on a CarMax lot again.

I can't speak about buying a vehicle at CarMax, but I know that I would never recommend selling a car to them. And if they're this slimy when it comes to selling your car to them, I have to believe they're equally slimy when they try to sell you a car.

I guess they're right -- CarMax isn't like traditional auto dealers. Traditional auto dealers will at least give you a halfway decent price for your trade-in. Pretty scary when a business is so bad that they make traditional auto dealers look good.

  • Ca
    CajunSausage Apr 01, 2011

    I took my 2008 Ford Mustang V6 to them to get a quote on what they would pay. They told me 10K and I was quoted almost 2K more at two other dealerships who said it was clean. To top off the pathetic Price quote, they told me that it had been wrecked 3 times. This is a damn LIE!!! Iv'e got car fax reports and DMV reports and there are NO ACCIDENTS. I've owned the car for over a year now and unless the dealership lied when they showed me the original car fax report with no accidents...of course don't hold your breath, CARMAX is lieing to try and low-ball me so they can sell it for 5 or 6K more.
    This is not the first time this has happened with them. I've taken 4 cars now to them to get price quotes and Miraculously 3 of them were somehow wrecked. 2 of them I was the original owner. I would think I would know if my car had been Freakin Wrecked. DON'T WAISTE YOUR TIME!!! THEY ARE FREAKIN CROOKS AND I'LL BAD MOUTH THEM TILL THE DAY I DIE!!!

    0 Votes

same old slime dealership

CarMax Colorado Springs ripped me off. My 05 dodge 1500 is great except for one flaw. The right fromt brake assembly makes noise. Enough noise to turn heads at stops. Returned to CarMax and invoice stated that the rotors were turned. Drove out of shop and the brakes still made noise and had a heavy vibration. Pulled over and looked at the rotors and they were still glossy and smooth. No indication of turning the rotors. Returned to the dealership the next day and was told that it was my driving. No answer when they were told that the brakes were only making nosie on one side. Management defended the service writer by saying he was an award winning performer. NOT! He gets my award for biggest bull...er.

bait and switch scheme

Through an Internet search, I located a 2009 Acura MDX at the Orlando dealership. After a couple of E-mail...

We are here to help

  • 16 years' experience in successful complaint resolution
  • Each complaint is handled individually by highly qualified experts
  • Honest and unbiased reviews
  • Last but not least, all our services are absolutely free

deceived about trade in

I purchased a vehicle last month and trade in a 2000 Nissan Xterra. The vehicle was in excellent condition...

treats employees like trash

I have worked for carmax for years now and have seen so much corruption its mind blowing.People stealing, crashed cars being covered up and sold to unsuspecting customers and employees being fired or mistreated because someone goes on a power trip. The way they treat the employees is incredible and they get away with murder. The employees of this company need to join a union and fight back.

Dont fall for their anti union campaigns we need to fight back.

The United auto workers union needs to hurry up and get out to all our carmax stores. We are ready to unionize!!

  • Ki
    kigfish Jun 02, 2012

    Yes I agree %100. I worked for carmax 15 years as Automotive tech (they use to call me Import Guy) i repaired cars had lots of problems without sendig dealer and costly repair bill; specially imports(Audi.Vw, volvo, M/B Bmw) and i have recognition letters from Home office(Va) ceo, Lgm, ops manager. like coming out of my ears.This dude came store as ops manager spouse to be helicopter pilot 240 lbs cant even walk straight, start cleaning ppl and replacing his tech's from previus store.They forced me to write the mistake i did(which was nothing, in request i have explanation) LP, LGM and ops, they promise me to correct problem, next thing i know I was on Administ. leave. my 15 years service to this company gone.Shame On you Carmax 100 best company for work??? Big LIE!!!

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Bernard47 Oct 23, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Applied for a position in Mobile, Alabama . Interviewed in Jul 2017 by Operations Mgr...Did not get the job. I am a minority and retired military disable veteran...Have not heard yea or nay. I think Operations Mgr felt I was a threat to his job...Race played a big part I am certain. I could feel
    the vibe and negative chemistry in the interview.

    -1 Votes

dishonest employess

Car Max Inglewood CA, and Riverside CA are not trust worthy when it comes to auto repairs, I purchased in a cashiere check a 2004 Infinity FX for $21, 737.92. I had taken the car in for concerns I had on the brakes and was told they only neeed to be lubrcated, the noise got worse when I would stop and squeek, I took it to a location closer to avoid driving 70 miles.I was told to take it car back to the location I purchased it from because they did not want to be responsible for the other CAR MAX who sold m the car.

  • Ju
    juankojohnny Jan 06, 2011

    Carmax, Torrance, CA. I purchased a Chrysler 300 c about a year ago...n i just found out that the car has some frame damaged...i am really upset...i have always taking care of what i owned...i know that i would not buy another car from carmax again...Please Customer be awared...

    0 Votes

never ever go there

I thought buying a car at CARMAX was supposed to be easy. The kids were mislead and misunderstood. A salesman named Ben and the other guy they had today didn't bother to be sure that they understood the sales tax not being able to be included in the financing. He assumed that they understood that because they had a Cali address, (even though they only had it because He is USMC), they would have to pay Cali taxes and that those taxes wouldn't be included in the loan. They only had $3000 and they put all of that down on the car never dreaming that Cali taxes could not be included in the financing...even the finance guy RJ didn't bother to explain, it was a total cluster.

We were there for 7 hours (yes, SEVEN HOURS) trying to get things right. If I would have had my way, I would have cancelled the deal and gone elsewhere. Thanks to his grandparents, everything was taken care of. I WILL NEVER BUY A CAR FROM CARMAX AND I RECOMMEND THAT EVERYONE STAY AWAY AS WELL.

I can't say it enough; NEVER, NEVER, EVER GO TO CARMAX.

  • Do
    Donny Brook Dec 10, 2012

    You could have had your way and cancelled. Even a signed contract can be cancelled because of misinformation, incomplete information, or actual lies. On the spot no less and Carmax has a, "5-Day Money-Back Guarantee "If you decide that a car isn't right for you, simply return it within 5 days—hassle-free. Just bring it back in the condition in which it was purchased, and you'll get a full refund". My wife got a new company car and sold her one-year old, low mileage Tahoe to Carmax in San Antonio, TX for $1800 above Blue Book and $2300 above Edmunds and get this: That was $4300 more than Chevy would offer as a trade in, when I was going to use it so I could replace my seven year old Suburban. I took my Suburban 4x4 to Carmax and they offered me $7000 for it, but fool that I am I didn't sell and ended up trading it in for $5500 a month later to a regular dealer. Four years later I was looking for another car and the dealer offered me $4500 below what I knew it was worth, so I went to Carmax in Austin, TX and they offered me $5300 more than the dealer. I was so happy I looked around and found the F-250 I was looking for. It was 2008 and the truck was a 2008. The truck had 7300 miles on it, plus a couple of options I didn't necessarily want, but it looked new and smelt new, so I saved $11, 000. Rag on Carmax if you must, but I have found a dealer who will continue to get my business and this is the first time ever for that.

    0 Votes

the warranty group is a ripoff

I purchased an extended warranty from the Warranty Group through CarMax, after a fair amount of pressuring. Shortly before my contract was about to expire, my transmission failed. My mechanic contacted the warranty people, who sent an inspector to look at my vehicle. I keep impeccable servce records, so they had no choice but to honor the claim. Against the advice of the shop, who recommended using GM parts, they sent cheap substandard junk. Lo and behold, the tranny failed again two months later. In the meantime, my agreement had expired. They agreed to fix the tranny again (again, refusing to use GM parts), but are refusing to pay for the tow and rental fees. I am on a relentless campaign to get them to reimburse me for fees that were a direct result of their failure to ensure the proper repair of my vehicle. I suspect I may not see a dime of that money, but I am going to make as big of a stink as possible about these crooks and will refuse to do business with anyone who uses their joke of a warranty!

  • Do
    dogwurzel May 06, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The Warranty Group is a rip off, sold a warranty under the RAC. wouldn't cover a claim for repair of suspension springs.Claimed I didn't follw their process, you'll notice on the RAC form you dona't sign to agree to terms and conditions. Didn't even go through their complaints process, went straight to court, judgement in my favour. they paid up. They tarnish the name of anyone that deals with them, stay well clear with a disinfected barge pole

    0 Votes

does not honor warranties they sell

We had a problem with a Honda Odessey we purchased from Carmax. We had problems geeting the car out of park in 2008 and took it in as a warranty item. They could not recreate the problem and sent us packing saying nothing they could do. We kept experiencing the same issue until it finally got so bad that we would be stuck out somewhere and could not get the car to move for quite some time. When took it in today and they said yes it was a problem but our warranty had expired at the end of 2009 and they would not fix the problem that we had originally brought to their attention in 2008 when the car was underwarranty. The worst part was they were smug both times we tried to reason with them and had unbelievably poor customer service.

  • Li
    Ling Chi May 25, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This is a problem with the Odyssey, and not Carmax's warranty. If you check your mail, you may have received notification from Honda about a recall for your transmission (or do a search on Ody transmission issues - they number in the thousands). Carmax should not be expected to be held accountable for manufacturing defects. Might want to point your finger at ultra-reliable Honda.

    0 Votes

unable to fix car correctly

Took Carmax 45 days to fix a transmission problem that turned into an engine and cooling system problem. Somehow one little issue became a major car overhaul with a nine page invoice, that luckily the warranty covered everything but $50. The bad news is, that was 19 to 12-18-9 and now the car is going back 3-30-10 for the exact same issue. Cannot get an appt that Carmax won't cancel, my contact Lonnie Frazier will not return calls, and I am scared of what they will do to my car this time and it is financed, so I cannot go buy another car I am upside down on this one and it is not worth anything to trade in, since it does not run and is currently sitting in front of my house while I beg rides off of friends and family to get to work or school. I would never buy another vehicle from Carmax and tell everyone I can about the horrible service.

  • Ae
    aemsftw Jun 24, 2015

    I am going through the same issues with Carmax in Dulles myself - they lost my registration, after needing to see it, so now I am registration-less...even though I indicated that I remember the Service Manager placing it on his desk, have been going to Carmax since OCTOBER 2014 (it is now almost July 2015) for the same issue over and over again, and no one seems to understand my frustration. This time, I'm refusing to pick my vehicle up until it is fixed, and will keep driving the loaner vehicle I have until they fix it correctly.

    0 Votes

carmax laysoff employees during islamic holiday

As many of you are aware CarMax laid off some 600 employees in 2008. What you didn’t hear is CarMax executed this layoff during an Islamic Holiday after they were warned. A week before the layoff the entire company participated in a nationwide conference call to review the company’s decision and go over the details. I was an Operations Manager that spoke up on the call in front of the entire company and said, “All the Muslims around the world are getting ready to celebrate Eid”. Eid is the holiday Muslims celebrate after the month of fasting (Ramadan). After the phone call I asked my supervisor if the company would have done this during Christmas or Hanukah, she said, ” Probably Not”. I was then told special accommodations were made for me because I was Muslim. I was very upset that the company was executing the layoff during an Islamic holiday that is celebrated by over a billion people around the world. I expressed my opinion with the Regional Vice-President. I later received a follow up call from the Regional Vice-President saying the company instructed the other Vice-Presidents to layoff Muslims after the Muslim Holiday. I thought to myself, ”How in the world are they going to achieve this without profiling”?
CarMax claims to be a diverse company that promotes diversity and treats everyone fairly. So I ask all the readers.
1. Did CarMax know that they rescheduled the company layoff to happen during one of the most important Islamic holidays?

2. Would CarMax have executed the layoff during Christmas or Hanukah?

3. How did they make special accommodations for me and other Muslim employees without profiling?

4. Does CarMax respect and cherish their Muslim associates?

5. Do you think the Muslims around the world look at CarMax as a company that respects Islam and all of its followers?

These are all good questions for all to answer. Let me know what you think, I look forward to hearing from all of you. Please pass this link to all you know, I want to get different points of view.


  • Li
    Ling Chi May 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This is idiotic self serving ethnocentrism - I was an associate for almost three years (left on good terms of my own volition), yet I know many people who were fired throughout the year for non-performance, and it mattered not whether the terminations took place around particular holidays. The first week of every month is essentially the monthly performance reviews, and the last I checked, the first week of January came shortly after Christmas. Yes, people still lost their jobs then, but no one cried about how some non-Christian must have pulled the plug on them.

    Let's not forget all the Americans (oh, that must mean 90+% of the company) that worked during Memorial day and got laid off in June. What about the people who worked July 4th and then got fired in August? Will you then claim that Carmax is anti-American?

    Idiot claim.

    0 Votes


The Regional Mgmt in Atlanta is awful! The HR manager sexually harrases every female he meets! He is currently dating the regional business office manager even though it is completely against the rules. their affair along with his harrassment has been reported to corporate, but they decided to turn a blind eye to it. the regional mgmt are intimidating, so only a few people have come forward. everyone knows that if you complain about their mgmt, you WILL be fired! i think people need to get the media involved since the corporate offices refuses to take care of these issues in atlanta and the carolina's...

  • Xa
    XanD43 Jan 25, 2010

    I purchased my vehicle from CarMax in April 2008 since then my vehicle has been put in the shop 10+ times for repairs. I was sold this car under the assumption that with the extended warranty CarMax would be able to fix my car for $50 a visit. CarMax has been able to work on my vehicle once, every other time it must be sent to the dealership. The mechanics at CarMax usually cannot even diagnose the vehicle as having a problem. They changed and rotated my tires and returned the car saying that everything was fine once. I was having problems with it so I took it to a Saab dealer. The Saab dealer said that the oil pump was leaking, the water pump was leaking, the head gasket was cracked and the tires were bald. CarMax rotated bald tires and didnt say anything and they changed the oil on a car and didnt notice the oil leaking right back out. I have spoken to the Operations Manager who is claiming CarMax is not liable for any problems that we have had with our vehicle. He says it would be impossible to be able to be liable for every car owner that is upset when their car breaks down due to age and mileage. I have never heard of a car with 80, 000 miles needing a new head gasket. CarMax has robbed us by selling us this liability of a vehicle and now they are washing their hands of us. Below I have documented all repairs and dealings with CarMax since the day I purchased my vehicle.

    0 Votes

crappy vehicles with horrible customer service

I purchased my vehicle from CarMax in April 2008. Since then my vehicle has been in the shop 10+ times for extensive repairs. I was sold an extended warranty and told that CarMax would be able to fix my car for $50 per visit. CarMax doesn't have the expertise to fix my Saab. Why sell cars that you are not able to repair? I have tried tiresly to contact someone at CarMax to help me fix my problem. I finally reached the operational manager who has told me they can do nothing. He says that the mechanics can fix the Saab although they can't diagnose it in the first place, they are currently attempting to change my PCV valve with instructions that I have sent to them off line. There mechanic admitted to my husband that he has no idea how our pcv valve operates so he thinks it is running fine. They changed my oil and returned my car to me claiming it ran fine and the oil pump, water pump and the head gasket were bad. I had to take it to the dealership for a full diagnosis. How can you claim to be able to work on a vehicle if your mechanics change the oil on a car and don't notice that the same vehicle is leaking oil at the time?!? Now they have washed their hands of us, they claim no liability, the car is just needing maintenance due to age and milage. I have never heard of a car needing a new head gasket at 80, 000 miles. Below I have documented all problems and interactions with CarMax to date. Do yourself a favor, don't purchase a vehicle from here.
My experience with CarMax
Summary of 2003 Saab Maintenance
Date Event
4/2008 Purchased Saab from Va Beach CarMax
7/15/2008 Dealership: CarMax
Problem: Check engine light on
Result: Instructed to take vehicle to Saab dealership, we were told that CarMax could not fix the problem.
7/21/2008 Dealership: Saab Dealer
Problem: Check engine light is on
Result: Replaced ignition cassette and changed spark plugs
8/28/2008 Dealership: Saab Dealer
Problem: SID display bland and SES light on
Result: Replaced SID display and replaced brake vacuum booster
1/23/2009 Dealership: Saab Dealer
Problem: Check engine light is on
Result: Replaced thermostat
3/5/2009 Dealership: Saab Dealer
Problem: Theft system light is on
Result: Replaced siren
10/27/2009 Dealership: CarMax
Problem: car clunking when hitting bumps
Result: diagnosed as strut assembly
*Took car home to await parts
11/9/2009 Dealership: CarMax
*Return to fix struts
Result: Struts were not the problem, wrong diagnosis. Ordered control arm bushings.
*Took car home to await parts
11/17/2009- Dealership: CarMax
*Return to install control arm bushings
Problem: Car is rattling
Result: Air conditioning compressor replaced
*CarMax was unable to change the control arm bushings and the Saab was transferred to Suttle.
12/08/2009- Dealership: CarMax
Problem: Car is still making noise when hitting bumps
Result: Car is evaluated and diagnosed as no problems exist. We were instructed that key battery needed to be replaced and told it must be done at the dealership; CarMax was unable to change it.
*Oil change and tire rotation completed-Upon pickup we noticed that the car had not been reset. After trying to reset the car we were told that the car would have to be taken to the dealership to be reset. The next morning the shop tech called to inform us that the car would not reset because the key battery was dead. CarMax changed the key battery (the same battery that we were told had to be changed at the dealership) and the car reset.
Due to the holidays we had to drive our car on vacation while it still made noise and ran horribly.
1/4/2010 Dealership: Saab Dealer
Problem: Car still making noise
Result: Replaced head gasket, water pump, oil pressure switch, front crank seal, oil pump and o-ring. Instructed that “PCV valve needs to be replaced ASAP” and 4 new tires are needed.
*CarMax diagnosed the car as fine, changed the oil and rotated tires and never noticed any of the problems above.
1/29/2010 After numerous attempts we finally contacted a manager who was willing to help us. We were instructed to bring our vehicle in for service and told that the PCV valve and head gaskets would be replaced.
1/20/2010 Dealership: CarMax
Problem: Ongoing complaint from October 27, 2009. Car continues to make the same noise and PCV valve needs to be replaced per the Saab dealership.
Result: Car diagnosed as fine. We are informed by CarMax that the vehicle does not have a PCV valve rather it has a PCV tube? CarMax stated that the car runs fine and no noises were heard.
Despite numerous attempts to contact CarMax corporate management we have had no response regarding what can be done about the car we purchased. We have tried to give CarMax every opportunity to correct the situation.
1/21/2010 Dealership: CarMax
• Sales Manager set up an appointment for us to drive the vehicle with him and the Operations Manager at 4pm
1/22/2010 Dealership: CarMax
*Showed up for appointment with the managers, the sales manager was at lunch and the Operations Manager was not at the store. This letter was left for the Operations Manager in his mailbox.
Result: Drove Saab with a mechanic who instructed us that the noise may be the vehicles axle or the wheel bearings. PCV valve still not diagnosed while mechanic felt the problem while driving he informed us that he doesn’t know what he is looking for in the part because he is not educated on how it functions.
1/22/2010 CarMax Corporate
Problem: Called to speak with someone in regards to our vehicle. We tried to obtain contact information for someone that can help us with our problem. We were once again directed towards the elusive Operations Manager at CarMax Newport News, Va. The customer service representative has assured us that the Operations Manager will be contacting us in the morning.
1/23/2009 CarMax
*Finally spoke with the Operational Manager who instructed me that there is nothing that CarMax could do to assist. They could not take responsibility for every customer that had repairs from aging and mileage being put on their vehicle after purchase. I am not an expert but unless I am drag racing I don’t think a head gasket should blow on a car that has 80, 000 miles on it.
Result: CarMax is attempting to change PCV valve for $96.14 for the part and $20.70 for labor. If the car has to be transferred to Suttle, CarMax will be paying the difference.

  • Ga
    GA Crawford Dec 21, 2010

    Really? The cars today are very technical and sophisticated and each manufacturer has special equipment, diagnostics, and tools, especially the imports and high end cars like a Saab. There is no way CarMax can be anything other than a generalist when it comes to auto mechanics since they deal in diversity. CarMax is about having variety of choice, not mechanical expertise, and you have to assume that all cars have maintenance issues and some may be more severe than others. Ultimately, you have to assume some risk in any car purchase, regardless of the vendor and you can minimize the risk by taking an auto to the specified brand dealership and have them do a check for purchase and a compression check. You can spend a hundred bucks or more, but it should provide a good technical opinion of the mechanical state of that auto, eliminating some risk and possible saving lots of money and stress. Additionally, you can purchase an extended warranty, and I am sure they offered it, to cover just such issues.
    Your issue is with the car, specifically Saab, and not CarMax.

    0 Votes


On October 1, 2009 the Seeker of Justice posted complaints on various websites to inform the public about accounting fraud within CarMax, this has lead to multiple employees losing their jobs because they tried to stop the corruption. The Seeker of Justice has received many follow-up emails with internal and external examples of fraud at CarMax. The Seeker of Justice is investigating each one.

While we cannot discuss the details of the investigations, we can however disclose CarMaxs recent move to find out the identity of the Seeker of Justice. As you all know this is public information anyway.

Here is a snippet from the email we received from Google.

Google has received a civil subpoena for information related to your Google account in a case entitled CarMax, Inc. et al. v. John Doe, Circuit Court, County of Goochland, Commonwealth of Virginia, Case number CL09000177-00.

While this attempt from CarMax violates our Constitutional and privacy rights, we are confident that Google will not disclose our identity to anyone, besides, that was the agreement between us and Google when we created the Gmail account.

Beware of KMX stock right now, this is the only fair advice we can give you. The seeker of Justice will not stop until the corruption stops and the individuals that are covering this up are brought to Justice. The Seeker of Justice will not stop until the families that were destroyed are made whole again.

Please tell all your friends and family about what is going on at Carmax. Also if you are aware of any fraudulent activities within CarMax please shoot us a detailed email at seekerofjustice2009 AT gmail.com. Together we can stop the corruption.

If each of you pass this message on to ten people you know that possibly has or will purchase Carmax stock you will have made them aware of what is really happening.

  • Li
    Ling Chi May 25, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    for posterity:

    CarMax, Inc. et al. v. John Doe, Circuit Court, County of Goochland, Commonwealth of Virginia, Case number CL09000177-00.

    Can't wait to see what happens in August. Everyone else can follow the case by going the county court site and entering the case number.


    Also, how is Carmax violating your Constitutional rights? The Constitution makes no mention of the right to privacy, although your lawyer (I hope you get one) will probably tell you that.

    1 Votes


I've never written one of these before, but man, my experience with CarMax was one of the most frustrating buying experiences (or lack thereof) I've ever had, so much so that I feel an incredible urge to share it with the broader interweb public. From what I've read below and elsewhere it looks like many can commiserate.

I honestly wasn't really expecting a lot from CarMax. I look at it like a thrift store - what you buy is what you get. Used is used. Here's the story (or tome as it turns out):

My truck was totalled so I had to act with reasonable haste. I found a car that I really thought I would like, an Audi wagon, only problem was that it was located in Illinois, and I'm in Ohio. Slim pickins for a manual transmission and AWD around here right now, at least in my price range, so after much deliberation I decided to have it transferred. This was a crucial mistake. Once I paid that transfer fee, it's like they really thought it was a done deal. Customer service went out the window.

I requested the transfer on a Monday. My sales rep said he would call me with an update on it's estimated arrival. Ok, cool.

By Wednesday evening when he still hadn't called me, I called him. He said it should be arriving by the weekend. He'd call me with an update. Sounds good.

On Sunday, after not hearing from him, I called the main number just to check on its status. I was told that only my sales rep knew the status of that particular vehicle and he was not in. They could not look it up for me. Awesome.

The following Monday, when he hadn't called by 11:30am I called him yet again. He informed me it in fact had arrived sometime over the weekend and was there when he arrived that morning. He said he was planning on calling me. At this point I was told I could not see the car until it went through another inspection but that it would be ready to see and test drive on Tuesday and that he would call me to let me know.

By 4pm Tuesday I hadn't heard anything and decided to head over to the store as I was anxious to actually see the car and wanted to do so when there was still a shred of daylight left. "Oh, I was going to call you. Bad news, your car won't be ready until Wednesday. I noticed a rattle in the exhaust pipe when I drove it today. A bracket needs to be installed to hold it in place. It should definitely be ready by 6pm tomorrow. I'll call you tomorrow to let you know the status."

By 6:15pm on Wednesday he still hadn't called. Yet again I had to call him and he told me that it would not be ready after all. That the service had not been completed but that it would be ready for me on Thursday and he would call be by noon. Man, I have to admit that I was totally unamused by this point. Not so much that the car wasn't ready, which was frustrating in and of itself, especially since I was driving a rental car the entire time, but that I couldn't get a phonecall to tell me this. Four times I was told he would call, and not once did he. I gotta admit, he heard it from me at this point. "I promise I'll call you tomorrow". Sure. And really, how long does it take to install a bracket anyway? Three days? Fishy.

During this entire time, I was constantly searching for other cars. That Thursday morning, I went to check one out and take it for a drive. At noon, CarMax did actually call me - to tell me: "Really bad news, your car won't be ready after all. It needs a whole new exhaust system, as it was botched the first time we did it." I just had to laugh: "No, MY car (a Subaru) is sitting right outside my car dealer's office, as i just wrote him a check for it. Good luck with YOUR car's repair though." Eating that transfer fee was well worth not ever having to deal with those guys again. If it was this difficult to buy a car from them, i couldn't imagine if something actually went wrong with it.

  • De
    destardi Jan 30, 2010

    So...you were upset they didn't want to sell you a car with a bad exhaust system?

    3 Votes

service warranties

We all know how deceptive Car Companies can be, but it surprised me that Car Max, which is a self-described "no ###" car company would be running this scam. When you buy a car, in my case, a 2001 Lincoln Navigator, the salesman pressures you to buy the extended warranty. This is not cheap, in my case I purchased the warranty for $1800, figuring that a "no ###" company would have a "no ###" warranty.
Surprisingly, such was not the case. During my extended warranty, the transmission went out on my Navigator at only 80, 000 miles. Now this would make you think the company had sold a bad car? But no, when I approached Car Max, they asked me to prove that I had properly serviced the car. This is service, according to the small print on their extended warranty. Happily, I had properly serviced my car according to CarMax. The next step was for Car Max to "sub" the job out to another company. Surprise! They do not do transmission work, or several other car servicing jobs. These jobs are basics with a regular car dealer, but to car max, it appears that anything over an oil change is out of their realm of expertise. The trouble starts if the sub company does not do great work. Car Max sends you to these people, they are "trusted" by Car Max, and when they screw up, Car Max keeps sending you back to this company, until you are happy. This results in lost work, time spent dealing with the issue, and Car Max does not supply a loaner or rental car while these shennanigans are going on!! Initially: Car Max was responsible for hooking me up with a loaner car. But as I went back to the sub 2, 3 4 times to get the work done right: Car Max was not responsible for the loaner car, the sub was. This resulted in my receiving a horrible, dirty, and badly serviced loaner car. The window wipers, and horn didn't work on it. I was driving my kids around in a Chrysler that had definitely seen better days.
The first time I got my transmission done by this sub, I took it home, and it stopped working a day or two later. Then it would work again, then stop again. I took it back.
The second time, it worked longer, but it had a "hitch" at 42 mph. The car would roughly shift into a higher gear. I asked the sub about this rough shifter, and they said the transmission was the only one Car Max would pay for, and that was the best I could hope for. Again, the transmission would stop working at random times, and I had to leave my car in the shop for several days so the "mechanic" could drive it to his home, and diagnose it.
This continued for two months. I was so mad at Car Max, and the transmission shop, but Car Max kept throwing the blame back on the sub. Car Max took NO RESPONSIBILITY for the continuing issue, only the sub was to blame. I lost so much work over the two months, and had so much aggravation, I was furious.
The final straw was when I was getting ready to take a vacation. I was driving 500 miles, and didn't want to experience any of the issues I'd had. I asked the sub to make sure my transmission was ready to go. The owner snottily informed me that not only was my car ready, but he wanted a personal apology if I made it to my vacation destination and back without transmission trouble.
Well, guess what. After traveling 400 miles, my transmission went again. It wouldn't go in reverse. So while on vacation, resulting in a ruined vacation, my car had to go into the shop again. This time, when phoning Car Max, I was told that the sub was responsible for the repair, and they would find a sub where I was vacationing.
I guess it was fortuitous that my car finally was fixed, by the sub's sub. If not, I think I'd probably still be going back to the original sub and begging them to get my transmission going.
The moral: DO NOT BUY an extended warranty from Car Max. They are selling you a useless document, unless you know who will be doing the repair work. If Car Max isn't responsible, they shouldn't be selling the warranties. I will never buy another car from Car Max.
In an interesting aside: after I bought my car, and was assured it was in good working order and had never been in an accident, I called my insurance agent to get insurance on it. He asked me about the accident I'd had a few months before. I told him I'd just purchased the car, and hadn't been in an accident. Car Max DOES NOT give it's consumers an accurate record on what's happened to the cars they sell. You'd be better off going to Ned the Snakey Car Salesman than Car Max.

  • Dr
    Drimart Feb 07, 2010

    Purchased an automobile which seemd fine enough during initial inspection and test drive...
    Here I am 6 months later ...only 3, 000 miles...and almost $6, 000 and 2 weeks out of a car due to repairs. These are major engine oil leaks which should have been apparent to ANY so called certified inspection as claimed by Car Max...not to mention a slew of other minor items. No wonder thay are so insistent on pushing the extended warranty...which did relunctently pick up cost of repairs and rentals after some haggling with them...after all it is an insurance company. This extended warranty by the way costing almost $3, 000 itself financed in the car note.
    All I can say is that Car Max is less than up front about their so called certified inspection...and certainly would NEVER buy anything from them again. When I contacted Car Max about these issues...they simply say they are not responsible after their 30 return policy runs out...of course not.

    BUYER BEWARE is a true statement when it comes to Car Max

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bisiar Jun 07, 2010

    I brought my fully operational BMW M3 to car max to consider trading it for another car. When they gave my car back to me the warning lights where flashing indicating a problem with the convertible top. They said they opened it and closed it fine but then the lights started flashing. They told be to bring it back when the had a tech on duty and when I did and He couldn't fix it. They said I should take it to BMW and they would not pay. To add to the miserable experience they offered me $10, 000 below blue book.

    0 Votes
  • Wc
    wcor Mar 23, 2011

    I bought a 2000 Ford Escort from Car Max on 2009. Last March, 2010, I needed an engine and transmission replacement. It was under the extended warranty so it got done. Now, just barely 12 months later I am told that the teeth of the timing belt broke and I will need another engine. This is my second and last car I will ever buy from Car Max. They are overpriced as it is, however, if I felt that I was buying my car in an establishment that back their work I would not hesitate to buy from such a place.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    rev.william meadows Mar 23, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    some one is feeding you a line all it needs is the gears that runs timing belt. sound like you are geting a real ripoff

    0 Votes

hold title after vehicle paid off

Carmax took 5 months to send me my title - only after I phoned
We were approaching the payoff date for our van so I phoned Carmax to confirm the payoff amount and the expected time frame in which we could expect our title. At the beginning of June I spoke with a nice woman named Ruth at Carmax. She told me the pay off amount, updated our address, and assured me that our title would arrive 4 weeks after our last payment. We made our final payment and waited...and waited...and waited. As things go, I got busy and assumed that my spouse had received the title and filed it away. Then recently (November) I was looking through our van file folder and noticed that we had not yet received our title. I phoned Carmax and went through the phone menu, found out that we had indeed paid off the van, and that the title had not yet been mailed to us! It was explained as an "oversight, " as the customer service rep chuckled. I told her it was nothing to laugh about - what if I had wanted to sell the van? What poor customer service! She promised the title would arrive in 7 days. We'll see if they can get their act straight this time.

I prefer to purchase my cars from individuals and this experience with Carmax reinforces my reasons for avoiding purchasing vehicles from used car dealers.

improper prep of car

4 WEEKS AFTER DRIVING MY "INSPECTED" CAR OFF THE LOT - THE left FRONT WHEEL CAME OFF, Dealer it was towed to and insurance imspector both stated lug nutts not properly installed. Car MAx refuses to accept claim as " it couldnt have been them as I drove the car for 4 weeks"( even though I had called 1 week eariler to get appt as breaks were sounding funny)

  • Am
    Amaica Sep 19, 2009

    I used to work for junkmax and can tell you that they 'might' inspect their vehicles but that does Not mean the fix any problems they find. Buyer beware - take the vehicle to your own mechanic for inspection and use the return policy if needed. Many do return and they go right back out on the lot.

    0 Votes
  • Am
    Amaica Sep 19, 2009

    Inspected vehicles aren't fixed. Take to your own mechanic and return car if not happy. Cars are returned all the time and plopped back onto the lot.

    1 Votes
  • HondasChik730 Oct 11, 2009

    my husband used to work for them... ever since their sales went down they are not obligated to give u all 4 new tires...like they used to, and they dont replace brake pads even if they are cracked...unless its a luxury car. So if you got a regular sedan or sports car...yeah basically they messed you up big time.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Ling Chi May 25, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    brakes - (n) mechanical device used to decelerate a vehicle
    breaks - (v) to render something inoperable or non-functional

    Aside from that, sorry your wheel came off. Could've been Carmax, could've been stupid neighborhood kids, or could've been the make/model you purchased (ie, 2000 Ford Focus had recalls to address this very issue). Many variables, but your situation seems to have been handled unprofessionally (at least as you present your case - I'm sure there's more that you're leaving out, but that's the nature of complaints).

    0 Votes