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Carfax officials get earful for shoddy reports

November 22, 2010
Officials of Carfax visited the CATA in December to sing about a new service offered by the vehicle history provider, but instead they heard a chorus of boos from association directors unhappy with Carfax. Dealers charged that inaccuracies in the vehicle history reports peddled by Carfax harm the values of used cars sold by dealers and the trade-ins of their customers. "You're not helping the front-end customer, you're not helping the dealer, and you're really not helping the backend customer," CATA Chairman Casey Wickstrom told Carfax Vice President Gerry Bayer. Sloppy odometer readings at emissions control facilities can lead to rollback suspicions. Bayer assured the CATA directors that Carfax would not flag a vehicle if any information is found to be wrong. But, he conceded, an erroneous reading would not be removed from the report. Art Kelly, CATA vice chairman, called Carfax report information "garbage." "You must be held as an expert in the field," Kelly told Bayer. "Your inaccuracies cost us a lot of money in lawsuits. We aren't happy. We don't like you." Carfax offers to reimburse dealers up to $5,000 for damages caused by misinformation. Kelly said Carfax should indemnify dealers. Bayer and Faisal Hasan of Carfax visited the CATA to promote the company's fast track data research, which aims to rectify any data issues in one business day. "We want to expedite the sale," Bayer said. "If you know the information is wrong, tell us."