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CATA board repeats calls for dealers’ Carfax reports

November 22, 2010

The CATA board of directors repeated its call for copies of accurate and inaccurate Carfax reports, following a Chicago television news report on the state government’s inability to share compiled vehicle accident data with companies like Carfax.


Lobbyists for several industries helped to derail an attempt last spring by Carfax to gain access to the Illinois Transportation Department’s vehicle-specific accident information. But it wasn’t the first such attempt by Carfax, and it likely won’t be the last. Similar laws exist in 39 states. 

To help prepare for the next Carfax maneuver, CATA directors want their fellow dealers to submit to the CATA copies of accurate and inaccurate Carfax reports they have encountered.


Pam Zekman, a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago, said July 11 that consumers are "at risk because, under Illinois law, the state cannot reveal information contained in police reports about cars involved in accidents."


Zekman failed to note that inaccuracies related to accident reports are common. The incorporation of such data into a vehicle’s history report, then, would harm the values of used vehicles, including customer trade-ins.


Carfax officials who visited the CATA in 2003 conceded the company’s reports do contain erroneous information, but they said such information would not be removed from a report—even after it is uncovered.


Send any Carfax reports to Erik Higgins at the CATA.