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New crusade

The promoters of CarFax have the required resources to perpetuate the idea that “a clean CarFax” means more than it does. I propose that we transfer some of our resources used to educated the public about “iffy Lubes” to our “educate the public about CarFax” program. My motivation is the number of posts(hence the number of people) we are getting that are so firmly taken in by the CarFax advertisement and promotional techniques that not a second thought is given towards the limitations of CarFax.

Car rebuilders, working with insurance companies, have developed methods that avoids having a title stamped “Salvage” or “Theft Recovery”…As long as a badly damaged vehicle is repaired before it is sold, Carfax has no way to determine that…If you are not ticketed at an accident scene, there is no record your car was involved in an accident. Over half the vehicles in the United States are not subject to annual inspections, which Carfax depends on for information…

Perhaps this thread will be very short lived but if more posts like yours containing cautionary information about CarFax existed in it and could be accessed by the “search” feature then it could not be said that we did not at least try an address the misplaced trust that the public has in CarFax and similar services.

This is not at all an attempt to lable CarFax as dishonest, it is simply an effort to once again affirm the old saying “garbage in garbage out”.

A good idea if we push in the right location.

I think we, all of us, should lobby Car Fax to include “truth in advertising” in their advertising.
Phone them ,
email them,
and phone whichever national watchdog agency ( FTC , FCC ? ) is in charge of “truth in advertising” to include at least a disclaimer that “Car Fax includes only the information given to them and may not be the complete repair history of the vehicle”.

After all, our posting here reaches…oh, hundreds of people who get it.

Their advertising reaches millions of people who don’t get it.

As for me, I’ll bring it up to my Ford dealer sales people to state that disclaimer when the customer asks for a Car Fax report.

Depending on clean Carfax to buy a car is like using a clean criminal record to hire somebody. While you sure want both to be ‘clean’, they’re far from the only thing one should look at before buying or hiring.

Bad Carfax = run away, clean Carfax = start the REAL examination.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who believe everything they see. I do, however, have my on success story with Carfax. When Carfax was brand new, before all the goofy commercials, I was looking at a truck on a small, independent lot. It was probably mid to late 90’s and the truck was a 1988 I think. It only had like 80,000 miles on it and I brought it up to the guy that it seemed low. He assured me that was actual miles. I had heard of Carfax and I was suspicious so I made an account and paid to run the history. All that really came up was title transfers but at one point, the mileage at the time of transfer was 110,000. I didn’t go confront the guy about it but a guy my wife worked with wound up buying the truck. We told him what we had found out and he confronted the guy. To keep from being reported, the guy not only gave him his money back but he let him keep the truck. He was out of business soon after that.

Now, that was my one and only use of Carfax and all it really did was give me info I probalby could have gotten on my own with research at the BMV. There is no way to know the entire history of any vehicle unless you buy it from the dealer new and own it until it falls apart. Even though it kept me from buying that truck, I’d probably never use it again.

I still contend that any garage can ruin a car if it is run poorly. Quck lube joint or not, attention to detail is the job of the shop manager. Neither will or should last long if they do a poor job.

And I like your idea about posting reasonable limitations of the CarFax service.