So much for Carfax.

January 16, 2009

CBC’s Marketplace, January 16, 2009:

The lead article this evening effectively drove a stake through the heart of the Internet auto shopper’s standby.  Marketplace staff examined four late model Vancouver vehicles for sale or recently sold at dealerships, all with clean Carfax reports.  Their forensic mechanic had no trouble identifying that each had been in a major collision, despite the dealers’ claims to the contrary.

Competing automotive history services had some of the collisions on record, and each of the vehicles had sold at auction as “frame damaged.”

At the time that I bought my truck on eBay Carfax promised to buy back any vehicle that proved to have unreported damage.  No mention was made of this promise in the Marketplace piece.  In fact the Carfax spokesman could do little but grimmace and try to evade the blame the interviewer relentlessly plastered all over him.  The best he could do was to blame the agencies who had failed to report the accidents to Carfax.  Reporting damage, apparently, is voluntary.

To my mind this piece of journalism destroys the credibility of Carfax as an instrument for car purchasers, but I invite readers to have a look and decide for themselves.