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Incomplete reports from Carfax could cost you thousands

Customers around the state say previous accidents were added to Carfax reports, after they bought the cars

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A series of complaints filed with the North Carolina Attorney General claim CARFAX, the company that provides vehicle history reports for customers buying used cars, gave them reports with incomplete information.

Both the complaints and three customers interviewed by WBTV show a string of people who purchased used cars with a CARFAX report that said their vehicles hadn’t been in an accident. All three people learned after the fact, though, their newly-purchased vehicles had been in an accident.

That’s exactly what Eric Lindsay was worried about when he was shopping for a used car. He recorded himself asking questions to the salesman to make sure the vehicle he was buying didn’t have any prior damage.

He got the guarantee he was looking for, both from the dealership and a CARFAX vehicle history report.

“It was a clean CARFAX and it’s a clean title,” Lindsay said.

He paid more than $12,000 for the 2008 Infiniti G37. It looks sleek and draws attention while driving down the street. But what Lindsay didn’t know was that beneath the smooth exterior, the car was hiding secrets.

Lindsay was rear-ended and he says he called his insurance provider to get a new valuation on his car.

Lindsay decided to run another CARFAX report and this new one showed something completely different than what he was given the first time.

Lindsay bought the car in February 2018. By April 4, 2018 CARFAX was reporting that there was in fact damage done to the vehicle during an incident in 2017.

“These dealerships are out here showing the CARFAX on these vehicles and it’s not the right information,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay filed a complaint against CARFAX with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Through a public records request, WBTV found three other similar complaints against CARFAX.

Rebecca Wallace bought a 2009 Mercedes-Benz in 2016. Before she bought the car, her insurance company provided her with a CARFAX vehicle history report that showed “no accident/damage reported to CARFAX.”

Wallace had a minor accident in the car in 2017 which caused the airbags to deploy. Curious as to why that would happen, she reached out to her insurance company to get a valuation report of the vehicle. This report showed that the car had been in a severe crash in 2015.