KSL INVESTIGATES

What can you do when Carfax reports a crash that never happened on your car’s report?

Mar 24, 2022, 6:20 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – When someone looks to buy a used car, they are likely going to want some assurance it doesn’t have major hidden damage.

A popular way to know if a car has been in a wreck is by checking the car’s vehicle history report. But what happens when that report is wrong? It happened to a St. George woman, and it was going to cost her more than $10,000 when she went to trade in her old car.

When Sloan Judd bought a used car from a Southern Utah car dealership, she was offered evidence the car had never been in an accident.

“They had the Carfax report,” Judd said.

The report was clean – no indication of a crash. But warp forward a few years when Sloan went to trade in the car but found the formerly clean Carfax report showed her car had “structural damage” for an apparent accident that happened before she even bought it.

“At first I was like, this can’t be our car,” she said. “This has got to be the wrong car.”

That new blemish was poised to cost Judd big time the car dealer told her.

“They would take it (the old car), but they lowered my trade-in value by $13,000.”

She did not want to lose her shirt over what seemed like a mistake, so Judd decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

According to its website, “CARFAX has billions of records received from thousands of sources across the U.S. and Canada.”

The KSL Investigators asked Carfax which one of those thousands of sources reported the major ding on Judd’s car?

“We do not share that,” said Emilie Voss of Carfax.

What she would share is that, yes, mistakes do happen. And they have a squad tasked with righting the wrongs.

“We have a team who that is their whole job, to investigate issues like this,” Voss explained.

Investigate Carfax did and just like that, some good news for Sloan Judd.

“In this case, it was information that this (car) had damage and it turned out that it didn’t have damage once we did look into it,” said Voss. “But it was a mistake made by one of the data sources.”

Carfax removed the damage report and with that now-clean Carfax report in hand, Judd traded in her old and got a fairer price.

Because mistakes do happen or because sometimes accidents happen but are never reported, it is always a good idea to have a mechanic look over any used car before you buy it.

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What can you do when Carfax reports a crash that never happened on your car’s report?