I just purchased a MY05 FXS from CarMax. Overall not a bad sales experience. However...
The owners manual folder still contained the original dealer's cards. This dealer happened to be the same one bought our first Forester from so I took it over there to get a little history and a check out. First off I found that the car has about $5,000 worth of front end collision work done, bumper, grill, radiator etc. None of this showed up in the CARCheck service CarMax uses.
OK I can deal, it sounded pretty cosmetic (extensive, but cosmetic). I like the dealer (Mitchell Subaru, CT), I trust their work so I'll live with it.
Worse, I noticed a little oil in my driveway the day after bringing it home. They found that when CarMax did an oil change they didn't replace the gasket on the oil plug and gouged the threads up trying to put it back in. The dealer found a spare plug and replaced the original, no charge (for the plug anyway).
A little oil leak sure makes a heck of a mess. If you ever have that burning smell, it's most ikely an oil leak.
Moral of the story, get the car checked out by an independent source and don't trust the CarMax sevice area to do the job right.
So I went back to CarMax today to discuss a payoff of the car from a different lender and I figured while I was there I'd see the service manager.
I told him about the collision damage and the oil change issue.
He was very concerned about the collision damage. They do not want to sell vehicles that have had any frame damage. They're ok with "bolt-on" collision issues but not "welding" collision issue.
If the car had welded repairs he was prepared to buy the car back from me and make things right.
He took the car into the shop area which was immaculate, all the mechanics were scribbing the blue and yellow painted floor. The car was put up on a lift and he and several "level 1" mechanics went over the damaged area. All the parts replaced were bolt on parts. They were very impressed witht he collision work from the dealer which surpassed their standards.
He said the oil changes are not done buy the level 1 guys but the guys who do it should know better and he would make sure they hear about it.
In the end he refunded me for the safety inspection I had done at my dealer and the repair to the oil plug and oil change.
In the end they did me right. I can't blame them for the CarCheck service not reporting the damage and he rectify the oil change issues. He was honestly concerned about the quality of the vehicles they sell and the service they provide. This is their first store in the northeast and they want to be as perfect as possible.
He went a long way to turn me back into a satisfied customer.