Carfax Inc. says it will buy back cars from dealers and consumers who find problems with vehicles that it gave a clean bill of health.
The provider of used-vehicle history reports is scheduled to announce the policy at the convention Sunday.
Previously, Carfax would pay $5,000 if its report showed a clean history but a problem existed.
Among the potential problems that Carfax discloses are odometer rollbacks; manufacturer buy-backs under so-called lemon laws; flood damage; or frame damage from an accident.
The buy-back guarantee covers any vehicle on which the Fairfax, Va., company reports, says Scott Fredericks, Carfax vice president of marketing.
A dealership can transfer the guarantee to the consumer who buys the vehicle. If a problem is found later, Carfax will buy the vehicle from the owner. The guarantee is good for three years after the report.
"Every state has a different set of rules, and we're saying we know all of them," says Fredericks. "We're protecting the dealer and ultimately the consumer who buys that car from the dealer against problems not reported when they buy the vehicle." He declined to say how often Carfax reports are wrong. "It happens from time to time, and we do pay out," he says.
Carfax collects data from about 53,000 sources including dealerships, police accident reports, state vehicle inspection stations and state departments of motor vehicles. Fredericks estimates that 60 to 65 percent of the nation's franchised dealerships use Carfax reports.