Gonzales v. CarMax Auto Superstores, LLC

A car dealer selling a “certified” used car must provide the buyer, before the sale, with an inspection report that lists each part that was inspected and states how the part performed on inspection; failure to provide the report violates the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law.  Vehicle Code 11713.18(a) provides that in order to call a used car “certified,” the dealer must provide the car buyer before the purchase with a completed “inspection report.”  This decision holds that “inspection report” is a technical term of art in the automotive industry and that the California Legislature is deemed to have used the term in that technical meaning.  According to the technical meaning, an inspection report is not “complete” unless it indicates which parts were inspected and how each inspected part performed.  CarMax’s inspection report which only indicated which parts were inspected but not how they performed did not comply with section 11713.8, so the car buyer was entitled to judgment on his claims for violation of the CLRA and UCL.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Reinhardt, J.); October 20, 2016; 2016 WL 6122776

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