In an earlier blog – Customer Versus Carmax the plight of an ordinary Barbadian whose only crime was to purchase a vehicle from CarMax located on Hastings Main Road in Christ Church has resulted in a tale of woe.

A simple summary: in 2014 the Barbadian purchased a pre owned Kia Sportage 2000 cc diesel 4WD Engine# D4EA5H112253. Within the first year of purchase the vehicle had begun to ‘hard start’ and overheat. Despite changing air, oil, diesel filters, radiator, thermostat and hose, as well as all parts recommended by a mechanic the problems persisted. After an exhaustive process the mechanic discovered that the engine  D4EA9H903688 mounted in the vehicle conflicted with the number on the sale contract, invoice, insurance, and  road tax.

To make a long story short CarMax has refused to accept responsible for misrepresenting the sale of the vehicle to this ordinary Barbadian pensioner. The argument being used by CarMax is the vehicle was not serviced by MQI Garage in the post sales period. General Manager of CarMax, Gordon Spencer acknowledged by email on May 10, 2021 that the substitute engine was installed in 2009 for a previous owner.


The blogmaster is of the view CarMax misrepresented the product sold to the Barbadian and should make all reasonable effort to remedy.


  1. I was convinced then and am convinced now… probably a salvaged flooded vehicle. I may be wrong.

    “In some cases, the VIN you will find in the car will only contain 12 characters. The number may be shorter because the previous one was damaged or unreadable and the owner decided to replace it in accordance with applicable regulations.

    It is also worth noting that the VIN you can find in antique cars may be different than the current 17-character VIN number. There was no standard for the VIN numbers between 1954 and 1981 so different manufacturers used different formats.”

    • The seller of the vehicle is on record admitting to having changed out the engine. This is not the issue.

  2. You are way over therr. I am stilI back here.

    My observations are based on what I know or am familiar with.

    I am more interested in
    why was it swapped out
    what was the state of the engine it was wapped out with.
    Was the swapped out done in Barbados or was it overseas.
    Why is there a defect in documenting the change of VIN?
    How do you sell a vehicle with the wrong vin?
    Anyone can say anything. You are to ready to give some a pass.

  3. Here is excerpt from a site. What was done at CARMAX is worse than what is stated here.

    “8. Title Washing
    By law, any car dealership that is selling a used or pre-owned vehicle has to disclose the history of that vehicle to the person who is considering buying it. This includes whether the car was in an accident, a fire or submerged under water for any length of time. The history of a vehicle is tracked when the car’s title transfers hands as it is sold and bought. However, many used car dealers get around this requirement and muddy the waters around a car’s title by engaging in what is known as “title washing.” This is when cars are shipped to dealerships and used lots in other states, where records of a vehicle’s history are not easily available or accessible. Many used cars have been shipped around from state to state so frequently, that tracking down their history and following the title transfers can be almost impossible. Checking websites such as CarFax and Auto Check can help. But it is always advisable to buy a used car whose title and history you can readily access yourself.”

  4. So you have a “mechanic” that cannot figure out why a motor is overheating but can diagnose the serial numbers dont match, and thats his conclusion … weird . The questions theo asks are relevant.

  5. The sale would have had terms and conditions. If the vehicle was sold say, as is, where with no warranty or presentation then buyer beware. This is not about right or wrong but what was the terms and conditions of the sale and reasonably legitimate expectations of the parties.

  6. I think Mr Spencer should run for leader of the DLP. (BLP is filled) His skills would fit nicely. Otherwise he should just run to become MoT’port. He may understand what goes on at the TB. His skills of misrepresentation have a place, and great value in the political world.

  7. And what de RH does it matter if the customer is an “ordinary” Bajan or a pensioner. They purposefully withheld key information relevant to the product they were selling. It is Standard Operating procedure to state if a motor has been replaced, if the odometer was rolled back or not, what the odometer reading was at that time, who did the replacement, etc etc

    • The fact of the matter the sale was misrepresented by Carmax if one considers the engine number on the engine and sale document. Bear in mind the documents would have been presented to the Barbados Licensing Authority and Barbados Revenue Authority to support insurance of the vehicle.

    • @NO

      If only to stress the point these are people in the vulnerable group susceptible to pariahs and snake oil salesmen.

  8. Lol…is there a similar vulnerable group whose elected representatives opt to “guarantee loans” and later tell them it cost $124M? Seems the island is full of vulnerable and misrepresented folks.

  9. Just a couple of questions , it was bought in 2014 problems arose in first year was it parked or has it been driven up to recently what is the odometer reading now as compared to the bill of sale reading. Why did the last owner want the motor changed after 4 years was it a new one or used ,what was the odometer reading in 2009 on motor if used. The only reason I ask is I have seen people eat most of a meal then complain about it expecting a refund so it is not an unfair question to ask what milage has been put on in the last seven years . Then it can be ascertained if the rad and other things are just regular wear and tear , or a total lemon.

  10. People have often made several complaints about new or used vehicles they purchased from MQI and CarMax respectively……….. and the quality of service given by Consolidated Finance.

    A friend of mine purchased a new Mazda 323 from then Quality Motors, through Consolidated Finance. Upon returning to the office after responding to a matter, we saw a car parked directly behind her vehicle with a man standing next to it. She was informed a Court Marshall wanted to see her, so we decided to accompany her to find out what was going on. The guy said he was a CM named Bryce and showed an official ID substantiating his claim. He used his status to portray he was acting in an official capacity on behalf of the Court and Consol…….. as a basis to repossess the vehicle, on the grounds that it was not insured.

    The lady changed insurance companies because she was not satisfied with CLICO. After showing Bryce the new insurance certificate, he reported the matter to Consol, but then insisted he needed to take the vehicle because the payment due for the particular month was unpaid, so as to initiate payment of his $300 fee. She told him payment was due at month-end.

    Although she was not in arrears, Consol still added $300 repossession fee to her account.

    There have been several complaints about MQI, CarMax and Consolidated Finance, and more so after those companies were taken over by Ansa McAl.

    SOLUTION; Stop buying vehicles from those companies.

  11. LOL LOL LOL what was the ” matter” . Pleeeease ….what tripe. You know mother THeresa got bad reviews as a racist and colonialist, you cant please everyone. You forgot to say they added the 300 because they are racist.

  12. I find it distressing when I read these stories. One of the thoughts that come to mind is “Can these folks go to anyone to find a remedy? How can businesses act so high and mighty and without fear? Is it because we (Bajans) are afraid to rock the boat?

    That lady should be sending Consol numerous emails, letters and making phone calls so as to get her money back. Don’t just walk away and eat the cost.. complain, complain, complain. Emails are free. Send letters to higher management and the legal department.

    Dear Sir/Madam
    Please note that your repossession fee of $300.00 is not valid as it was made prior to the payment due date. I would be most grateful, if you would send me a refund check or credit the sum towards my next month’s payment.
    If necessary, I am willing to visit your office so that we can discuss and remedy this situation.
    As a customer, I enjoyed the level of service delivered by your employees and would often give your name to my family members and friends. I must add that the current situation now makes me reluctant to do so.
    Looking forward to your response to this matter.
    Stay safe.
    🙂 Annabelle Carrington 🙂

  13. or maybe in an other case…..I know I should have talked about this while I was there about that other matter , I thought it was 8.0 not 0.8 . There seemed to be a mix up at my bank that the last check bounced but I can assure you if we wait till the end of this month my bank will have it sorted out by then. when I I will pay you double and if they still screw up again at the end of the next month triple. I know there is lots of money in there because I saw all those zeros.

  14. I don’t see Carmax being at fault. We constantly push our buyer’s responsibility onto the seller.

    The proper process to buy a second hand vehicle has always been to have it checked by your mechanic or a reputable company capable of doing a thorough road worthiness check and verifying the VIN and Engine numbers are correct is supposed to be standard for all second hand car purchases. Otherwise it is buyer beware.

    The different engine numbers could have been a simple matter of an transcription error on the documentation especially if they are a company dealing with multiple cars. I personally have had completely wrong numbers or typos on the documentation on multiple occasions and it was only caught by the mechanic’s inspection or at licensing authority when registering the vehicle.

    What would need to be investigated is to trace the history to see the true age of the vehicle and engine to ensure malfeasance was not involved.

  15. It is still a buyer beware issue and buyers must be aware of their rights and known problems experienced with certain types of vehicles. My question would be, did they have a thorough check done of the vehicle by their own person before finalising the purchase?

    If my recollection is correct,
    1) Carmax usually does at least a 6 months warranty on vehicles they sell. I know someone that had a vehicle from them and they took it back and exchanged it for another vehicle because of the problems they had and they did it within the warranty period.
    2) Most higher technology diesel engines for vehicles made around that timeframe give problems because of our poor quality diesel. I can’t remember when the quality of diesel sold here was improved but anyone buying a diesel vehicle has to be extremely careful as most diesel engines cannot handle our poor quality diesel.

    • In this case no it is not. There is a reasonableness that must apply. Carmax is a car dealership in the business of selling vehicles. There must be an element of good faith especially given the history of the defective engine.

  16. @David June 16, 2021 2:17 PM

    I did not see the invoice the first time I read your comment but I would put my neck on the block (pun intended) to guess the engine block had to be changed due to the damage caused by our poor quality diesel. It will keep happening unless our diesel quality has improved since then to stop the wear and tear on the engine.

    Ask any diesel mechanic and they will most likely tell you to avoid certain diesel engine and that certain manufacturers refuse to send certain of their diesel vehicles to Barbados for official sale because our diesel quality is too low.

  17. @David June 16, 2021 2:48 PM

    Carmax is just another used and trade-in car salesman with great advertising and marketing and financing strategy but is still a used car seller at the end of the day. I consider a dealership a place that is the authorized agent for selling new cars from a manufacturer ala MQI, Simpson Motors, Courtesy, etc. that all have new car showrooms.

    Since I class them as used car sales people, I treat them like any other person selling a used car, i.e. buyer beware, get it checked thoroughly before you finalize the deal and make sure you push the car properly during the warranty period so any major problems show up then.

  18. @ Critical Analyzer June 16, 2021 3:10 PM

    MOI is the authorized dealer for Mazda, Ford, Kia, Mini and BMW; it’s finance company is Consolidated Finance and used car outlet, CarMax.

    There is also Simpson Motors, the authorized agent for Suzuki in the Caribbean, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet and Isuzu, Simpson Finance and Simpson Used Cars are the subsidiary finance and used car companies respectively.

    What separates CarMax and Simpson Used Cars from used car outlets such as BIM Auto Sales or QV Motors that do not represent the authorized car dealerships, but import used Suzuki, Mazda, Toyota and Honda vehicles for resale?

  19. @Artax June 17, 2021 5:28 PM

    Absolutely nothing except for possible financial bailouts from the parent company. They are all selling second-hand cars with little or no warranty.

    A vehicle out of warranty gets no special treatment from the authorized dealer. The authorized dealer has insider access to the proprietary manufacturer’s manuals and diagnostic tools but at the end of the day it is the mechanics skill that fixes the problem.

  20. @critical Analyzer
    The KIA vehicles short engine blocks have defects. that particular 2005 vehicle engine became faulty in 2009 was rebuilt, in 2013, was rebuilt. MQI/CarMax Manager sold the vehicle in 2014 without disclosing that to the customer, when asked, the Manager lost track of the engine numbers, and resorted to the Dealers Management systems for an engine number from 2005 and forge it to the buyer sales contract. CarMax Manager Gordon Spencer not only carried-out or allowed false Misrepresentation in the sales contract he carried-out fraud by delivering the vehicle with a concealed defective engine with an incorrect number

  21. Pingback: CARMAX: ANSA MOTORS (Barbados) RESPOND to ACCUSATION of FRAUD | Barbados Underground

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