Consumer Protection

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CarMax Sales Practices Endangers Lives in California

California has adopted some of the most effective laws in the nation aimed at reducing vehicle crashes, including many that focus on driver behavior. In addition, the state licenses and regulates auto dealers who sell motor vehicles to the public, and has adopted laws to ensure that the cars they sell are safe for operation on the roads. Car buyers have a reasonable expectation that the cars they purchase from licensed, regulated dealers are safe to drive. Dealers who violate those laws face sanctions ranging from fines and civil penalties to punitive damages and possible suspension or loss of their license to do business in the state.

Despite those laws, this report finds that CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, is selling many unsafe, unrepaired recalled vehicles in California that are hazardous not only to the people who buy CarMax cars, but also to their families, other motorists, bike riders, and pedestrians.

CALPIRG Education Fund and the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) Foundation reached this conclusion based on research into CarMax’s sales practices in California, compiling data from two locations, one in Southern California (Ox- nard), and the other in Northern California (South Sacramento). 

Local groups demand greater food producer responsibility

Local groups and students in Davis are pushing for greater food producer and consumer rights, according to the recent lobbying and education efforts of both the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and the newly initiated Fair Trade Club on campus.

Among the topics being discussed by these Davis organizations, the three issues of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food labeling, the overuse of antibiotics in animals intended for human consumption and an increased presence of Fair Trade Certified food products in stores are the most prominent.

See Which Airlines Get the Most and Least Complaints

Spirit Airlines generated the most complaints per 100,000 passengers and Southwest the least, according to a study released Thursday.

The study, by the CALPIRG Education Fund, analyzed complaint data for 13 large domestic airlines lodged with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division from 2009 through 2013. It found that most complaints are about delayed or canceled flights.

Avoid the Debt Trap

A guide for students to avoid ripoffs from credit cards and big banks.

Avoid the Debt Trap!


As college students we are new to managing money, and that makes us vulnerable to the misleading practices of banks. Confusing, deceptive practices from banks and financial institutions can lead to sky-high debt and financial crisis in the short term, and impact our financial health for years to come. Make sure that you have the tools to protect yourself and manage the basics of personal finance by getting our online guide to Avoid the Debt Trap!

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Having the facts can make all the difference when it comes to health insurance. To make the most of new choices, protections and financial help, you need good information. This guide can help you find quality coverage that won’t break the bank.

Toy Safety Tips

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

Trouble in Toyland

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

New Account Fraud

The California Public Interest Research Group has released a new report on identity theft that should raise some eyebrows. Pulling together statistics from the High Technology Theft Apprehension and Prosecution program, the Federal Trade Commission, Javelin Strategy and Research, and other credible sources, CALPIRG paints an increasingly bleak picture concerning financial identity theft. Of greatest interest to your Guide was the information on new account fraud.


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