How to Remove an Accident From Carfax

Steps to getting an incorrect accident removed from a vehicle-history report.

Steven Lang | 
Aug 9, 2023 | 3 min read

Woman looks at computer with arms raised in confusion, an upset expression on her faceShutterstock

Automotive writer Richard Truett was angry and upset when he found out a classic roadster he had owned for almost 20 years, a 1981 Triumph TR7, had an accident incorrectly recorded on its Carfax vehicle-history report. Despite what the report said, Truett knew the accident had never taken place.

He had two problems to solve. First, the accident report showed an airbag deployment, even though his car didn't come with airbags. Truett had to convince Carfax, a major vehicle-data company, to remove that error.

Second, the law-enforcement group that allegedly reported this fender-bender incident didn't exist. Truett also had to explain this to Carfax.

With diligence and persistence, Truett got these blemishes off his Triumph's Carfax vehicle identification number (VIN) report. If you're in a similar situation, you may be able to follow the path Truett did to correct errors on your vehicle's Carfax report. 

Carfax records a mountain of information

One of the first things to understand about Carfax's vehicle-history reports is that the company handles an enormous volume of vehicle data. In fact, Carfax works with just about every U.S. state agency that records registration information on vehicles. It also gets vehicle information from thousands of dealerships, independent repair shops, insurance companies, state inspection centers, and law-enforcement agencies.

There are around 280 million vehicles registered in the United States, and Carfax, which claims to have the largest vehicle-history database in North America, has recorded a staggering number of historical events for those cars and trucks. Given the sheer volume of information, it's possible some parts of your vehicle's history report may be off the mark.

If that's the case for you, don't panic. Instead, find the truth. If there's information you believe is flat-out wrong on your vehicle-history report, . A Carfax VIN check and a follow-up with the company's team of researchers can potentially save you money and spare you headaches. 

Start with the information you already have

Truett had insurance for the vehicle when the accident supposedly occurred. He contacted his insurance company, which verified that no accident had taken place in 2010. The company then sent him a letter that he forwarded to Carfax's online support team.

Truett also purchased a vehicle-history report from AutoCheck, one of Carfax's rivals. This report showed a clean history with no accidents. He sent a copy of that report to Carfax, too.

In response to the insurance company's letter and the rival vehicle-history report, Carfax emailed Truett to tell him they had removed the accident from the Carfax report. Carfax did not explain how the erroneous accident ended up on the report.

Some law-enforcement agencies will also verify that there was no record of an accident at a specific time. Get the verification first and then contact Carfax by searching for "Carfax data research request form" online, filling out the correct form, and attaching your relevant supporting materials. 

Carfax may research the event

Carfax can investigate disputes ranging from a total vehicle loss to an accident report from a law-enforcement agency to an inaccurate mileage recording — even if you weren't the owner at the time or don't have a record of the incident. Carfax will contact the reporting organization and get back to you via email.

The key to moving forward on your journey to correct a Carfax vehicle-history report error is providing specifics and documentation to the company. Always include the exact date and issue to get a prompt response.

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