A recent report published by auto safety advocates is asking why used car dealerships are permitted to sell motor vehicles that have unrepaired recalls. An NBC Bay Area article reports that auto safety advocates are requesting lawmakers to create and pass new laws that require used cars that have unrepaired recalls to be repaired prior to being sold to customers. Nevertheless, used car dealers have pushed back, stating that any such would make it much more difficult to buy, sell, or trade vehicles if all used vehicles need to be repaired before they can sell them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for implementing and enforcing all Federal car safety laws. Right now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has failed to prohibit used car dealers from selling used vehicles with unrepaired recalls. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires all new motor vehicles with recalls to be repaired prior to sale. Auto safety advocates are urging lawmakers to update current federal laws so that they contain a similar ban on used vehicles.
State laws differ when it comes to selling used vehicles that have unrepaired recalls. Some states actually permit used car dealers to sell any used vehicle that has an unrepaired safety issue. The Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) also recommend that federal and state lawmakers revise laws to protect the public from these dangerous vehicles.
The online news article stated that one search for used cars in the Bay Area showed 100s of used vehicles for sale that has unrepaired recalls. The dangerous open recalls include:
- Doors that suddenly popped open,
- Steering wheels that can fall off, and
- Motors that can stall without cause.
Used car buyers can protect themselves by searching a vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number on SafeCar.gov to see which recalls are listed for the vehicle. The used car buyer can then ask the dealer if the recalls were repaired prior to buying the vehicle. This recall check service is provided at no cost to the public.
The National Association of Auto Dealers is attempting to prevent laws such from becoming law. They argue that forcing used car dealerships to make recall repairs before offering the vehicles for sale will disrupt the flow of used vehicles and would reduce the value of those vehicles by up to $4,000 to $5,000.
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