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Many Used Cars Are Sold with Recalled Safety Defects Unaddressed


If you are buying an used car still under the original factory warranty from an authorized dealership, it is easy to assume that the car is free of outstanding defects that were recalled by the auto maker.

As some unlucky drivers found out after they made the purchase, that is simply not the case.  Dealerships and even rentals cars are not required to repair problems that are recalled by the manufacturer.

As reported in the New York Times, David Clayton was driving 70 miles an hour in his Ram 1500 pickup truck last October when he learned the hard way that it had a serious safety problem. The rear axle locked up, causing him to nearly lose control before wrestling the truck to the side of the highway.

Chrysler knew about the axle defect, and had ordered a recall of the pickup before Mr. Clayton bought it used last July from a dealer in Visalia, Calif. But the dealer never had the axle repaired — and was not required to do so under the law.

Why is there no law requiring dealerships to fix recalled used car before selling them to uninformed consumers?  I cannot imagine the sales person saying, "By the way, this car has a safety recall so you need to bring it back for free repair once you buy it."

Safety recalls on vehicles are often times a matter of life and death, and we really need a regulation to make sure that all the vehicles involved in the recall are repaired at every opportunity.  If doing so requires a forceful mandates by the federal authorities than so be it.  Too many business owners are too busy counting their profit rather than taking care of the customers.

We all heard about the delayed recall of 2.6 million GM cars recently, but auto dealers and many manufacturers oppose efforts to require recalled used and rental cars to be immediately repaired.  So how many of the 2.6 million cars will actually be fixed?  My rough guesstimate would be about half at the best.

Some auto dealers actually try to make an argument, claiming that not all recalls require immediate action. That may be true in reality, because you won't see all 2.6 million GM cars failing the day after the recall is announced.

However, the regulators are firm on the definition of "recall": It's a defect that involves pressing safety concern.

In the case of an used car, you can still check with the dealership by giving them your VIN.  So you do have a way to work around the issue if you ended up buying the car with outstanding recall on the model.  What about the rental cars?  The car you rented for your family vacation in the Grand Canyon may not be safe to drive after all.

The regulators are trying to pass a bill in the Washington regarding the rental cars and safety recall.  A number of rental car companies stated that they will repair all the cars in their fleet even before the bill is passed, but it's up to you whether you can trust the companies doing the right thing on their own.



Many Used Cars Are Sold with Recalled Safety Defects Unaddressed Reviewed by Brandon on 12:46 AM Rating: 5

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