Some auto dealerships are deceptively selling defective, recalled used vehicles as being safe to consumers and it’s not illegal.
Unlike new vehicles, which dealers are not permitted to sell if recall repairs are not made, used vehicles can be sold to the public. These are vehicles that have unrepaired safety defects such as dangerous, explosive air bags, faulty ignition switches, corrosive gas tanks and other deadly recalled problems. The faulty vehicles pose a danger to drivers, passengers and bystanders who may come in contact with the e
The dealerships merely have to disclose to consumers in a disclaimer that the vehicles “may” be subject to a recall.
While most dealerships will inform buyers that the repairs are free to fix, most consumers may not realize it could take months before parts are available. Additionally, most people don’t realize that recalls have deadlines and if they are missed the cost of repairs is paid by the consumer themselves. There are also many salespeople that fail to disclose a vehicle is subject to recall and the buyer is unaware until it is too late. If this happens, the owner of the car is responsible for the cost to repair the vehicle.
Meanwhile, the consumer is driving a defective vehicle that some in the industry compare to a ticking time bomb.
“It’s like playing Russian roulette with a person’s life,” said James Johnson, a California personal injury attorney. “People never think it will happen to them, but I’ve personally handled a wrongful death claim on behalf of a parent who lost their adult child in a minor collision due to a defective Takata airbag explosion. The risk is real and it’s not worth taking to save a few bucks.”
As long as the dealerships inform the consumer about the unrepaired recall defect, they can sell the used vehicle.
The same is not true for new vehicles with unrepaired defects. It’s against the law to sell these vehicles, but there are no federal laws prohibiting the sale of unfixed used vehicles. It’s a loophole in the law that many dealerships are using to rid themselves of vehicles that would otherwise be stored until they were repaired. An expense most of them would prefer to avoid.
A lawsuit was filed in February against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by a group of consumer safety groups seeking to preclude dealerships from advertising or selling these potentially lethal vehicles.
seeking an appellate court review and overturn the Federal Trade Commission’s consent orders with General Motors, Lithia Motors, and Jim Koons Management Co.,
The consumer safety groups, who filed the lawsuit, are comprised of: Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), the Center for Auto Safety, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), MASSPIRG, CONNPIRG, and CALPIRG.
U.S. Auto Recalls by Numbers
- 11 deaths by defective Takata airbags
- 180 injured by defective Takata airbags
- 169 deaths from faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles
- 53.2 million cars recalled in 2016
- Vehicle brands affected by Takata
Tips Before Buying Used Vehicles
- Find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the lower driver’s side of the windshield.
- Look up the recalls page on the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
- Type in the 17-character VIN to see if there has been a recall.
- If there is a recall that hasn’t been fixed, walk away or be prepared to drive an unsafe vehicle that may be unrepairable, could take months to fix and the cost may be paid directly by you.
Lemon Law Claims Help — Call 800-235-6801
Motorists who are grappling with ongoing problems with their vehicle, could be eligible for compensation under California and or Federal Lemon Laws.
Johnson Attorneys Group is dedicated to helping people and has served thousands of clients over the years. We helped them resolve their lemon law cases and we can help you. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION at 800-235-6801. Remember that our attorneys fees do not come out of your settlement because the manufacturer is required to pay them directly to us under California Lemon Laws.