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Check for Recalls Before You Buy a Used Car

Vehicle recalls are so common consumers are becoming immune to them. Vehicles with exploding airbags, defective transmissions, ineffective seatbelts and keyless ignitions have been in the news lately. In 2015, 51 million vehicles were recalled.  New cars can’t be sold with recalls and you can’t rent a vehicle or buy a rental vehicle with open recalls.
So, why is it that used car dealers are allowed to sell vehicles with open recalls? Because that law has not changed, yet. That means everyone buying a used vehicle must always check for open recalls.
Vehicle safety recalls are issued by manufacturers in order to protect consumers from harm. The manufacturer notifies all current known vehicle owners and lets them know how to get their vehicle repaired free of charge. If you discover that your car has an open recall issue and you recently bought it from a used car dealership, contact the dealership to see if it will arrange for repairs. In some cases, the dealership may not have known about the recall, and will make the repair to keep you a satisfied customer. But that’s not always the case. It could be the dealership knowingly sold you a car with an unrepaired recall. If so, contact the local dealer that services your vehicle for a recall repair.
Currently, several U.S. Senators are fighting to keep used cars from being sold with open recalls: Blumenthal, Schumer, Markey, Nelson, Durbin: FTC Settlements Allowing Used Car Dealers to Advertise Cars with Unrepaired Recalls as “Safe” Are Anti-Consumer & Anti-Safety. Unfortunately, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association is fighting to make sure it doesn’t have to fix open recalls on used cars sold.

What Can Consumers Do?

Selling a used car with open recalls is fraudulent, deceptive and dangerous. It endangers consumers. Until the law is changed, make sure to check for open recalls before purchasing a vehicle. It’s easy and you can do it from your phone. Carfax has a free recall check or go to Safercar  for the VIN lookup tool. Recalls have become part of our daily life, but until there’s a solution to this worrisome problem, Terrell • Hogan will continue to repeat information about recalls of defective and dangerous products to help keep you informed and safe.
New law urged after CBS News exposes dealers selling defective used cars
Sellers not required to reveal, fix open recalls


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About The Author

Picture of Wayne Hogan

Wayne Hogan

Wayne Hogan, a Jacksonville native, has been with the firm since 1977. He graduated from Florida State University, where he received both his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees. He specializes in all areas of personal injury law. In addition to participating in many professional associations, he and his wife, Pat, are also actively involved in the community.