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Used Car Dealerships Selling Cars with Open Recalls

Kaitlynn Martin5 months ago

New York's WABC 7 On Your Side implemented and investigation that revealed that used car dealerships are selling cars with open or unfixed recalls, and they do not even have to let the consumer know.

Details on the Selling of Recalled Vehicles

While new car dealerships are restricted from selling vehicles with open recalls, used car dealerships can legally sell recalled vehicles without disclosing any recall information to the buyer.

This can easily lead to more people being injured or killed, according to Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Reported Nina Pineda ended up disguising herself to go undercover, equipped with a list of half a dozen car lots that sold vehicles with open recalls. While some salesman said there “was” a recall, others claimed they didn’t know.

In one case, a dealer was talking about the 2009 Honda CR-V that he is selling on his lot. He failed to disclose to the buyers a deadly defect- the car contained recalled Takata airbags. These airbags have caused hundreds of injuries and 11 deaths by spraying metal shards.

A dealer in Queens completely denied four times that a car had open recalls. He was shown reports backing acknowledging the recalls, but the seller still insisted that there was none.

Senator Blumenthal claims that cars ought to be fixed before they are sold. A bill he proposed would close this loophole, and cars would have to be fixed before leaving the lot. He also states that there is no excuse for a dealer to be purposefully ignorant, and see or hear nothing, and ultimately put people in jeopardy.

For now, used car buyers are left to ensure their own safety. CARFAX offers the recall status for free as well as NHTSA; all you have to do is type in the VIN number.

Millions of Cars with Open Recalls

According the CARFAX, there are many cars that have recalls that failed to get fixed. It is important that the public is aware of this information before buying a car, and be aware of just how many dangerous vehicles are still on the road and being sold to unknowing buyers.

  • With every recall, it is estimated that 30% of affected vehicles do not get fixed.
  • 46 million cars nationwide have not been fixed, and have an “open recall”, that is one out of every five cars in the U.S.
  • Shockingly, in 2014 more than 3.7 million used cars were being sold with at least one outstanding recall.
  • Many states have an average of a few million unfixed recalled cars on the road. 


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