A recent study by the Consumer Federation of America found that there were 70 million recalled cars that were on American roads. "While these open recalls present a clear hazard to the occupants of these vehicles, they are also a hazard to the rest of the driving public," said Jack Gillis, CFA's Executive Director.
A recall issues when a car has a safety defect. Sometimes a defect can increase the risk of an accident. Other defects involve defective safety devices that might fail to adequately protect an occupant. Some defects can cause fires.
Current federal law permits car dealers to sell used cars even if they have a safety recall. Some dealerships will disclose the open recalls to consumers; others will not. Most recalls involve simple fixes, and a trip to a dealership that sells a particular brand will perform the work at no charge to the consumer. But, most dealerships don't want to spend the time or money bringing the car elsewhere for repairs. So, they sit on the lot with dangerous defects.
Fortunately, it is easy to find out if the used car you are considering buying is a recalled car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute has a website that you can check: www.safercar.gov You can just enter the car's vehicle identification number, and you'll find out if there are any open recalls. If there are open recalls, you should insist that the dealer get the car fixed before you agree to buy the car.
It is a good idea to check your own car, too. Many consumers driving recalled cars don't know that their cars are not safe to drive. It is a five minute exercise that can save your life.
If you bought a car that is not safe to drive, contact us for a no cost and no obligation assessment.