AutoNation Has Sold Used, Recalled, Unrepaired Vehicles to Consumers
AutoNation, the country’s largest car retailer, has sold customers used vehicles with unrepaired safety defects. According to a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation, researchers determined that one out of nine used AutoNation cars contained defects that ranged from defective ignition switches to malfunctioning airbags. They looked at 2,429 vehicles across 12 states at 28 different dealerships in July and August. AutoNation currently operates more than 300 dealerships nationwide.
Unrepaired Vehicles Are Dangerous
A vehicle is marked for recall when a manufacturer determines that there is a defect that could affect its use. Typically, automakers notify dealers and car owners so they can get the vehicle repaired. Unrepaired recalls could cause accidents or fail to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. While information about recalls can be found on AutoNation’s website, PIRG says the company is simply not doing enough to inform customers about the potential risks of purchasing a vehicle. PIRG said the main problem is that AutoNation is selling these cars at all without repairing them.
Recalls have always been an issue for used-car retailers such as AutoNation. Federal laws prohibit dealers from selling new vehicles with defective auto parts. However, there is no law that prevents used cars with similar problems from being sold. There is a bill that is currently making its way through Congress that aims to close this safety loophole. But, it hasn’t been signed into law yet.
Protecting Consumers’ Rights
If you have been injured as the result of an auto defect, you still have the right to file a lawsuit against not just the automaker, but also the dealer, depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident. It is critical for legislators to pass laws that will require used car dealerships to repair vehicles that have been recalled for safety issues. It costs them nothing. Automakers are required to repair these vehicles at no cost.
If you are in the market for a used car, it is important that you visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website and enter the vehicle identification number or VIN to determine whether the car has been recalled for safety problems. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an auto defect, an experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.