California Consumer Wins Safety Recall Case Against CarMax
A new report is showing that CarMax is continuing its practice of selling vehicles that were recalled by automakers for serious safety defects. According to an article on Consumerist.com, the report released by the Connecticut-based Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) examined showed that CarMax is continuing this dangerous practice of selling recalled vehicles, which one legislator has referred to as “used car recall roulette.”
PIRG examined CarMax’s inventory and sales records at two dealerships in the state. They found that many of the vehicles listed for sale have unaddressed recalls. The report found that 74 of the 566 vehicles for sale at the two dealerships during the month of July were currently under recall campaigns. The recalls ranged from faulty seatbelts, defective airbags, fire risks related to leaking fuel, loss of power steering while driving, defective rear brakes and axles that are prone to breaking.
PIRG investigated a dealership in East Haven, Connecticut, and found that of the 42 vehicles subject to recall, four were part of two or more recall campaigns. One vehicle, the 2007 Toyota Yaris, had four unrepaired safety recalls including two airbags that may fail to deploy in the event of a crash, seat rails that can break and allow the seats to slide forward in a crash, and two defects that could cause the car to catch fire. At a Hartford dealership, investigators found 32 vehicles with unaddressed recalls, five of which were subject to two or more recalls each.
The Need for Consumer Safety Laws
What is even more disturbing is the fact that CarMax is not breaking any laws by selling vehicles with safety recalls that have not been repaired. To make matters worse, CarMax is also misleading consumers by advertising that their vehicles are “certified” giving them an aura of safety and legitimacy. While it’s against the law for consumers to sell recalled appliances, federal safety regulators lack the authority to require people to repair recalled vehicles before renting or selling them.
Legislators and consumer groups have called for stricter laws against these used car sales, but a federal law hasn’t been passed yet. As auto product liability attorneys who represent victims of dangerous and defective autos, we urge legislators to take this issue on as soon as possible and pass a law that would require individuals, rental companies and used car dealers nationwide to repair recalled vehicles before selling or renting them.