Parents of a Tennessee woman want a new law in place that would require dealers to repair recalled vehicles before they are sold. According to a Fox 17 news report, Senate Bill 1489 sponsored by Senator Mark Green would prohibit car dealers from selling a used car until the dealer provides the buyer with updated recall information. If the car is subject to a stop-sale-stop-drive recall, the dealer must repair the car before selling it.
The legislation would be named Lara’s Law after Lara Gass, the 27-year-old woman who was killed in a car accident on the Interstate 81 in Virginia on March 18, 2014. Gass was driving to work when she crashed her Saturn Ion into the back of the tractor-trailer. The airbags in her car did not deploy and police aren’t sure why she couldn’t stop the vehicle.
Deadly Ignition Defect
Gass never knew that her Saturn Ion had a deadly defect. It was one of millions with an ignition switch failure. Any time the ignition switch could turn off the power steering, brakes and airbags. Just weeks prior to her accident, GM started recalling millions of vehicles for the ignition defects. GM insisted the cars were safe to drive if all objects were removed from the key chain. Gerri Gass, Lara’s mother had this to say: “GM killed our daughter. For a 30 cent part?
Media reports revealed that GM engineers knew about the faulty ignition switch as early as in 2001. The company maintained that the problem had been fixed, but that wasn’t true. The problems still arose in 2005, but the automaker did not recall any vehicles until 2014. Studies also showed that the problem with the ignition switch would have cost under 50 cents to fix.
A Necessary Law
This law has been a long time coming. The number of used cars that leave dealers’ lots without getting repaired is alarming. Every day, millions of Americans are driving around in cars that have serious safety defects. In this particular case, GM failed to inform consumers about the serious defects in its vehicle, which proved fatal for many drivers. Many more suffered serious or catastrophic injuries.
As Lara’s mother said, it would’ve cost GM a measly 30 cents per vehicle to fix this defect. But, they chose to put profits before people. It’s time our lawmakers put the people who elected them ahead of corporations.