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Senate Bill Would Prohibit Sales of Used Cars with Open Safety Recalls

Four U.S. Senators have co-sponsored the Used Car Safety Recall Repair Act saying it would get dangerous and defective vehicles off the road until they are repaired. According to Consumer Affairs, the bill, co-sponsored by Senators Edward Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar, all Democrats, would require car dealers to repair any outstanding safety recalls in used cars before selling, leasing or loaning them to consumers.

The lawmakers cite data showing that 72 million cars on the nation’s roadways have open recalls, some of which could pose serious dangers for consumers. Senator Blumenthal said the legislation would close an unacceptable safety loophole where used car dealers don’t have to fix safety recalls before selling them.

Why This Legislation is Important

This measure has been supported by the Consumer Federation of America, which says the proposed legislation is especially significant now because of the strong demand for used cars during the pandemic. The consumer rights group says the potential risks associated with open recalls increases with the age of the vehicle with about 56% of recalled vehicles five to 10 years old having open safety recalls. The group also says 71% of the recalls associated with vehicles more than a decade old, are still unrepaired.

Used car dealers are opposing the bill even though repairing vehicles with open recalls would not cost them a dime. These repairs are done for free by the car’s manufacturer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s online database can easily identify vehicles with open recalls.

Dangerous Takata Airbags

This practice is so dangerous because millions of vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags are still on the road and in used car dealerships. So far, these defective airbag inflators that can explode and spray shrapnel into the vehicle compartment have caused 18 deaths in the United States alone.

Many vehicles with Takata airbags that have resulted in fatalities are older vehicles that have changed hands many times on used car lots. So, the current vehicle owners may not even know the original recalls. These vehicles are like ticking time bombs, only getting more dangerous by the day. Safety advocates believe this legislation will help make used cars much safer.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective auto – whether it is new or used – you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.


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California Personal Injury Blog