Survey Shows Most Consumers Want Safety Recalls to Be Disclosed by Car Dealers
If the vehicle you are about to buy from a dealer’s lot has been recalled for a faulty seatbelt that could fail to protect you in a car accident or an airbag that could shoot out shrapnel at you, would you want to know about it? The answer seems like a no-brainer. But Autolist, a site that lists new and used cars for sale, did a survey asking that question and heard a resounding “yes” from consumers. About 90 percent of current vehicle shoppers said dealers should be required under the law to disclose whether a vehicle they are selling has an open safety recall and whether it has been fixed.
What the Survey Shows
The same study also found that more than half of consumers look into recall information before buying a vehicle. Two-thirds of owners of recalled vehicles get them fixed in three months or less and most consumers said they would still consider remaining loyal to a vehicle brand despite a safety recall. The survey points out and vehicle recalls affect a large section of American public. About 30.7 million vehicles were recalled just in 2017. However, only about 75 percent of recall issues are fixed annually. This means there are millions of cars, trucks and SUVs out there that haven’t been repaired for a safety recall.
Recall Info Should Be Disclosed
The fact that tens of millions of vehicles were recalled in recent years just for one defect – faulty Takata airbags that can explode, shoot shrapnel into the vehicle compartment – means that there is a higher likelihood that used cars with open recalls are sold to consumers without them knowing about it. There is no federal law right now that prohibits the sale of vehicles with open recalls. Lawmakers’ recent efforts to pass such laws have failed in Congress. Dealers only have to mention a vehicle’s recall status if they make claims about its safety in their advertising material.
For years, consumer groups have been calling to protect consumers by making recall information more transparent. Consumers who purchase used vehicles are particularly vulnerable to defective vehicles because the law doesn’t require dealers to be honest with buyers. As auto defect lawyers, we call on Congress to swiftly enact legislation that will hold car dealers accountable for fixing recalled vehicles before selling them.