Buyer Beware: Used Cars May Be Under Recall

Buyer Beware: Used Cars May Be Under Recall

December, 2016

Dear Care For Crash Victims Community Members:

People who buy used cars are in danger and put us all in danger thanks to government actions and in-actions.

Excellent articles that can help people thinking of buying used vehicles are being published.

The NY Times reports:

“The public has long been wary of used cars and the claims of roadworthiness by the dealers who sell them. On Friday, the nation’s main advertising regulator issued a ruling that consumer groups complained will give used-car dealers too much leeway in the disclosures they are required to make.

The Federal Trade Commission, in a decision that also drew criticism from some lawmakers, said that General Motors and two big used-car chains could advertise their used vehicles as having been carefully inspected and repaired even if the cars might still be subject to safety recalls for problems that had not been fixed.

The only requirement would be that the dealers must advise buyers that the cars could be subject to recalls and tell them how to determine if they are. There would be no requirement that any recall problems be specified or that any repairs be made.

The ruling follows a succession of high-profile cases in which automakers concealed crucial information from car owners, including General Motors’ failure to disclose a deadly ignition switch flaw, Volkswagen’s misrepresentation of pollution emissions, and Honda’s failure to report potential safety problems for more than a decade.”  See

James R. Hood of Consumer Affairs reports:
“CarMax Inc. and two other major car dealers have admitted they sold used cars with unrepaired safety recalls despite touting the supposed rigor with which they inspect cars before selling them.

The dealers have settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges by agreeing to a consent order saying they won’t do it again, but Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) says she’s disappointed with the decision. 
“Cars shouldn’t be sold with open recalls – and they definitely shouldn’t be advertised as safe,” said Schakowsky. “I am very disappointed by the FTC’s decision. Instead of stopping deceptive advertising outright, today’s consent orders still allows used car dealers to use a confusing disclaimer that the vehicle may or may not be under recall while continue to advertise it as ‘certified, pre-owned’ or passing a ‘rigorous safety inspection.’
Schakowsky is sponsoring a bill that would ban the practice.
“I have introduced the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act to end the sale of used cars with open recalls, and I will keep fighting to stop car sellers from putting dangerous vehicles on the road. I urge anyone buying a used car to go to and check if there’s a safety recall that the seller isn’t telling you about.””

Jim Gorzelany reports on how recalls records differ among manufacturers :“According to published reports, more than 45 million vehicles that were the subject of safety recalls issued between 2013 and 2015 had yet to be brought in for covered repairs as of summer’s end, 2016.

Virtually every manufacturer large and small has been the subject of a recall in recent years, but some brands fare better than others in this regard. To that end, the statisticians at the car shopping website in Boston, Mass., analyzed recall histories going back to 1985 to determine which brands have recalled the lowest percentage of vehicles, relative to those sold in a given year, and which brands’ recalls pose the fewest dire consequences, among other metrics.”  See 

We are all in mortal danger of vehicle violence due to many and repeated corporate and governmental failures to protect us.
Lou Lombardo


Leave a Reply