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Buyer Beware: City and State Auctions also Sell Recalled Cars

Thursday, August 23, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

Regulators and safety advocacy groups have diligently warned consumers about the importance of repairing cars that are subject to safety recalls. Recently, efforts have been undertaken by various agencies and states to implement systems that make it easier to find customers with cars subject to open recalls and encourage them to address these safety defects promptly. But in some cases, it is not apparent that cars have safety recalls that have not been repaired. These gaps in information leave drivers and owners at an increased risk of operating cars that could cause serious injuries or death.

Used Cars Subject to Recalls

Used car dealers are not required under federal law to repair recalls before selling affected cars. Some state and local laws provide consumers with limited protections, but these are usually regarded as insufficient to address this serious safety issue. Consumer groups have advocated for regulations that require used car dealers to at least warn consumers that they are purchasing a car with a safety issue that has not been resolved.

Unrepaired Cars Found at City and State Auctions

Used cars are not the only ones that present potential safety risks. Over 50 state and city operated auctions have sold cars with open recalls. One investigation into government-run auctions in New York found 25 cars with open recalls in over 200 vehicles at three auction sites. Several of the defective vehicles were found to contain defective Takata airbags, which have been linked to 23 deaths and 180 injuries. One of the sites included in the investigation was state operated.

Unresolved recalls in auctioned cars are especially dangerous since participants may assume that the cars are safe or have been inspected because the auction is government operated. In addition, many cars sold at these auctions are offered at below market prices, which make them especially attractive to buyers seeking a bargain. Like cars sold at traditional used car dealers, auctioned cars are not required to have open recalls repaired and the auctioneers do not need to reveal the existence of these defects.

Government Officials Vow to Make Changes

City and state officials in New York stated that they intend to address these issues to improve safety for consumers. One city official stated that the city will update the auction website so buyers can look for open recalls. The state vowed to post recall notices online and to have auctioneers announce recalls.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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