Your Car May Kill You, Your Legislature Doesn’t Care

Used cars with safety recalls can be dangerous, even deadly. So, of course, a car dealer can’t sell you that used car with an open safety recall unless it has been repaired, right? Wrong. Current law does not explicitly prevent the sale of a used car with an open safety recall. And safety recalls kill.

A recent story published in Forbes explains in more detail:

Auto dealer Earl Stewart wants to do the right thing. In his large Toyota dealership, based in North Palm Beach, Fla., he refuses to sell recalled vehicles he can’t get fixed. Instead, he stores them on a remote lot miles from his main showroom. The 125 or so unsold cars Stewart has stockpiled there have already cost him more than $175,000, but Stewart says it’s worth it.

“I’ve been an auto dealer for nearly 50 years, and I’ve never encountered something that made me so ashamed of my profession,” Stewart says, talking about dealers who sell cars with unrepaired recall defects. “If a Takata airbag that’s unfixed explodes on impact, it’s just like having a hand grenade explode in your face. I don’t know why any dealer would sell a defective car like that.”

Here’s the deal: While some dealers, like Stewart, are doing the right thing and not selling the dangerous cars, most aren’t.

Yes, recalls kill:

Auto recalls have made the headlines a lot recently. More than 11 Americans have been killed and another 180 injured by defective Takata airbags and at least 169 have been killed by faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles.

Among those killed in GM ignition switch related accidents, 9 were from Tennessee.

Tennessee lawmakers had an opportunity to score a victory for consumer safety this year with Lara’s Law — legislation that would have prevented the sale of any used car currently under a safety recall. Instead of hearing debate on this legislation, though, the bill wasn’t even given a second by members of the Senate Transportation Committee. Only Senator Jeff Yarbro of Nashville asked that the bill get a hearing. Without a second member supporting that motion, there was no hearing this year on this life-saving legislation.

We at Tennessee Citizen Action are committed to continuing this fight. Car dealers should not be allowed to sell cars under an active safety recall. Period. The lives of Tennesseans are more important than car dealer profits.

For more on how you can get involved in consumer protection issues in Tennessee, follow @TNCitizenAction



Remember, your support keeps us fighting for Tennessee consumers!


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