Automobile dealerships and manufacturers are powerful lobbyists. So, it was no surprise when lobbyists killed a California bill forbidding the sale of recalled used autos. Now, there is a federal bill supported by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called the Used Car Safety Recall Repair Act. They believe this measure is a great opportunity to get dangerous cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles off the road until the dealers or sales lots repair them.
There are currently 72 million vehicles on U.S. roads with open recalls, some of which pose a real danger to drivers, passengers and others. The senators argue the best way to address this serious matter is to forbid businesses from selling, leasing or loaning the dangerous older autos to consumers (it is already illegal to sell new cars under recall).
“Americans deserve peace of mind that they are buying safe cars from car dealers, yet too many used cars today are sold or leased with known and unrepaired safety issues,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “This measure will close this unacceptable safety loophole, and protect drivers and the public from hazardous cars.”
Bill has outside support
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) supports the bill, saying that the bill has never been more timely since there is such a high demand for used cars during and in the months following the pandemic. In addition, the measure would apply to all vehicles regardless of age – 56% of vehicle models 5-10 years old have open recalls with uncorrected issues, and that jumps to 71% for vehicles older than ten years.
Advocates claim that the measure would not increase the cost to dealers since manufacturers pay for the repair of faulty products. In addition, those currently shopping for a used car can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) database to see if their potential purchase has an open recall.