Recalled Used Cars: CA Law Would Require Fix Before Resale

May 15, 2014
2007 Chevrolet Cobalt SS

2007 Chevrolet Cobalt SS

Vehicle recalls seem to be happening with more frequency this year, and one California lawmaker is trying to prevent these potentially unsafe vehicles from making it into the hands of unaware owners. While there are laws in place that prevent customers from taking delivery of new vehicles with open recalls, there is no such consumer protection when it comes to used vehicles.

An article in the L.A. Times reports that Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has proposed a bill in California that would require used-car dealers to have a vehicle’s recall addressed before it can be sold to a consumer. This law would potentially be very important since many of the recent recalls – especially the General Motors ignition switch – apply to cars that are more than a decade old. The report says a study shows that of the vehicles recalled in 2008, only 42 percent from the 2000 model year had the repairs performed while 79 percent of 2008 model year vehicles were repaired.

SEE ALSO: 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5 Recalled For Faulty Ignition Switch

If passed, dealers would not be allowed to sell vehicles in their used inventory until the recall repair has been performed. A similar law has been proposed on the federal level as part of the $302-billion Grow America Act, which also focuses on only dealer-owned cars but would be mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While this might sound like critical step toward keeping some unrepaired, potentially dangerous cars away from unwitting buyers, there is indeed opposition to the bill. Primarily, it's because the new law wouldn't apply to private vehicle sales or to the renting of cars. The California New Car Dealers Association, one group opposing the bill, takes issue in how used-car dealers are being directly targeted, while other avenues for consumers to buy or operate used cars remain in place.

SEE ALSO: 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey Recalled For Fuel Leaks

The importance of such a law will be even more crucial this year as the 14 million vehicles that have been recalled so far in 2014 are on pace to break the 2004 record of 30,8 million vehicles.

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