The last few years have certainly seen a fair share of major auto recalls – GM, Ford, Toyota and most recently, VW. For the most part, manufacturers are hyper-vigilant about notifying consumers about any recalled parts found on their vehicles; however, the same isn’t always said for individuals and lots selling used cars.
Although human negligence, not defective machinery, is the root cause behind a majority of car accidents, it is within everyone’s best interests to make sure their vehicle is as safe as possible.
Is This Legal?
Used car dealers, including CarMax, and rental companies are not required to make sure that the cars they’re selling are unaffected by recalls. This is due to a loophole in consumer law that requires new car dealers to make sure that their cars are safe for the public.
While it’s true used car dealers don’t have to make sure their cars are recall-free, chances are many dealerships do check their cars. In fact, CarMax says they don’t perform recall repairs, but they have gone on record as using manufacturer-authorized repair shops for fixing recalls.
None of this means that you shouldn’t purchase a used car. You should take steps, however, to protect yourself and your family when doing so. One way you can do this is by using the National Highway Traffic Administration’s auto recall search site. This service has records on recalls from as far back as 1966. CarFax works much in the same way. Both services will allow consumers to search for recalls by VIN and specific recalled part(s).
You should also remember that having a recall doesn’t make a vehicle dangerous. Moreover, without a record of prior services done on a vehicle, there’s no way of knowing whether a previous owner made any recall repairs. This means that you should have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic.
If you’ve been injured because of a vehicle recall, Babcock Law can help. Contact us today for to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation. You can also check out our blog and knowledge center for information about recalls and vehicle crashes.