Thousands of used cars are for sale in our area with potential problems that could put you at risk, and we found no one is required to tell you about it.
Car manufacturers are often required to do what’s called an “open recall” when there's a serious problem with a car.
The federal government requires new cars subject to open recalls to be repaired before they're sold.
It's a different story with used cars because the law doesn't apply to them.
The Today Show went undercover to show how some used car dealers don't tell customers about open recalls before they buy.
In the D.C. area, the News4 I-Team found there are tens of thousands of used cars for sale subject to open recalls.
"This is a serious threat to public safety in the D.C. area,” Chris Basso of Carfax said. “Last year there were at least 80,000 cars that were for sale online with unfixed recalls, and that's really just the tip of the iceberg. There could be potentially hundreds of thousands of more cars in this area that are being driven every day and bought and sold with unfixed recalls that nobody knows about."
Basso said it's important for everyone to check for open recalls, whether you're buying from an individual or a dealer or the car is just sitting in your driveway.