Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Is Your Used Car Recalled?

New government study says used car dealers not told of recalls

By Liz Crenshaw
|  Thursday, Jun 16, 2011  |  Updated 8:40 PM EDT
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If you go to a used car lot you may be buying a car that has been recalled but not repaired.

A new government study says manufacturers are not required to send recall notifications to used car sellers that they send to franchised new car dealers. The Government Accountability Office says even if dealers know of the recall they are not required to make the repair or to warn buyers.

The situation "could pose a significant risk to the safety of millions of vehicle drivers and may have a negative impact on recall completion rates," the study said. “Many consumers may be unknowingly putting their lives at risk by purchasing a defective vehicle.”

The GAO says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not have the power it needs to make sure recalls are repaired and recommends that the agency seek the legislative power to notify potential used car buyers of recalls.

NHTSA does keep a database of recalls on its website. If you want to see if your car model has a recall, you can check it here.
 

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