Should Used Car Sellers Have to Fix Recalled Cars Before They Are Resold? Should Rental Car Companies Have to Fix Recalled Cars Before They Rent Them to Consumers?

by Brian Wolfman

California legislators are considering requiring used car sellers to fix cars subject to government safety recalls before they re-sell those cars to unsuspecting customers. The idea is that consumers should not be buying used cars that the government says have bad brakes or faulty, fire-prone wiring. Legislation on the topic could affect a lot of cars. As The Consumerist's Chris Morran explains, "[a]ccording to a 2011 survey, there were 2.7 million used vehicles
available for purchase that had at least one un-repaired safety recall."

You might take a caveat emptor approach, and make consumers thinking about buying a used car do their own homework, which is made easier by the availabilty of the federal government's vehicle and safety complaint database. But there will still be many unsuspecting consumers out there, and legislators might rightly be concerned with their safety and the safety of their families. Moreover, many vehicle safety issues — faulty brakes, for instance — implicate the safety of people in other vehicles. And, finally, notice to the immediate prospective buyer is not the only issue. If the cars are not fixed, someone, somewhere, at some point is likely to buy a used car that is subject to a safety recall.

It seems like an easy call to say that rental car companies should not be able to rent cars that are subject to government safety recalls and have not been fixed. Senator Barbara Boxer sponsored legislation to prohibit those rentals, but it appears to have died. But the proposed legislation apparently prompted five of the major car rental companies to agree on their own not to rent unfixed, recalled cars.


0 thoughts on “Should Used Car Sellers Have to Fix Recalled Cars Before They Are Resold? Should Rental Car Companies Have to Fix Recalled Cars Before They Rent Them to Consumers?

  1. Automated Car says:

    Car dealers and small rental-car companies want to be able to sell, lend or rent cars that have been recalled for a variety of defects — before they’re fixed. And they’re working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to make sure they can.
    Automated Car

  2. Used Cars Fargo says:

    Protection against unscrupulous sellers could be a good thing since many consumers are hesitant when it comes to buying used cars. Fire prone wiring on cars is a serious mechanical problem that can lead to injury or accidents.

  3. Dave Sinclair says:

    Seems like a good idea since some recalls can be serious and affect safety. Many consumers generally do research before buying a used car but this legislation would be helpful to those who didn’t.

  4. Molly Stevens says:

    My dad owns a service station and it is unbelievable how many people come in with horror stories about buying a car with a problem and the dealer doing nothing to help them out. This law seems absolutely essential for those purchasing used cars. A person shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the car they purchased is safe.

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