Safety Advocates Grill Dealer for Selling Recalled Cars

Car safety advocates often urge consumers who are thinking about purchasing a vehicle to look into the most recent recall announcements.

Unfortunately for many car owners, car dealers are not required to make sure that used cars for sale are repaired if they are impacted by a safety recall. Since drivers are not aware of the open recalls, they often purchase vehicles that could expose them and their loved ones to serious risks. To prevent accidents caused by equipment problems left unaddressed, car safety advocates as well as regulators have been urging consumers to stay on top of the recall news.

One of the companies that launched apps to help consumers to stay on top of the recall news, Carfax, is one of the leaders of the car safety and recall awareness movement. But the trend is far from just a fad. According to several news reports, a group of car safety advocates is now openly criticizing a company that sells recalled vehicles instead of fixing them ahead of making them available.

CarMax, the country’s largest used car retailer, is being accused of selling ticking time-bomb cars in the state of California. But CarMax has responded by saying that it has never carried out any transaction without alerting consumers about any open recalls.

To CarMax, being transparent is important, but to CALPIRG Education Fund and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation, CarMax is doing a disservice to California consumers.

According to a release published by CALPIRG, state Attorney General Kamala Harris is being urged to take up on efforts to further protect the public by pressuring the company to have their vehicles repaired. During an investigation carried out by the safety advocates, 10 percent of the vehicles available for sale by CarMax in Oxnard and 9 percent of the vehicles sold by the company in South Sacramento had open recalls. The unrepaired issues included problems that could cause the vehicles to experience accidents.

Some of the factors linked to the open recalls included issues that could cause the vehicles to catch on fire. But other problems were also named such as problems that could cause the car to roll away while unattended, air bag issues that cause the devices to fail to deploy in the event of an accident. In some of the cases, vehicles were recalled for seat belts that fail to protect occupants in accidents as well.

According to the safety advocacy groups, the company is misleading consumers by claiming to be using their 125-point inspection instead of simply having the vehicles repaired once they are recalled.

CarMax, on the other hand, claims that its dealers are open with their customers by offering vehicle-specific information about any open recall. This information is allegedly provided to consumers once they show interest in a particular vehicle.


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