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New York City is tightening the reigns on car dealerships in hopes of reducing the number of accidents caused by vehicles unfit for the road. New requirements call for all used car dealerships to repair cars that have been recalled before selling them to consumers.
The state currently requires that all cars be safe and in acceptable driving condition prior to being sold, but this doesn’t mean that dealerships or rental car companies need to repair safety defects before putting cars back on the lot.
With the number of recent safety recalls in cars across the nation, several of which have resulted in deaths, City officials believe this is a life or death issue.
Dealerships throughout the City are receiving subpoenas, asking for information on the number of unrepaired used cars that have been sold and whether or not customers were made aware of defects before purchasing the vehicles.
Dealerships that are found to have sold unrepaired cars must inform customers and offer to make the necessary repairs, otherwise they risk losing their license.
Some dealers currently have company policies stating that used vehicles must undergo necessary repairs before they are sold to customers, and welcome this stricter stance on car safety. Others, however, don’t believe it is their responsibility to spend extra time and money on used car repairs.
Opponents of the new regulations say that customers should be informed about the repairs that used vehicles might need, but that once they purchase it, they should be responsible for taking their car to a dealership to have repairs done.
Regardless of where dealers stand on the issue, ensuring that cars receive the proper repairs remains a big safety issue.
“Most used car dealerships are not going to be qualified to do the recall work for these vehicles, unless these vehicles are actually going back to the dealership themselves,” says Stan Creech, President of Creech Import Repair. “The only sure way to verify if there are any sort of pending recalls is to run the VIN information and check to see if there are any open recall tasks. It is important to verify that any recall work has been done at the vehicle’s brand of dealership.”
Unrepaired faulty ignition switches in older GM models were involved in 13 deaths after the automaker failed to issue recalls in a timely manner, and they are not the only car makers experiencing major safety defects. Cars that stay on the road despite safety recalls pose a threat to their drivers and other vehicles.