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How to Protect Yourself From Buying a Used Car Subject to Recalls

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If you purchased a used car, you may have checked it out thoroughly and even had it inspected by your mechanic before purchasing it. However, if you did not ask the dealer about outstanding recalls, you might be shocked to learn that you are driving a vehicle with a dangerous defect that could cause your death. Unfortunately, used car dealers are not required to disclose outstanding recalls or get them repaired before selling used vehicles to unsuspecting consumers.

How to Check If the Vehicle You Want to Purchase Is Under Recall

Legislation has languished in Congress requiring car dealerships to disclose recalls that are pending for used vehicles they are selling or to fix the problems before the sale. According to a New York Times investigative report, buying a vehicle with a safety defect is a serious problem. The report cites two instances of unsuspecting buyers buying vehicles with Takata airbags that exploded and killed them. The dealership in Texas that sold one of these vehicles also had recalls for safety defects on almost 50 percent of its used vehicles for sale. Some of these recalls involved life-threatening problems like other defective Takata airbags and the General Motors ignition switch defect.

If you are considering purchasing a used car, you should research whether the vehicle  is subject to a recall. You need to get the vehicle identification number from the dealer and check for recalls by doing one of the following:

  • Check for recalls on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s recall page at SaferCar.gov.
  • Go to the manufacturer’s website and look up its recall information.
  • Call the service department at a local dealership and ask if the vehicle you are interested in has any outstanding recalls.
  • Ask the mechanic inspecting the vehicle for you to check if any recall work has been performed or is needed.

If you were involved in a vehicle crash and your vehicle was subject to recall, you could suffer more serious injuries due to the safety defects. While you could still pursue a claim against the negligent driver, you may also have a claim against the vehicle manufacturer and additional parties. Start an online chat to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.

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