Do you know if your used car contains an auto defect?

On behalf of Mike Clancy

When a vehicle is determined to have a serious defect, a notice may be sent out to the owner of the vehicle. Vehicles that are still owned by the original purchaser are certainly easier to track, but what about those vehicles that have been resold once, twice or even three times? How do these owners know that their vehicle contains a motor vehicle defect that has the potential to lead to an injury-causing accident?

It seems reasonable enough that the car dealerships and rental agencies reselling these vehicles would be a good place to obtain the information, but as it stands, federal law doesn’t require that these sellers disclose that pertinent information. The law also doesn’t call for these sellers to repair the defect before reselling the vehicle.

In one case, a man purchased a pickup truck that had been the subject of a recall this past October. The problem with this particular model truck was that the rear axle could lock up. For this man, “could lock up” became “did lock up” while he was traveling at 70 miles per hour. “That could have killed me,” he said.

With the way the law is written, that man isn’t alone. There are a lot of people, possibly millions, unknowingly driving cars that may contain a very serious auto defect that is putting their own safety, their family’s safety and the safety of those they share the road with in jeopardy.

Two new proposals in the nation’s capital are aimed at attempting to repair this problem — and the defects too. The first is the Transportation Department’s Grow Act, which would require the dealers and the rental agencies to repair a defect before they can sell the vehicle. The second piece of legislation focuses solely on rental cars. These seem like two great solutions that would help drivers in Illinois and across the nation, but they have both been stalled by a debate over the costs associated with repairs.

Source: The New York Times, “Recalled Used Cars Roam the Roads as Federal Legislation Stalls,” Rachel Abrams and Christopher Jensen, May 8, 2014

Do you know if your used car contains an auto defect?