Recently, a Bakersfield, California woman won an important legal victory against CarMax when her case against the car maker was allowed by an appeals court to move forward. The case was the first of its kind to result in a victory for a plaintiff who challenged whether it was legal to sell used cars with unrepaired safety defects.
Millions of cars have been subject to recalls in recent years, and many car manufacturers have simply sold used cars without alerting car buyers to the fact that the vehicles have unrepaired safety defects and are under recall. Consumers could face a serious threat to their personal safety if they buy a used car without realizing that there is an unrepaired defect.
This case is an important development to clarify what the obligations are of car dealers selling vehicles to the public. While there are currently some consumer laws protecting new car buyers, which a Los Angeles lemon law attorney can help consumers to understand, there are also big loopholes in consumer protection laws that leave motorists vulnerable.
If car dealers are held accountable for not warning consumers about recalls or making sure fixes are made before recalled used cars are sold, this will at least create incentive for car sellers to do the right thing when it come to potentially dangerous vehicle defects.
Consumer Wins Victory Against Carmax Related to Unrepaired Recalls
The case against CarMax originated from an incident in which the plaintiff was sold a 2008 Hyundai Elantra that had an active recall on the vehicle. The plaintiff who purchased the car filed her case against Carmax with the hope of holding the car maker accountable for misleading her on the safety of the vehicle and failing to disclose the defect.
CarMax advertises that it sells Certified CarMax cars only after reconditioning and after a rigorous safety inspection. In order for a vehicle to be a “CarMax Quality Certified” vehicle, it is supposed to pass a 125-point inspection, including the brake lights on the vehicle. Hyundai Elantra's however, had been recalled because of faulty brake light switches that malfunction intermittently. Yet, CarMax sold the plaintiff the car without getting the problem with the brake lights fixed and without telling the plaintiff about the issue.
The plaintiff had sued in la ower court, but had to appeal to allow her case to move forward. The appeals court ruled that her case could move forward, indicating that the plaintiff had a valid legal claim under California consumer protection and unfair competition laws. The appeal's court decision overturned a lower court ruling and makes it possible for the lawsuit brought by the plaintiff to continue.
The case is not over yet, but the fact that the plaintiff was allowed to proceed to prove the merits of her case is a positive first step for holding car makers accountable when they sell vehicle that have open recalls without repairing the cars first.
This is just one of many situations where consumers may need to pursue legal remedies in connection with problems with a vehicle they have purchased. A Los Angeles lemon law attorney can provide help to those who experienced problems with a vehicle so give us a call today to learn more.