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Dealer Sues the Competition for Failing to Make Recall Repairs

» Posted March 29, 2017Resources | Share This Post

Used car dealers are allowed to sell cars with open recalls and repairs that need to be made. Many consumers are not aware of this and don't realize that they are buying defective cars that could put them in jeopardy. 

The absence of adequate protections for consumers is a major problem within the car buying industry. There are some consumer protection laws that apply when vehicles have defects, and consumers can work with an Orange County lemon law attorney to seek remedies.

However, there are too few rules aimed at keeping car buyers safe and making sure recalled cars don't just change hands without fixes being made.  One car dealer is trying to take matters into his own hands by suing competitors who sell cars that have open recalls.

Car Dealers Are Being Sued for Selling Cars With Safety Defects

CBS News reported on the case brought by a car dealer against his competitors. The car dealer sells Toyotas, which are among the millions of vehicles that were equipped with defective Takata airbags. The airbags explode due to faulty inflators and have been linked to close to a dozen deaths.

The dealer who has filed the lawsuit against his competitors previously sold cars with open recalls but labeled the vehicles to let motorists know they were buying a car with a defective airbag. In vehicles that the dealer knew had an unrepaired Takata airbag, a handwritten sign was posted on the windshield.

However, when CBS journalists visited his dealership, they asked him how he would feel if he sold a car to someone who was later severely injured or killed because of the airbag problem. This convinced him to change his policy and stop selling cars with unrepaired airbags.

Now, he is on a mission to ensure that his fellow dealers do not continue to sell the defective cars, even though the law currently allows them to do so legally. He said that he was motivated to file a lawsuit against competitor dealerships because a single dealer stopping the sale of defective cars is not sufficient to protect consumers.

His lawsuit is based on the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and he claims that competitors are misrepresenting the condition of the cars they are selling with the open recall. He claims buyers are not being told of the problem so they don't know they will need to get repairs done. He told CBS News: “I mean, it’s so black and white in my mind. I just can’t understand why everybody doesn’t get it. How can you allow someone to sell a product that can kill or injure you?”

Whether this particular case is successful or not, there are still many dealers out there who are likely to continue selling both new and used cars with defects.  In fact, CBS reported that undercover shoppers were rarely told about recalls or were provided with inaccurate information by dealers. Motorists who buy new cars that end up having serious problems should consult a lemon law attorney to determine what options may be available to them for seeking remedies.


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