With all of the advances in automotive technology over recent decades, it is truly shocking how many recalls for deadly auto defects are announced each year. From unintended sudden acceleration issues to intentionally faulty airbags to steering issues, American consumers have been repeatedly sold new cars that are dangerous and unusable by the world's largest auto manufacturers. When we hear about a recall effort by a manufacturer, it may feel somewhat comforting that at least some action is being taken to address the safety issues, albeit only after a manufacturer has continued to create defective vehicles for years, and the FTC has forced it to act after reports of deaths and injuries. But, shockingly, current federal law allows used car dealers to sell automobiles that have been recalled for defects even where the defect has not been fixed. And while the law does require dealers to inform consumers of the unfixed defect, many dealers reportedly hide the unfixed defect from consumers who unsuspectingly purchase the dangerous vehicles.
FL Car Dealer: “I Don't Know Why Any Dealer Would Sell a Defective Car Like That”
Under current FTC regulations, it is illegal for dealers to sell new cars with unfixed defects, but based on a “loophole” in the law, the FTC is currently allowing used car dealerships to sell recalled cars with unfixed defects and even refer to them as “certified” and “safe.” Consumer groups have lobbied to change the law, but industry observers believe the federal government is unlikely to change its stance which favors large manufacturers and dealers anytime soon.
The law does require the dealers to tell consumers about the unfixed recalls prior to purchase, but according to Forbes magazine, there are widespread reports that many dealers simply break the law and do not tell consumers about the dangerous defects. As one Florida dealer of used cars told Forbes:
“I've been an auto dealer for nearly 50 years, and I've never encountered something that made me so ashamed of my profession…If a Takata airbag that's unfixed explodes on impact, it's just like having a hand grenade explode in your face. I don't know why any dealer would sell a defective car like that.”
In addition, even when consumers are told of the unfixed recall defects, they may purchase the car with the mistaken impression that they can simply take the car in for a free fix of the defect when in actuality they are stuck with a car that cannot be repaired.
Pursuing a Legal Remedy For a Car With an Unfixed Recall Defect
If you purchased a used car in Mississippi with an unfixed recall defect or any other defect which affects the use, safety, or value of the car, you may be able to bring a lemon law claim for the repurchase price of your car. To pursue a Mississippi lemon law claim, the car must be under a manufacturer's warranty and you must have given the manufacturer a reasonable number of attempts to address the defect.
As evidenced by the reports of dealers and manufacturers selling recalled efforts with unfixed defects, it is, unfortunately, the case that you may experience less-than-fair dealing in attempting to receive the fair value of your car purchase, and thus it can be critical to work with a lemon law attorney with the experience to obtain justice in your matter.
At Herrington Law, we have successfully represented auto consumers across Mississippi in recovering the purchase price of their cars, and are committed to winning justice for auto consumers who've suffered losses through no fault of their own. Contact us today to begin assessing and pursuing your lemon law claim as quickly as possible.