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Buying a Used Car? Look Out for Dangerous Recalls.

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Buying a Used Car? Look Out for Dangerous Recalls.

How would you feel if a car dealer sold you a car with defective parts that could:

  • Start a fire?
  • Eject metal fragments through the airbag?
  • Suddenly shut off the engine during driving?
  • Cause the seatbelt to stop working in a crash?

You’d probably be upset. And you might be afraid for the safety of yourself and your family.

If driving around in a vehicle with dangerous, defective parts is something you’d like to avoid, then next time you’re buying a used car – look out. Because the reality is that many used cars available for sale – including at the nation’s biggest used car dealer, CarMax – contain just such defective parts. In our new survey of vehicles for sale at eight CarMax locations in three states, we found that more than one in four vehicles contained unrepaired defective parts that had been recalled for presenting safety issues, including the problems listed above.

Our survey found that more than one in four vehicles for sale at eight CarMax locations contained unrepaired defective parts that had been recalled for presenting safety issues.

Our survey comes in the wake of a recent Federal Trade Commission decision that for all intents and purposes gave many used car dealers carte blanche to sell used vehicles containing dangerous recalled parts. Our report co-authors at the MASSPIRG Education Fund and the CARS Foundation have warned that the decision could increase the number of recalled vehicles for sale, and our survey supports that assertion. Compared to a similar survey conducted two years ago, the percentage of recalled vehicles for sale had more than doubled.

We put a lot of trust in our vehicles. We trust them with our own safety, as well as the safety of our families, and other people on the road. Under the best circumstances, driving has risks – but one thing we should not have to worry about is being sold vehicles that contain defective, dangerous parts. To learn more, read the new report, Used Car Roulette. And if you’re buying a used car, make sure to check for unrepaired recalls using the federal government’s online lookup tool, available at www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.

Vehicles with Unrepaired Safety Recalls for Sale at CarMax Locations