It seems that 2014 may go down as the year of the recall. As of April, the US was already on pace for record levels, and that was before millions of more cars were called in for various repairs by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in just the past few weeks. But how many of those vehicles will actually get their necessary fixes? GM claims that it has 80 percent of its vehicles mended in the first year, but the industry average is only 66 percent. That is a lot of faulty automobiles left on the streets, but California thinks it has a solution. A bill there would mandate that dealers must complete all pending warranty repairs on used vehicles before they could be sold to customers.

Federal law already forces dealers to keep new vehicles up to date, but it excludes used cars. California's dealerships don't want that to change and are fighting against the new rules. They call the bill unfair because it excludes private sales, and rental agencies don't have to keep their vehicles up to date, expect when selling them, according to The Los Angeles Times. The sellers also say its too hard to keep track of the individual repairs necessary for each used model that comes onto the lot.

The showrooms may be winning this battle. According to The LA Times, the bill passed the state's Senate last year, but it has been stuck in the California State Assembly since then. Expect a political fight before California's used cars start seeing any repairs from dealers.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      pinsimms99
      • 7 Months Ago
      Put a requirement on the seller to provide a notice to the seller of the open recalls on the vehicle that haven't been fixed. I could see it being a burden on dealers to have all of their vehicles up to date on all recalls. Then again, if some recalls aren't free of charge, that would be a burden on the buyer.
      user164
      • 7 Months Ago
      This has been the year of the recall, but I can't shake the feeling that it is more to do with our expectations of automobiles than their actual failures. If a smart phone crashes when running a specific app, yeah, sometimes there is an update, but sometimes not - in either case there is almost never a "recall". Granted the devices are always connected back to the mother ship in some way, and our literal lives aren't hanging in the balance. However, we expect these cars to built like a vault to withstand a crash at 30 mph with no damage, get 30+ mpg despite all that "vault weight", do everything our computer, stereo, GPS, and phones can do, with no software glitches, all without any design trade-offs. The Ford Y-block V8, when introduced, was criticized for having a poor top end oiling system (relatively), yet there were no mass recalls. Imagine that - we take it for granted today, that the oiling system in our engine works. Sure, some of that is progress, and progress inevitably leads to greater expectations. However, this level of expectation is getting pretty extreme.
      FmCcool140
      • 4 Months Ago
      Shouldn't car companies have a list of what years and makes of cars need recall repairs and which don't? I would feel much better about buying
      Arizonarelax
      • 7 Months Ago
      Only California would introduce more needless government legislation.
        Niels Marienlund
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Arizonarelax
        Really? Only California? There's ridiculous legislation in every state. Are you saying this because you're one of those old, perpetually-angry conservatives, or because you genuinely don't think manufacturers or dealers should be liable for fixing potentially-fatal problems with their products?
          Arizonarelax
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Niels Marienlund
          Not old or conservative. Not Liberal or Independent. I am not perpetually-angry. Unlike you, I use my energy wisely. What I am is frustrated that legislation is being introduced when existing laws are present but ignored. A new law is needed! All for the "Glory" for the moment legislation - topic of the day. If a manufacturer or dealer fails to fix a recalled car, hang 'em high with laws that are in place. It appears you are afraid of people thinking for themselves. Something your type can't stand as government "must" do it for you. Buyer beware. So tell me how will new legislation is to be enforced? Oh yea, California will create a tax to pay for enforcement and attach entitlements while making a "fine" substantial- California's code of ethics yea that seems to be working. Who is moving away from the Golden State to Texas this week?
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      I bought a used car to go back and forth to work 2 months ago. I checked the manufacturers website for any open recalls the day before i bought it. It had an open programming recall, so i bought the car and drove it straight to the dealership to be programmed. Thing is, when does it become the consumer's responsiblity to do things on their own??? Do we have to have so much regulation that we just assume the general populations are all stupid and businesses and the government needs to do all the thinking for them??? Recalls are always free, all a consumer has to do is make an appointment. The problem with relegating this responsiblity to dealerships is that it opens them up for liability. Mom and pops used car dealerships with maybe 1-2 employees are going to be hit hard by this. They now have to drive cars to and from various manufacturer dealerships which could be many miles away just to handle recalls. This ties up 2 employees everytime for several hours. This hurts their bottom line, and ultimately raises their car's margins, they have to charge more for every car they sell. Whereas, a consumer just has to make an appointment, it doesn't cost them anything. Just some of their time. What if a small dealership simply makes a clerical error, what if a car doesn't sell for months and a recall pops up while it's sitting on the lot and they miss it? Then they sell it and the car gets into an accident. They can now be sued for selling the car without the update. It opens the door to more liability.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 7 Months Ago
      The intent of the law is not bad. But sometimes, you just can't find the parts to perform the necessary recalls 10 years after the recall campaign.
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        That's another good point. What if grandpa decides to buy a car, use it occasionally, but it stays garage kept most of the time. 20 years later, he decides to trade it in, an immaculate car for the age. A used car dealer buys it at auction and finds he can't sell it because he can't get the recall done??
      greg
      • 7 Months Ago
      wait a second here... What is the big deal?As we have learned from GM the $0.57 spring in the ignition could have saved them MILLIONS in fines and legal settlements. Used car dealers knowingly selling used cars with open recalls could result in small dealers paying maybe not millions but still a substantial amount of money if someone dies in used car bought from a non manufacturer dealer. Aren't mostly all recalls fixes FREE anyway and if they do cost a money isn't it easier to get that car fixed then settle a lawsuit for 10x the amount of what the ix would cost. As a buyer if I knew it had an open recall I would insist it got fixed before buying the car
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @greg
        They why force used car dealers to do it. Instead just make sure they inform the potential buyer of the recall status of a car before the sign on the dotted line. It would mean small car dealerships can still thrive, and the people are safe. But really, why can't a consumer just check for themselves. Just because a car has an open recall doesn't mean it's "UNSAFE". A safety inspection is fine for that. Statistically speaking, you're far far more likely to die in a random accident than from any of the recalled GM ignition switch cars. People play way to far into their emotions and lose perspective. A simple print out of all outstanding recalls is really all that's necessary, the consumer can decide to buy the car and take it in for the free service, or simply pass, or not buy it until the dealership gets it fixed. It's really that simple.
      Max
      • 7 Months Ago
      I would think dealers would come out ahead if the manufacturer is the one paying the bill; I'm under the impression that the manufacturer has to pay shop time ($90-$150/hr). With respect to the Telsa dealership argument, what benefit would a dealership serve if they can't ensure a recall-free car; they should be the experts on providing a safe spec car instead of being an expert on margins and how to hose the consumer.
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Max
        They are required to do a safety inspection, which their in-house mechanic can handle. They can't handle safety recalls in house, it's a great burden to bring cars to manufacturers dealerships which could be just up the street or 2 hours away. Small dealerships will have a hard time with this, it gets costly to pay someone to either wait for a car, or pay 2 guys to deliver it to a manufacturer dealership. Is it so freaking hard for a consumer to take it in themselves???? They get a letter in the mail, they do tons of research before buying a car anyways. All i had to do was type the vin number into toyota's website and the recall popped up. For some reason, we need to assume the consumer does not need to be inconvenieced by recalls. Most of all the fatalities are not from after recalls, they are from failure to create a recall as is the case with GM. Ultimately, i think it's the consumers responsibility to make sure their vehicle has the recall done. A safety inspection is all a dealership needs to do.
        gary
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Max
        The problem is with off-brand cars. Subaru dealer with a Chevy on the lot that has a recall? You gotta take it to the Chevy dealer for the recall. If its a new recall and the parts are in short supply, how likely do you think it is that the Chevy dealer isn't going to keep pushing the Subaru dealer's car to the bottom of the list until all his customers' cars and all the cars on his lot are fixed? Also there's the issue of timing. A dealer may make a good-faith effort to check cars for open recalls when they come into inventory. But a recall can be issued at any time when that car is on the lot and the common notification process for recalls has no mechanism for identifying used cars on dealer lots and notifying the owning dealer. How frequently should a dealer check for open recalls on all his cars in inventory? Monthly, weekly, daily? It could turn into a full time job depending on the frequency and size of inventory. What do you do if a car is sold after regular business hours when you can check with a manufacturer and/or franchised dealer for an open recall?
      Don Harris
      • 7 Months Ago
      never never buy a car from internet auto in reno Nevada, the owner is like Donald sterling crooked as they come,even if you find out the car is stolen the dmv well protect them ,they are as crooked as the dealer
      LJSearles
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why isn't this a law already?
    • Load More Comments