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Hazleton, PA

New law allows sale of potentially dangerous recalled cars

Pennsylvania auto accident attorneyBuying a car can be stressful.

Do you want a sedan, an SUV, a pickup, or a minivan? Once you know the style of vehicle you’re looking for, you begin researching car companies, reading studies on safety and what car gets the best gas mileage. When you’ve finally narrowed it down, you start going from dealership to dealership looking for the best bargain.

Did you know that Pennsylvania dealerships can now sell you a recalled car and not tell you?

Yes, your new-to-you, well-researched vehicle could potentially be a danger to you and others on the road because last year Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and legislators passed a law that gave dealers codified permission to sell pre-owned vehicles with open safety recalls.

According to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, lobbyists pushed for the law, which protects dealers from lawsuits, on behalf of car dealers, who claimed the law protects consumers by requiring open recalls to be disclosed.

According to Consumer Affairs, however, the law mandates that dealers provide formal disclosure of open recalls, but, the disclosure could be buried in the fine print. Consumer advocates say this allows dealers to use the law as a defense when facing a lawsuit.

An investigation by the Action News 4 team found 17 vehicles for sale in Uniontown and Butler at Kelly dealerships with unrepaired safety recalls of the Takata air bag, which have been linked to at least 24 deaths nationwide because of explosions related to the inflator.

Car manufacturers said a massive backlog is preventing them from replacing the airbags for millions of consumers in a timely manner, according to Consumer Affairs.

The majority of deaths and injuries related to the airbags have occurred in Honda cars, leading government regulators and the company to prioritize repairs for Honda owners.

In a measure that is strikingly similar to the bill in Pennsylvania, in 2014 Honda reportedly began pushing dealers to have buyers sign paperwork stating they were aware that their used car had a defective airbag that had not been repaired.

“I believe it takes away the liability,” a Honda dealer told Automotive News at the time.

Pennsylvania and Tennessee are the only states with this law, which was rejected in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Illinois.

What can you do if you were injured in an accident and suspect there was an open recall?

The Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis expertly handles car accidents and understands the law. We work tirelessly to build cases against negligent drivers and dealers.

You can contact us online to schedule a consultation at no cost to you. Don’t wait.


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