When a dealer sells a recalled used car

People may not know that some Pennsylvania car dealers might not inform them if there is a recall for a used vehicle they are selling. This was the case for one man whose Ford F-150 had a faulty cruise control switch. This resulted in the truck catching on fire while sitting in his driveway, igniting the garage door and his house.

The man said he would not have purchased the vehicle if he had known about the recall, but the dealer did not tell him. According to a representative with the Center for Auto Safety, it should not be legal for dealers to sell recalled vehicles, just as retailers are not permitted to sell recalled food or other products.

A NBC news team in Los Angeles looked into the problem further and found hundreds of recalls in their list of 1,000 vehicles. Issues included a sticking accelerator pedal, a gear shift that would not stay in park, and an engine that would spontaneously shut down. The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association says it does not support a law that requires dealers to fix vehicles because they often have difficulty getting parts. However, it says it does support buyers being told. Honda, General Motors, and some other manufacturers do not permit the sale of used cars if there are recalls on them.

People who purchase new cars that have problems may be protected by lemon laws, and in some states they cover used vehicles as well. This is a type of consumer protection that requires dealers to make repairs if the issues are substantial and occur within a certain amount of time or mileage after the purchase of the vehicle. If a dealer does not honor lemon laws or if a person purchases a used car that has been recalled, that person may want to consult an attorney.

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