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Autos under recall can still be sold to consumers

It may seem like auto recalls are all over the news these days. However, whether it is defective airbags, faulty wiring or any other defect, residents of California may be unaware that they are driving a defective automobile. In fact, according to one source, 63 million vehicles on our nations streets have some sort of safety recall that has not been repaired.

More recalls mean that more automakers are trying to take responsibility for vehicle defects and are offering consumers a fix, rather than sweeping the issue under the rug. However, California residents may be surprised to hear that it is not against the law for a person to sell a vehicle that has an unfixed, outstanding safety recall. This is because a person who owns a vehicle that has been recalled cannot be required to fix it.

Sometimes, especially with older vehicles that have been sold several times to different owners, automobile manufacturers may not be able to reach the current owner of the vehicle to let them know of the recall. This means that sometimes a person is not even aware that there is a recall out there for their vehicle, a situation which is made more onerous by outdated state laws regarding automobile registration and privacy laws.

In fact, earlier this year the Center for Auto Safety filed a lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission. The group seeks to stop dealerships from advertising previously-owned automobiles with unfixed safety recalls. In addition, one person has developed software that utilizes machine learning and data modeling to identify who currently owns a recalled automobile.

Still, until the laws change, automobiles with outstanding recalls may still be sold. Those who have been injured in accidents caused by a defective automobile may want to discuss the matter with an attorney who can examine the facts of the driver's case to determine whether that person can move forward with a lawsuit.

Source: Motor Trend, "Recall Fatigue: The Dirty Secret Affecting Millions Of Cars - Reference Mark," Mark Rechtin, May 21, 2017

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