Used Car Dealers Regularly Sell Recalled Vehicles

by Terry Bryant

Used car dealers and private sellers aren’t required to let consumers know about recalls on vehicles. They’re not required to do any repairs related to recalls. With new vehicles, dealerships are required by law to fix any open defects. But with used vehicles, consumers have to be able to protect themselves.

This is a serious problem for anyone in the market for a used car. More than 3.8 million cars were recalled in the United States between January 1, 2019, and February 2, 2019. Each of these recalls represents a potentially fatal defect in a vehicle. If there is a recall on a car you are interested in, it’s in your interests to know about it.

Fortunately, there are ways for you to find out about vehicle recalls and take care of them before any serious damage is done. This article will give you a brief overview of what you can do.

How to Check for Recalls

The first step in checking for a recall is to look up the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the automobile you’re looking at. This may be on the online listing for the vehicle or on the windshield at the bottom of the driver’s side.

After that, enter the VIN at This is a free website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which will let you know if there are any open recalls on your vehicle.

What to Do if There’s a Recall on Your Vehicle

If there is an open recall on the vehicle you’re thinking about buying, you can ask the seller to take care of it before you buy. According to Will Wallace, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, “Consumers can make a demand of any seller that they fix any open defects before selling the car to them. And that’s a reasonable request, and the burden for safety in this case shouldn’t fall on consumers.”

It may take a little time for the seller to have the work done, but it isn’t going to cost the seller anything. The used car dealer can take the vehicle to the dealership for the original manufacturer, and the repairs will be done for free if the parts are available. Many used car dealers will take care of this process without being asked, and nearly all of them will take care of it if you ask them to do it.

If you happen to buy a vehicle with a recall on it and don’t find out until after the fact, you can always take the vehicle to the manufacturer’s dealership yourself and have the repairs taken care of for free.

Contact Us

Dangers from recalled vehicles are very real. Should you be the victim of an accident related to a recalled vehicle, or any other accident, the experienced attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help. Call us at 1 (800) 444-5000 or contact us through our online form.