Thousands of vehicles under recall on used car lots - WNEM TV 5

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Thousands of vehicles under recall on used car lots

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Many vehicles on used car lots under recall Many vehicles on used car lots under recall
2014 was a record year for vehicle recalls with more than 550 recalls, covering more than 52-million vehicles.

Tens of thousands of vehicles with recalls on them are sitting on used car lots at this very moment. You might end up buying one of those vehicles without even knowing it.

When shopping for a used car what you don't know could hurt you.

Chris Basso is a spokesperson for Carfax, the leading provider of vehicle history information.

"Recalls are a good thing they help to maintain the safety performance of our car. The issue lies when we don't know if our car has a recall," says Basso.

Carfax estimates last year in Michigan nearly 100-thousand used cars for sale had unfixed safety recalls.

Basso says these are recalls that can cause fires, crashes, inadvertent air bag deployment, real safety issues that people need to be concerned about.

While conducting research, TV5 also learned that there are no state or federal laws requiring dealers to fix recalls before selling a used car. A TV-5 producer and a photographer undercover to find out if mid-Michigan dealerships are selling vehicles with open recalls.

We started at a dealership in Midland County and asked about a Chevy Impala that had an open recall on it and TV5 cameras were rolling. We asked about safety but the salesman never mentions any recalls. Our producer presses further and asks outright if there's a recall on the car.

The salesman says that more than likely, it's not going to have one on it. But the vehicle does have a recall on it for an unintended ignition key rotation.

The next stop for TV5 was at a used car lot in Saginaw County where our producer looked at another Impala.

Once again, the salesmen never mentions the recall and when we ask, he says he doesn't know anything about a recall on that car. The salesperson claims that it is never known with these recalls because they're always coming up.

The salesman admits he doesn't know which cars have unfixed recalls.

The last stop, a used car dealership in Bay County.

Our undercover camera man asked about a Chevy Traverse that already was know to have two open recalls on it. For a third time, no mention of those recalls until we asked about them.

The salesman offered to check the Carfax for us and did tell us about one recall.

The vehicle was under recall for a side impact airbag connector.

When TV5 checked online, there's a second recall listed that he did not tell us about. This one for a defective seat belt anchor.

Some of the dealerships TV5 visited did not seem to put recalls high on their priority list.

But two of the Chevy Impala's we looked at have an open recall for an unintended ignition key rotation, a problem linked to at least 3 deaths.

So how can you avoid buying a recalled car? Do your homework. Within seconds TV5 were able to check vin numbers for vehicles online and verify whether or not a car had an open recall.

You can perform free checks on manufacturers websites, recall.carfax.com , and on the government's recall website, safercar.gov.

Also, ask the seller about any potential recalls on the car that you're looking at. Every dealership TV5 visited offered to check for recalls for us but only after we asked.

The information is available but do your research and be prepared before shopping for a used car.

An important reminder, it is perfectly legal to sell a used vehicle with a recall out on it.

There are no state or federal laws requiring disclosure.

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