Personal Injury Lawyer
Columbus, Ohio

Purchasing a used car? Be aware of open safety recalls.

Columbus, OH auto accident attorney

Have you recently purchased a used car or do you plan on buying one? If so, it's critical to understand the safety risks associated with used cars. That means that you must be prepared to conduct your own research.

For most people who purchase used cars with mechanical defects, they usually happen when the vehicle unexpectedly breaks down. Luckily, Ohio's used car Lemon Law protects consumers from faulty used car purchases for up to one year or 18,000 miles (whichever comes first).

When it comes to open, unrepaired safety recalls, however, no state or federal law currently applies to used car dealerships. So, a used car dealer can sell you a car with a dangerous mechanical defect without disclosing it.

Am I likely to buy a car with an open safety recall?

A recent study released by U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety should serve as an eye-opener for consumers. After surveying more than 2,400 used cars sold by AutoNation — a used car company with 28 locations in 16 cities across the U.S. — approximately 285 had open, unrepaired safety recalls.

Some of the recalls discovered in the probe included defective Takata airbags and General Motors ignition switches — both of which have resulted in hundreds of traffic fatalities.

What's even more alarming, open safety recalls were discovered on used cars at each of AutoNation's 28 locations. Many of these locations also had service shops. These service shops could have made the repairs before the cars were put up for sale.

How do I know if a used car has an open recall?

The study only focused on AutoNation. That means that the number of cars with safety recalls sold at used car lots is likely much greater. Fortunately, www.safecar.gov allows used car buyers to investigate for themselves. This can be done by searching a car's vehicle identification number or VIN. The VIN can be found where the driver's side dashboard meets the steering wheel.

If you have already bought a car that turns out to have an open safety recall, www.safecar.gov will offer a list of authorized dealerships where you may have the defect repaired free of charge.

If you are injured in a crash caused by an unexpected mechanical defect that should have been addressed by the used car dealer, you may be eligible to pursue a car accident claim. Attorney Mike D. Christensen of the Michael D. Christensen Law Offices LLC — based in Columbus, Ohio — knows how to investigate crashes caused by unrepaired recalls and help injured motorists build strong legal claims.

Schedule your free case evaluation today by contacting us online. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay unless you're compensated.

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