It seems some automotive dealerships in U.S. have sold “hundreds” of recalled vehicles without actually fixing them, according to a recent ABC News investigation.
By law, vehicle dealers must repair new vehicles with recalls at or before the time of sale. Though it is not mandatory for a salesperson to disclose the vehicle it is illegal to sell a vehicle without completing mandatory recall repairs.
The news program went undercover at Hawthorne Chevrolet, in New Jersey, and used a hidden camera to capture a salesperson who willingly sold them a recalled vehicle that had not been fixed.
They purchased a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado with recall #14192, a serious mandatory recall that states that the vehicle is at risk of rolling away while in neutral. It also says that if the vehicle’s transfer case switches to neutral while being driven the vehicle could lose power, increasing the risk of a crash.
The news team simply ran the vehicles VIN to find the recall and then visually inspected it to ensure it had been repaired. To their surprise, none of the repair work had been completed.
That particular recall was launched in June 2014 and the recall rate currently stands at 86 per cent, meaning 402,000 of the 467,000 recalled vehicles have been fixed. That same recall also concerns ’14 and ’15 Sierras, and certain ’15 Silverados, Tahoes, Suburbans, Yukons and Yukon XLs.
“General Motors instructs its dealers to complete all open recalls on new and used vehicles prior to sale and delivery to customers,” GM said in a statement to the news program. “GM has systems and reports available to dealers to allow them to check the status of open recalls on GM vehicles for both new and used car inventories.”
However, it’s not just GM dealers that have been caught. The news program says it’s confirmed that several hundred vehicles have been sold from a wide variety of OEM’s. In total, over 100 dealerships have sold vehicles without recall work, and most of the sales occurred just in the second half of 2014.