A suburban, Surprise, Arizona Chevrolet dealership has agreed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s $40,000 fine, after the government agency concluded it had sold recalled vehicles without performing necessary repairs first.
Automotive News reports Sands Chevrolet agreed to pay the civil penalty after the NHTSA concluded, after a two year investigation, it had sold two Chevrolet Malibu Eco sedans to customers before performing recall procedures mandated by parent automaker, General Motors.
At the time in 2014, the Malibu Eco had been recalled due to the mild-hybrid system in the car. A malfunctioning generator control module could drain the battery, and cause the engine to stall. In rare cases, it could lead to “a burning or melting odor, smoke and, in rare instances, a fire in the trunk,” GM said at the time.
The dealership stated the sales were an honest mistake, as the vehicles were held off-site during an $8 million construction and renovation project for the dealership.
“It was something that happened a few years ago, and we’re moving on from it,” Jeremy Moore, Sands Chevrolet dealer operator, said in a brief interview Tuesday.
The dealership has since revamped its procedures to be extra cautious of open recalls before handing over the keys to a customer. It now “takes steps to have all used trade-in vehicles repaired prior to retail sale,” the NHTSA said.