By on August 1, 2014

Used Car Dealership NYC

Shopping for a used vehicle in New York City? Thanks to city officials, the used car you buy will likely be a bit safer, as all 800 used dealerships must fix recalled vehicles prior to purchase, as well as fix those sold after the fact.

The Detroit Newsreports the move is the result of an investigation by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, where 200 such dealers were subpoenaed “to provide their policies on selling unrepaired recalled cars, to reveal how many such vehicles they have sold in the past year, and whether the consumer was notified at the time of sale.”

The new requirement uses a city ordinance requiring dealers to certify their wares as roadworthy, and to not mislead customers regarding the safety of any vehicle on the lot. Dealers will also be ordered to send notices to consumers owning recalled vehicles, and to repair any that come into the shop at the dealer’s expense.

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24 Comments on “New York City First In Nation To Ban Sales Of Unrepaired Recalled Used Vehicles...”

  • avatar

    That is some serious fencing around the used car lot in the picture used for this article. Is that the norm in NYC? It looks like a POW camp or something out of Mad Max. If car dealerships in NYC require that kind of security I’d suggest the crime problem is much more serious than the defective used car problem.

    Here in flyover country you don’t see that kind of fencing around anything except a maximum security prison.

    • 0 avatar

      Car lots in Detroit look that way too.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldn’t call it the norm, but it is pretty common at many used car lots in the city. It’s not universal, however. If you take a ride on Northern Boulevard in Queens, you’ll find a mix, some that match the picture, some with more discrete fencing and some with none at all. That stretch runs the gamut from an authorized MB dealer (Silver Star) just over the bridge from Manhattan to BHPH lots just past the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (the BQE to locals).

      As for crime, it’s nothing like it was in the ’70s and ’80s. Back then, you couldn’t park a car overnight with any sort of attractive stereo on any public road in the boroughs, it would suffer a smashed window and an attempt to the car in which it was installed. Ask me how I know. These days, the sketchy places are few and far between.

    • 0 avatar

      Chicago’s the exact same way.

      Every single used car lot in the city looks like a North Korean missile base.

      Ten-foot chainlink fence topped with coils of razor wire and lit up like a night game at Wrigley Field.

      Only things missing are the sentry guns.

  • avatar

    We already have controls for transfer of title based on liens. My state is moving toward a system of controlling registration based on inspection. If we ever revamp taxation to include mileage, that will be a part of the system, too. So it isn’t much of a stretch to think that the same could be done for recalls. If a vehicle hasn’t had its recalls taken care of, then essentially a lien is placed on the car or a ‘failed inspection’ is generated which then shuts the legal sale/use of that car until it’s fixed.

    Of course this opens a can of worms, and I make no claim to whether such a system is good. Given the number of recalls this year, addressing every single one may become impossible (Honda recall about which side the badge was place, anyone?). However, it’s just the logical next step if that’s the route govt feels the need to go.

  • avatar

    That chain link fence is weird. It starts at about eight feet high, and goes up. What’s to keep someone from walking or driving in or out of the lot? Do the fence panels slide up and down the big poles?

    • 0 avatar

      The fence panels slide up & down like window sashes. During the day they’re up to allow customers access, at closing they go down to prevent the inventory being stripped/stolen/vandalized.

      The “facilities” for most of the small used dealers is limited to that trailer in the picture. If people could afford a car from a dealer with a service department, they wouldn’t be buying there in the first place. Koeppel, in the picture, runs a string of new car dealerships. This legislation is going to depend on larger dealers cooperating with the small fish.

  • avatar

    It depends upon were the used cars lots are located. Queens Blvd used to be miles of used car lots. Now the property is worth to much to put in a used car lot. Of course if its a poorer location the property is worth less and not too many companies want to build so you have more low income used car lots. These are the lots that are fenced in with heavy gates. I have lived in New York most of my life and it has its ups and downs. I live on the Queens/Nassau border and we have very few used cars lots. But go west towards the city thru some poorer areas and they are on every street corner. We had a good run for the last 20 years but things are starting to go down hill since the new Mayor took over. Its all about how the Police Dept is run. This Mayor want’s the Police to slack off on lower level crime and look the other way. Trust me we will be seeing much higher fences thruout the city in the coming years.

  • avatar

    I can see this regulation working to the dealers advantage regarding customer trades.

    The setting: Toad Ford F&I Manager’s office, 8:30 pm. 1 hour into finance docs.

    F&I Manager “We are almost done with the paperwork on your new Flex. All we need is the documentation that all recall items on your old car have been taken care of. Our computer shows that your Chevy Impala has had 11 recalls. You have all the records of the recall work with you, right?”

    Customer: “Umm, I’m not sure. Honey, do you have the paperwork?” Wive gives frown to husband. “I don’t really remember what we’ve had done.”

    F&I Manager: “Hmmm, that put’s me in a tough spot. I’d like to give you $4000 in trade on your car, but New York state will not allow us to sell a car if we can’t prove all recalls have been done. And since we are a Ford Dealer, we don’t have access to GM recall records.”

    Customer: “I don’t know where the paperwork is, and we aren’t real good at saving that stuff…”

    F&I Manager: ” I really shouldn’t even take a car that we can’t really sell right now. Mr. Toad will probably kill me, but I like your family and really want to see you in a new Ford. I can take a chance and give you $2500 for your Impala, but we have to get this deal done tonight before Mr. Toad gets back tomorrow. He is very cranky in the morning and won’t want to look at a trade with no recall paperwork.”

    Customer: With pained look “But you promised us a $4000 trade on our car.”

    F&I Manager: “I want to give you $4000! I really do! But without the recall paperwork NO dealer will be able to sell your car because the government won’t let us. $2500 is the best I can do. If you only had the paperwork…”

    Customer: Slumps in chair “Ok. Where do I sign?”

    The next day Toad Ford takes the Chevy to a GM dealership and confirms all is well. At the same time a GM dealer takes an F150 he took in trade to Toad Ford to get the same check done. All is up to date. No costs (if there were any updates needed it would be a no cost warranty item).

    Each dealer pockets an extra $1500. Multiply by thousands of transactions. And the public can thank the new law for “protecting” them.

    • 0 avatar

      The solution is simple. Keep the damned paperwork. In fact, I’m told, there’s even a specialized compartment below the passenger airbag in which to keep said documentation!

      • 0 avatar

        Hey, that is where I keep all of my old insurance cards, some fuses, and the Stereo system warranty booklet on my out-of-warranty car!

        And, my E-350 box van doesn’t have a glovebox.

        Seriously, Ford, no glovebox!?

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      “And the public can thank the new law for “protecting” them.”

      The laws of unintended consequences.

      • 0 avatar

        More unintended consequences: Well-capitalized dealers will move out of the City, so customers will buy cars outside of the City, resulting in thousands of jobs moving out of the City. Lost sales tax, lost personal income tax.

    • 0 avatar

      Easy answer.

      Buy a new car (and trade in your old one) in Jersey or Connecticut where they can’t pull this crap.

      You’re paying the taxes based on where you live no matter where you buy the damned thing, so do the deed on the other side of the border.

    • 0 avatar

      “Well sir, you can see in the Carfax that work was done. Not good enough? Well, I’ll go get the records from a GM dealer and maybe while I’m there I’ll see what they’ll give me for my trade. Good luck explaining the lost sale to Mr. Toad.”

    • 0 avatar


      This is why you never trade a decent car, you trade them junk because unless its only two years old, they will always screw you. A MY00 base (3400) Impala in avg condition will still net you around 2K at auction so never fall for the I can only give you crap if you have a half decent trade. Don’t believe me? Here:

      MY00 Chevy Impala 3400

      07/16/14 NEW MEX Lease $2,600 56,992 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
      07/30/14 LAKELAND Regular $1,750 78,569 Avg TAN 6G A Yes
      07/24/14 FRDKBURG Regular $2,500 89,205 Above GOLD 6G A Yes
      07/30/14 MILWAUKE Regular $2,500 94,356 Above BLUE 6G A Yes
      07/30/14 SEATTLE Regular $1,700 94,486 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes

      Oh and f*** the gov’ts of NY and NYC.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The used 2011 Sonata my son bought had 4 recall campaigns that remained un-done by the time we bought the car. I had to ask about them, and the Hyundai dealer mumbled something about bringing it in any time I wanted to have them fixed.

    I promptly took it to another dealer closer to home, but I really felt like the dealer who sold us the car should have performed these repairs.

    Especially when it comes to safety-related items, I see this rule as a good thing.

  • avatar

    I’m not in favor of laws like this. With some recalls being for trival matters, I would prefer to let the owner or buyer decide if they want the recall performed, and not have it forced upon them anytime a car changes hands. Example… I have passed on having the gas pedal recall done on my 4Runner. The fix would be Toyota hacking off the bottom of the pedal to further protect morons from experiencing the potential of a stuck gas pedal. A recall could even be for someting as stupid as non compliant warning sticker.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I don’t understand why anyone would decline a safety-related fix.

      You know, really smart people have decided what rises to the level of ‘recall’, rather than technical service bulletin, or no action. They make this call with reluctance, and at great expense to their business, so recalls are usually pretty important.

      Perhaps your insurance company will be reluctant to pay a claim to your heirs if you’ve refused to have a safety fix on your car, which turns out to be involved in your demise.

      While I appreciate ‘sticking it to the man’, you could just be sticking it to yourself.

    • 0 avatar

      There have been cases of people intentionally NOT replacing noncomplying or missing stickers because they simply did not want that crap.

      Sometimes the fix is worse than not getting it. If it involves putting some stupid ass interlock into something then there might be a good reason to not get it.

      Here is one currently: Some Jeep Grand Cherokees have been recalled because if a circuit board cracks, the transfer case may drop out of gear while parked and roll. Of course, if you use your parking brake this is a non issue. The problem is that quite a few people have experienced major problems with the 4WD system after this fix.. guys are actually going to wrecking yards and finding ‘unfixed’ parts to put back in (which cures the 4WD problems).

  • avatar

    CBS this week ran a piece on the GM ignition switch recall, and reported only a fourth of the suspect switches have been, er, switched to date. Supposedly ample parts are on hand. So a lot of owners are procrastinating, apathetic, too busy or stupid.

    For once I agree with a New York City regulation. Why should any licensed dealer be allowed to sell a car with uncorrected recall issues? After all, the factory will pay the tab.

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