New York City First In Nation To Ban Sales Of Unrepaired Recalled Used Vehicles

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

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 N ewsreports 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.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Toad Toad on Aug 01, 2014

    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.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 02, 2014

      Bingo. 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.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 01, 2014

    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.

  • Prado Prado on Aug 01, 2014

    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.

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    • Pragmatist Pragmatist on Aug 02, 2014

      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).

  • 50merc 50merc on Aug 02, 2014

    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.