By on May 27, 2016

Malibu Eco rear quarter

After an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an Arizona dealership promised it won’t sell recalled vehicles sans repair.

Sands Chevrolet LLC of Phoenix agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty and will shore up its sales procedure in the wake of the probe. The dealer will now check all vehicles for outstanding recalls before delivery and whenever a vehicle is brought in for repair.

Sands’ troubles began in May 2014, after a report delivered to the NHTSA revealed the dealership sold and delivered vehicles that were subject to safety recalls, minus the required repairs. Suspecting the dealer was in violation of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the agency opened an investigation.

Those vehicles, the 2012-2013 Buick Lacrosse and Regal and the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, were equipped with the eAssist hybrid system. General Motors recalled 40,000 units for a fault in the system’s control module, which caused the hybrid’s battery to slowly drain. This led to stalls and the potential for trunk fires.

Dealerships are notified of all safety recalls by the manufacturer, meaning Sands didn’t perform due diligence.

“NHTSA’s investigation indicated that Sands Chevrolet did sell and deliver recalled vehicles that did not have the recall remedy completed at the time the vehicles were delivered to the customers,” the agency stated. “NHTSA therefore concluded that Sands Chevrolet was liable for civil penalties for violations of the Safety Act.”

The investigation ended on May 22. Sands admitted fault, and said the last unrepaired vehicle left its lot in June 2015. Besides checking new and pre-owned vehicles, the dealership will also look for outstanding recalls on all trade-ins.

[Source: Law360]

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8 Comments on “Phoenix Dealership Fined for Not Fixing Recalled Vehicles Before Sale...”


  • avatar
    mkilly

    why is the photo illustration a picture from South Austin though?

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Are they going to contact previous buyers and fix cars that they have sold in the past few years?
    Usually agencies like the NHTSA respond to complaints and incidents. It would be interesting to know what prompted that 2014 “report”.
    Good practice when buying a car is to check the VIN on all data systems to see if recall repairs have been done.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    SANDS-bagged that one…

  • avatar
    Grunt

    It only takes a minute or less the check the VIN at the dealership for potential recalls. GM also sends each dealer a list of VIN’s that need to be fixed.

  • avatar
    Lack Thereof

    The Phoenix area has some of the worst examples of con-artist dealerships in the western US.

    My mother-in-law bought a first year/first generation New Beetle from a dealer outside Tempe, and brought it back to their service department to have a burned-out headlight fixed while the car was still under warranty.

    The dealer broke the headlight assembly while changing the bulb, and instead of replacing it, bolted it back together with wood screws.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Wait , what ? .
    .
    An unscrupulous Automobile Dealership ?! .
    .
    Not possible .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    “Besides checking new and pre-owned vehicles, the dealership will also look for outstanding recalls on all trade-ins.”

    This sounds like an opening for something like this:

    “I’m sorry, sir, but because your trade has an open recall on it I will have to offer you $1000 less for it.”


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