August 20, 2020
By David A. Wood
The Center for Auto Safety is congratulating the U.S. House of Representatives for trying to put a stop to sales of government vehicles that have been recalled but never repaired.
According to the Center, the General Services Administration (GSA) has been knowingly selling dangerous recalled vehicles to the public for years.
However, as part of the passage of H.R. 7617, the House of Representatives added a provision which stops GSA from selling vehicles with unrepaired (open) recalls at auctions .
The Center says it is literally taking an act of Congress to force the government to follow its own requirements. Safety advocates specifically applaud Representatives Krishnamoorthi, Schakowsky and Quigley who “prioritized consumer safety while the Executive Branch continue to prioritize profits.”
The GSA has sold more than 30,000 vehicles to the public every year, but allegedly as many as 20% of those vehicles were never repaired before they were sold even though they were recalled for safety defects.
This means about 6,000 defective vehicles are on the roads unless buyers check for past recalls and bring the vehicles to dealerships for recall repairs.
Safety recalls are ordered for problems that federal regulators and automakers deem dangerous to the public. Cosmetic problems may be a nuisance and high cost to vehicle owners, but safety recalls are issued because the defects could cause injuries or deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) handles the responsibility of monitoring recalls and ensuring the vehicles comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards.
While NHTSA may currently be undergoing a federal audit related to recall processes, federal safety regulators advise vehicle owners to get their vehicles repaired as soon as possible once recalls have been announced.
“The Center for Auto Safety looks forward to the Senate quickly taking up this measure in order to protect consumers, followed by GSA making permanent changes to its procedures in the interest of public safety.”