SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Several state lawmakers are interested in drafting a new law that may require used car dealers to repair recalled cars before selling them, CBS13 has learned.
“It’s a serious problem that looks like it needs to be resolved,” said Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) after seeing the Call Kurtis investigation that aired Sunday.
“Our responsibility is to look after the public’s safety,” he said.
Sen. Hill said he didn’t understand how used car lots can legally sell recalled cars before they’re fixed.
“They should repair it, have it repaired and then they can sell a clean vehicle,” he said.
We exposed the danger Bob Knotts faced when a used van burst into flames in his driveway.
“It was just black full of smoke,” he said.
Knotts had no idea it was recalled over a wiring defect, he said.
And CBS13’s hidden cameras easily found a dozen recalled cars at three used car lots checked randomly in Sacramento.
“Any recall, before we bring the car here, we have to get it taken care of,” a salesman told us.
But he wasn’t telling the truth. CBS13 found several recalled cars on his lot.
A Carfax study found more than 2.7 million used cars listed for sale online in 2011 had at least one unfixed safety recall, and some used car dealers don’t even know how to check for them.
“How we gonna know the car has a recall?” the owner at Lions Auto Sales asked consumer investigator Kurtis Ming.
Sen. Hill wants that to change and said he’ll support a bill.
“Any recall that’s on a vehicle needs to be repaired before that vehicle can be sold,” he said.
Some used car dealers are concerned they would technically be bringing a car to a competitor, an authorized dealer who could take its time making the repairs, costing them a sale.
“That’s a time issue; that’s not a safety issue,” he said. “To me the issue is safety.”
Hill is concerned someone could end up hurt or killed.
“When you purchased it, you may never know that that safety problem was there and that safety recall was issued,” he said.
Several lawmakers were interested in tackling this issue.
CBS13 has learned Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) plans to draft a bill in the next few weeks.
“Until they’ve been fixed so they are safe, recalled cars shouldn’t be on the road, and they shouldn’t be for sale,” she said. “It’s as simple as that.”