Groups Warn TN Could Become Dumping Ground for Dangerous Cars
Monday, January 22, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There's one more reason to read the fine print when buying your next car in Tennessee.
A new law in the Volunteer State allows used car dealers to sell vehicles that are under a safety recall, as long as the buyer signs a disclosure form.
The Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Act is the first and only one of its kind in the country – after similar bills failed in four other states.
Andy Spears, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, is concerned about the potential impact on consumers.
"Dealers are incentivized to send their cars they know are dangerous to Tennessee, because if you're making a car deal and you can convince someone to sign this form, and there's no requirement that this has to be done at any time in the process,” Spears states. “After you've already agreed to everything and you've worked out the financing – and then, they hand you a form and say, 'Yes, sign this form' – and most people don't read those documents."
Spears says his isn't the only group concerned that the state will become a dumping ground for dealers in other states to send cars they're unable to sell.
He cites the Takata airbag recall as one example of serious potential problems. It affects more than 1 million cars.
But the Tennessee Automotive Association supports the new law, and points out it does require dealers to notify consumers about recalls.
While many people may opt not to sign such paperwork and buy a car they know is under recall, Spears says some may have no other choice.
"You're on the lot with a car dealer, and maybe you can walk away from the deal if you have resources,” he points out. “But if you need a car to get to work and you don't have a whole lot of money, and someone is willing to sell you this car, maybe you'll sign the form because your options are limited. Your ability to travel from dealer to dealer is limited.
“So definitely, lower-income consumers are the most likely to be punished by this law."
Supporters of the law say dealers should still be able to sell cars that otherwise will work properly after undergoing the recall repairs.
Spears says anyone considering a used car purchase should also run the vehicle's VIN number through the database safercar.gov.
get more stories like this via email
Voters from Arizona and across the West say a public official's position on conservation will be an important factor when deciding who to support in t…
A new online tool is helping community groups in Boston ensure all neighborhoods reap the benefits from urban tree canopies. The Tree Equity Score …
Farming trend researchers are poring over new federal data that only come around every five years. The latest information helps some organizations …
The risk first responders face is getting renewed focus following the fatal shooting of two police officers and a paramedic in Minnesota. Amid …
West Virginia House delegates passed a bill this week that would allow raw milk products from farmers to be sold directly to consumers. Maria Moles…
Health and Wellness
Health plan premiums and deductibles have risen sharply in recent years - so the state Office of Health Care Affordability is proposing to limit growt…
Health and Wellness
New York disability rights advocates are working to break barriers in numerous legislative areas, including those in transportation, housing…
Kentucky saw a 48% reduction in child victims of maltreatment from 2018 to 2022, according to the latest federal data. However, child abuse and …