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Dealers don't always disclose recalls

Car dealers in California and other states may sell used cars that are subject to open recalls. This could lead to a variety of safety issues that may put a vehicle owner and others in danger. A news station in the state looked at hundreds of used cars and found that many of them had open recalls for issues such as an engine shutdown or an accelerator issue.

One of the recalls was related to a transmission that could shift itself from the park setting. According to a representative from the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, dealers should be allowed to sell vehicles that are part of a recall. However, the group says that consumers should know about them before the sale is finalized. To find out if a car is under a recall, buyers can visit SaferCar.gov and enter the vehicle's VIN number.

If a vehicle is part of an open recall, the manufacturer is required to fix it for free. This is true whether a vehicle owner or a dealership asks that a repair be made. Those who are shopping for a Honda or General Motors car or truck may not have to check to see if a car is part of an ongoing recall. This is because the companies won't allow their vehicles to be sold if this is the case.

Consumers who are not made aware of a vehicle defect may be entitled to compensation if that defect causes future harm. For instance, a dealership could be negligent if it knew that a car had a faulty transmission. An attorney may help a vehicle owner obtain compensation for money spent on the vehicle and other related financial damages that the defect could have caused.

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