Should Used Car Sellers Have To Repair Recalled Cars Before Selling Them?

According to a 2011 survey, there were 2.7 million used vehicles available for purchase that had at least one un-repaired safety recall. Now, California lawmakers want to require used-car sellers to make those repairs before the vehicles can be sold.

“They should repair it, have it repaired and then they can sell a clean vehicle,” State Senator Jerry Hill tells CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming, who recently reported on the large number of unfixed, recalled vehicles available from area dealers.

However, the operators of used car lots say that the repairs — though they would not cost anything — would be an undue burden on sellers.

“How we gonna know the car has a recall?” one used-car seller asks.

There is the NHTSA recall database, though it’s not exactly the most user-friendly tool in the world.

The dealers also contend that, since recalls generally require that repairs are done by a dealership, the sellers would effectively be putting their products in the hands of competitors. Every day that vehicle is in a dealership service bay, it’s another day it can’t be sold on the used-car lot.

But Senator Hill doesn’t seem to be terribly moved by that concern.

“That’s a time issue; that’s not a safety issue,” he explains.

Another State Senator, Hannah-Beth Jackson, is reportedly planning to introduce legislation that would require all recalled cars are repaired before sale.

“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 says. “It’s as simple as that.”

Last August, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation at the federal level that would require rental car companies to repair recalled vehicles before letting them be rented again. The bill appears to have died, but it did result in several of the nation’s largest rental companies agreeing to not rent out unfixed recalled cars.

So we want to know where you come down on this issue: