It’s being reported that a new law in Tennessee could put countless dangerous cars on the state’s roads by allowing dealers to easily sell cars that are under safety recall. Consumer advocates are alerting the media and the public to the problems. Andy Spears, who is with Tennessee Citizen Action, stated:
It basically makes Tennessee a dumping ground for unsafe cars that will kill people. And now there’s an incentive for dealers in other states to ship their dangerous cars here to our dealers, because now we have a way to get rid of those cars.
The Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Act allows used car dealers to sell vehicles under safety recall as long as the buyer signs a disclosure form. Consumer advocates like Spears argue a majority of buyers will overlook that sheet of paper, which will likely be in a group of other forms a person is asked to sign when buying a car.
Spears said the law reverses important protections for car buyers and puts every driver on the road at risk. He added:
Previously, the Consumer Protection Act in Tennessee would’ve allowed you to have at least a cause of action and it would’ve discouraged dealers from selling the most dangerous cars. Now all they have to do is give you a form that says we know this car is unsafe, you may not be able to get it fixed, but we’re going to sell it to you anyway. If you sign that, you can’t hold the dealer accountable later.
It appears the law was passed in a rather strange manner. Reportedly, during the legislative session, Senator Frank Nicely (R) amended an unrelated bill, essentially deleting the subject of the bill and replacing it with the recall law.
Spears said that individuals who typically follow automotive legislation in Tennessee had no idea such a bill was being considered. The law passed quickly and with strong support from the Automotive Association. Spears said further:
This is the first state in the nation to pass a law this dangerous. These types of laws were denied in California, Maryland, and Virginia. So other states have seen this law but rejected it when they found out what the law does.
Spears says the only way for Tennessee consumers to protect themselves now that the law has passed is to do their own research. Individuals should run the VIN number of any car they are looking to buy through www.safercar.gov. No person should buy a car under safety recall and neither should any dealer sell one.