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Used cars with hidden defects are killing drivers

Harold T. McCall Jr.
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Experienced Texas Trial Lawyer
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You thought your new car was great.  You bought it used.  It was just what you wanted.  It was in good condition.  Your mechanic okayed it.  You were riding high.  It was a “steal of a deal.”

Then, you found out it was recalled for a dangerous defect that could kill you.  Why weren’t you told before you bought the car?

A New York Times article in January 2015 about recalls, pointed out that no federal law requires used car dealers to fix cars with safety defects before selling them.  And no federal law requires used car dealers to tell buyers that the car is subject to a recall.

An ABC News story in November 2014 about recalls noted that “…many potentially dangerous cars are hiding in plain sight on used car lots…”  Making the situation even worse, some car manufacturers have delayed sending out recall notices, putting buyers in even more danger.

Jeeps with exploding gas tanks were still killing people 18 months after they were recalled in 2013.  A woman burned to death after her 2003 Jeep Liberty was struck in the back on a Michigan highway.  Gas tanks in some Jeep Liberty and Jeep Cherokee models explode in rear-end collisions since the tanks are mounted behind the rear axle, leaving them vulnerable to punctures.  The woman, who died in this case, was eight months pregnant.

Why were those Jeeps still on the road?  Fiat Chrysler told federal authorities it was having a hard time locating owners of all the Jeeps since the older models had changed hands two and three times.

In 2015, a 22-year old Louisiana woman was killed eight months after she bought a used 2005 Honda Civic.  Its Takata air bag exploded when she hit a telephone pole. Fragments from the bag severed an artery in her neck.  The car’s former owner received a recall notice three days before the woman was killed.  Takata refused for years to admit all its air bags were defective.

GM waited more than 10 years “…to recall 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars equipped with a defective switch” that was linked to “at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents.”

More than 62 million cars were recalled in the U.S. in 2014, according to The New York Times.  Half were at least five years old.  As many as 46 million of them could still be on U.S. roads with drivers who don’t know their cars have serious defects.  Buyers who want a used car are “on their own, “as The New York Times put it, when they purchase one.  Federal officials are calling the situation a public safety crisis.

If you were injured in an accident due to a defect in the used car you bought, lawyers at Wayne Wright can represent you against auto makers who deliberately hide defects or delay recalling vehicles with serious problems.  You don’t have to be a victim of fraud.  You deserve compensation for your suffering.

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