FTC Sued for Allowing Dealers to Sell Cars with Deadly Defects

When you go to the dealership and see that a car has been certified as safe or has been subject to a “rigorous inspection”, you assume that any recall issues have been taken care of. In fact, even without the safety claims, you probably assume that dealerships are not allowed to sell vehicles with unfixed recalls. Selling cars with dangerous and deadly safety defects, that have been recalled for those defects and not repair, and labelling those vehicles as certified as safe is not just another used car salesman trick. It is something that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave General Motors (GM and two car dealers permission to do as part of a 2016 settlement. Now, several consumer advocacy groups are suing the FTC for its potentially deadly decision.

Dangerous and Irresponsible Abuse of Authority

On February 6, 2017, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), the Center for Auto Safety, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), MASSPIRG, CONNPIRG, and CALPIRG filed a lawsuit to have the FTC’s decision overturned. In a press release the groups called the FTC’s decision a “dangerous and irresponsible abuse of its authority.”

The consent orders do require the companies to provide a disclaimer stating that the unrepaired vehicles “may” be subject to a safety recall, but allows them to be advertised with misleading language such as:

  • Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle
  • Repaired for safety
  • Passed a rigorous inspection
  • Safe

Car buyers are allowed to unknowingly drive off in vehicles that have been recalled for the ignition switch defect that has already killed at least 124 people, among other defects, endangering not only themselves but everyone else on the road or anywhere near the vehicle.

If you or someone you love has been hurt by a defective vehicle, whether it was subject to a recall or not, learn more about Defective Vehicle Lawsuits.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.