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Legislation could revise vehicle recall requirements

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: May 12 2014 05:53:25 PM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2014 06:01:06 PM CDT

No car buyer wants to go home with a lemon, especially one that's downright dangerous.

No car buyer wants to go home with a lemon, especially one that's downright dangerous, but it might be easier than you think to end up with a used or rental car that's on a recall list.

Currently, car rental companies and used car dealers aren't required to tell consumers about recalls, but that could be changing.

New legislation would require car dealers and rental companies to tell consumers if a used car has been recalled and make sure it's repaired before hitting the road.

"Vehicle in our brand is very easy to check on," said Jim Brandt, of Kelly Buick GMC.

Brandt said the cars are in the system. The problem, he said, happens when a trade comes in from a different brand.

"We don't have the info on if a recall has been preformed," he said.

The National Automobile Association said a federal VIN number data base will soon be online making searching for used recalled cars easier.

As for rentals? They think current legislation is overly broad. A tiered system is needed, a spokesman said.

“Only issues that directly impact safety need to be fixed immediately and the vehicle grounded," he said.

For consumers like Natalie Meyers, when renting or buying a new or used car, just one phrase is needed.

"Just to tell me that it's safe," she said.

The American Car Rental Association, which represents 98 percent of rental companies, said its members have all pledged not to rent unfixed recalled cars.