Moriarty Pro-Consumer Bill to Inform Used Car Buyers of Auto Recalls Passes Assembly

Pro-consumer legislation Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty sponsored that would require auto dealers to provide information to a potential buyer regarding a used motor vehicle with an outstanding recall was voted out of the Assembly on Monday.

Buyers should be informed of motor vehicle recalls before a purchase is made. Recalled vehicles sold unwittingly to consumers pose a safety risk. Whether the vehicle has been recalled is critical information for families to know before buying.

Under the bill (A-579), it would be an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act for an auto dealer to sell a used vehicle without first contacting, or accessing information provided by, the vehicle manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine if there are any recalls specific to a particular vehicle, not just the vehicle’s make and model, which have not been corrected or addressed. In the event that a recall is discovered, the dealer would provide the recall information to the prospective purchaser prior to finalizing the sale of the vehicle.

The sponsors noted that the legislation would allow consumers to make informed decisions. Having information regarding recalls would enable a potential buyer to request repairs prior to making a purchase, negotiate for a better sale price on the vehicle or decide against purchasing the vehicle altogether, they said.

The bill applies only to retail sales, excluding wholesale sales, sales between dealers and sales to owners or operators of motor vehicle junk businesses or motor vehicle junk yards, or any other persons or entities engaged in the business of dismantling, destroying or recycling motor vehicles.

The measure was advanced out of the Assembly on Monday 75-0-0.