New York State Attorney General Eric Schniederman

New York State Attorney General Eric Schniederman

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The state attorney general’s office said last week it has reached settlement with 104 auto dealerships that sold vehicles without disclosing the vehicles were under recalls for unrepaired safety issues such as unintended acceleration, airbag problems, vehicle fires, steering and brake loss.

According to the announcement, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office surveyed advertisements, monitored vehicles covered by safety recalls, and identified auto dealers that advertised vehicles with unrepaired safety recalls. Each dealer will pay a fine of $1,000 to New York State.

“The safety recalls we uncovered were serious — and potentially deadly," said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Consumers deserve to know of any unresolved safety issues before buying a car for themselves or their family. I am pleased that thanks to our investigation and today's settlement, more New Yorkers will finally receive the critical safety information they need to make an informed decision. I encourage all auto-dealerships across the state to follow our guidelines to ensure that they too uphold the highest standards of consumer safety. This is an important first step towards making all cars on New York’s roads safer.”

As part of the settlements, the named dealers are required to adhere to a set of guidelines in order to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls, including the following: 

  • Dealers that advertise used vehicles online must include information that enables consumers to check the recall status of advertised vehicles; that information includes the website operated by NHTSA.
  • Dealers who advertise in print or other media must also disclose in the advertisement that the vehicle is subject to a safety recall. 
  • Dealers must place a decal notice in the window of used cars that include information that allows consumers to check the recall status of the vehicles, including the website and mobile application operated by NHTSA.
  • Two days prior to any sale, dealers must provide consumers with a copy of the NHTSA recall status report for a vehicle with an unrepaired safety recall, and obtain a written acknowledgment from the consumer.
  • Dealers must send notices to customers who have purchased vehicles with unrepaired safety recalls that are still unrepaired, from January 2016 to present. Manufacturers’ franchise dealers must also cover up to five days of a loaner car for consumers if their vehicle requires repairs that will take longer than one day.

Under Federal Law, used car dealers, as well as new car dealers who sell used cars from unrelated auto makers, are required to either have a manufacturer authorized repair person on their premises or transport the vehicle to a dealer related to the vehicle’s maker to have the recall work done.

Schniederman said his office’s investigation is still ongoing. For a complete list of the 104 dealers, click here.