AutoNation, which is the country’s largest automobile retailer, recently announced that it will no longer sell any new or used vehicles that have been recalled but not repaired. The CEO of AutoNation, which is based in Florida, said that customers should not be expected to know of every safety recall on every vehicle they might purchase. AutoNation operates 293 dealer franchises across the country.
This announcement comes after a massive number of automobile recalls the last two years. General Motors alone recalled 2.5 million small cars that had defective ignition switches which could cut off power to the vehicle and its electrical systems, including power steering. The defective ignition switches have been linked to 124 deaths and many more serious injuries.
The new program applies to AutoNation’s entire inventory, not just vehicles on the sales floor. The company says it is committed to keeping those recalled vehicles off the roads until they are repaired, and will not sell them wholesale at auctions or in other markets. This move comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is under pressure to be more aggressive in finding safety problems and forcing manufacturers to issue a recall.
This move from AutoNation is a positive step in the right direction. It can be difficult for consumers to learn of recalls and get their vehicles repaired, and most people who purchase a vehicle never stop to think about recalls.
Unfortunately, many automobile manufacturers are slow to issue recalls when safety issues arise. Recalls can be very expensive, as well as damaging to a company’s reputation. When an automobile safety defect causes an accident, the manufacturer can be held liable for damages.