COLUMBUS — If there’s a recall on a car, the federal government expects owners to get it fixed right away, however, when it comes to the government’s fleet, recalls many times go unfixed.
Every year, the General Services Administration auctions off about 40,000 vehicles but ABC 6 On Your Side uncovered hundreds of cars getting auctioned off with known, open safety recalls.
Nationally, more than 2,000 cars going to auction have open recalls including steering problems that could cause a loss of control or a crash, engines that could suddenly turn off, or airbags that could shoot out metal pieces.
ABC 6 On Your Side checked and reviewed the GSA auction website and found 17 cars in Ohio up for grabs this week. Of those cars, four of them had open recalls.
- 2012 Ford Focus has an open recall for a door latch issue that could cause doors to open while driving.
- 2012 Dodge Ram has an outstanding recall for the airbag inflator that could shoot out metal pieces.
- Two 2011 Chevrolet Malibus have defective cables that if broken could cause the seat belts not to work.
“The only think that’s good enough is to fix it before they sell it,” Clarence Ditlow with the Center for Auto Safety said. “You’d never expect hundreds and that’s what you’re dealing with. It just shows a broken system.”
The GSA released the following statement:
“GSA Fleet, a division of the General Services Administration, leases non-tactical vehicles to other federal agencies. When these vehicles are retired from service, they are offered to the public for sale by auction. Every year 35,000-40,000 of these vehicles come up for sale.
Auctioned or sold GSA Fleet vehicles are standard consumer models with all of the regular options that have been serviced regularly and maintained by GSA Fleet. This ensures that buyers are purchasing a high-quality, well-conditioned vehicle. The agency notifies all auction bidders and successful buyers in advance that there may be outstanding recalls on the sale vehicle, and to contact either their local dealership or use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to check the vehicle’s recall status.” — GSA Spokesperson
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