Did GM mis-represent that its’ pre-owned cars were safe, when they reportedly sold them with un-repaired safety recalls and didn’t warn the new buyers about them?
Breaking News: FTC just announced a settlement with GM and several dealers for misrepresenting the vehicles met all the company’s safety standards.
Did “Mr. Goodwrench” intentionally miss a few things when he went over your pre-owned car?
GM reportedly just signed a consent decree agreeing to notify customers who bought pre-owned “certified” cars since 2013 to have them checked for any open recalls.
By the way, some lawyers may consider this “economic fraud” too, since the selling price may have been based on a truly “certified car” meeting all safety standards, when in fact, according to the Feds, they didn’t. That could mean consumers may have been overcharged for vehicles with diminished values..caused by un-repaired safety defects. This could be a long way from being over.
Per the FTC:
“The FTC’s complaint against General Motors cites the company’s representations for “Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,” such as:
Our 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning Process is conducted only by highly trained technicians and adheres to strict, factory-set standards to ensure that every vehicle’s engine, chassis, and body are in excellent condition. The technicians ensure that everything from the drivetrain to the windshield wipers is in good working order, or they recondition it to our exacting standards.”
The FTC alleges that GM advertised numerous Certified Pre-Owned vehicles at its local dealerships using these claims without disclosing that certain used cars offered for sale were subject to previously announced open (unrepaired) recalls for safety issues.
According to the FTC’s complaint, those cars subject to recalls had defects that can cause serious injury, including a key ignition switch defect that can affect engine power, power steering, braking and airbag deployment, problems in the body control module connection system that can affect braking, and chassis electronic module defects that can cause engine stalls.
Under the proposed consent orders, which would remain in effect for 20 years, the companies are prohibited from claiming that their used vehicles are safe or have been subject to a rigorous inspection unless they are free of unrepaired safety recalls, or unless the companies clearly disclose the existence of the recalls in close proximity to the inspection claims. The proposed orders also would prohibit the companies from misrepresenting material facts about the safety of used cars they advertise.
These proposed orders will also require the companies to inform recent customers, by mail, that their vehicles may have an open recall. For GM this requirement applies to Certified Pre-Owned used vehicles purchased between July 1, 2013 and the final order date.