Consumers for
Auto
Reliability and
Safety

About C.A.R.S.

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety is a national, award-winning non-profit auto safety and consumer advocacy organization. CARS works to save lives, prevent injuries, and protect consumers from auto-related fraud and abuse.

CARS has led numerous successful campaigns to enact landmark laws to improve protections for both new and used car buyers across the U.S. and in California, the nation's largest auto market.
CARS' legislative victories in California, 1998 -- 2009

Congress has repeatedly invited the President of CARS to testify on behalf of American consumers.
CARS' Congressional testimony

CARS President Rosemary Shahan testifies for the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act, S 921, before U. S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Insurance, and Product Safety, Chaired by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Next to Ms. Shahan, testifying in opposition to the bill, are representatives of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers and the National Auto Dealers Association

The President of CARS is best-known for initiating California's auto lemon law, which became the model for similar laws enacted in all 50 states. State lemon laws made auto manufacturers improve the quality of their vehicles, invest in updated diagnostic equipment, hire more highly trained auto mechanics, and take other steps to avoid having to provide refunds for seriously defective autos. Lemon laws have also forced auto manufacturers to buy back hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles that they failed to repair under their new car warranties.

The Founder of CARS, Rosemary Shahan, has been repeatedly re-elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Federation of America. CFA is the nation's largest consumer organization, and is comprised of over 300 member organizations, with a combined membership of over 50 million people. For over 20 years, she has served as co-chair of CFA's Committee on Housing and Transportation, playing an important role in developing the consumer movement's policies on transportation issues. Shahan has also been repeatedly re-elected to serve as Vice-President of the Consumer Federation of California.


CARS Founder "Rosemary Shahan is a real example of a citizen-activist. She is as tenacious as a bulldog, consistent as the Milky Way, and as humane in her own way as Mother Teresa."
-- Ralph Nader, consumer advocate. From "Safe Passage: driven to push for better auto laws," San Diego Union-Tribune, June 15, 1991

Quotes about CARS

CARS has received many awards in recognition of our public interest work, including the Consumer Federation of America's Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award, widely recognized as the nation's highest honor for a lifetime of public service on behalf of consumers. This coveted, prestigious award is named for Esther Peterson, Consumer Advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Carter.

Awards presented to CARS

CARS has amassed a decades-long track record of generating widespread international news and award-winning news reports, including major reports in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, CNN, 20/20, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reader's Digest, Parade Magazine, National Public Radio, PBS, and Huffington Post. CARS' president is frequently contacted as a source by leading journalists and is widely quoted as an expert on cutting-edge auto safety, sales, and financing issues.

CARS in the News

 
CARS in 90 seconds
As part of Consumer Union's 75th anniversary celebration, the non-profit consumer group launched a new "Consumer Reports Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award." More than 150 individuals and groups were nominated. Then Consumers Union narrowed the field to five finalists based on their effectiveness, reach, relevance, organizing and ability to continue on with their work -- and one of them was CARS! CU asked each of the finalists to produce a 90-second video about their work.
 
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C.A.R.S. Mission
CARS is a national, award-winning,
non-profit auto safety and consumer
advocacy organization working to
save lives, prevent injuries, and
to protect consumers from
auto-related fraud and abuse.

 
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What's NEW?
Toyota recalls over 6.39 million vehicles over safety defects
Toyota Motor Corp is recalling more than 6.39 million vehicles globally after uncovering five different safety defects, ranging from faulty steering to air bags that may not inflated when needed in a crash.

Toyota said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the defects, which occur in 27 Toyota models including 2009-2010 Corollas, 2009-2010 Matrixes, 2008-2010 Highlanders, 2009-2010 Tacoma trucks, 2006-2008 RAV4s and 2006-2010 Yaris compact cars.

Toyota agreed last month to pay $1.2 billion to the U.S. government for withholding information related to unintended acceleration in its vehicles. That safety crisis led Toyota to recall more than 9 million vehicles.

Toyota is recalling 3.5 million vehicles to replace a spiral cable that may be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. That could cause the air bag to fail in a crash.

Another 472,500 vehicles, including 2006-2010 Yaris hatchbacks, 2007-2010 Yaris sedans and 2008-2010 Scion xDs, are being recalled in the U.S. due to faulty seat rails that could allow the seat to slide forward in a crash, injuring the driver or passengers.

Read More:
Los Angeles Times: Massive Toyota recall
 
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Buyer beware: NEVER trust that a dealer will have the safety recall repairs performed before selling you a car that is being recalled. Dealers are so eager to make a buck, fast, they are unwilling to delay sales long enough to get the safety recall repairs done -- for FREE.

Plus -- dealers are actively opposing legislation in Washington, DC and in California that would prohibit them from renting, selling, leasing, or loaning unsafe, recalled vehicles to consumers, unless the safety recall repairs have been performed first.

CARS’ tips on how to buy a safe, reliable used car — without having to risk going to a dealer:

Top 12 used car buying tips

Dealers playing “used car roulette” with customers’ lives — and opposing legislation to make them stop

Did a dealer sell you an unsafe, recalled car? We want to hear your story. Contact CARS

 
Buyer Beware! Auto dealers' one-
sided contracts can ruin your life
Even if the dealer breaks the law, you might not be able to get justice. Forced arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print can keep you tied up for years. The dealer even gets to pick the arbitrator who hears your case. Here's what happened to a car buyer in San Diego:
Think this is outrageous? Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121, and urge them to vote for the Arbitration Fairness Act. More about the AFA, now pending before Congress:
http://www.fairarbitrationnow.org
 
Here's what we're doing to bring
more attention to Jon's plight:
UsedCarNightmare.org
 
Used Car Nightmare logo

Jon Perz has started a new petition
on the Change.org website
 
You're invited to check it out and send a message letting Mossy Toyota know what you think.
used car nightmare petition


 
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