Consumers for
Auto
Reliability and
Safety ®

C.A.R.S. Activities 2018

 
Providing Expert Testimony, Warning about the Lack
of Safety Standards for Autonomous Vehicles
 
CARS President Invited to Testify on Panel with Representatives
from General Motors (Cruise), Waymo (Google) and Lyft
Public News Service
January 11, 2018
 
CARS President Rosemary Shahan testifying about the lack of safety standards for autonomous vehicles, before the California Senate Committee on Transportation.
CARS President Rosemary Shahan provided expert testimony before a public informational hearing conducted by the California Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing, at the Committee's invitation, regarding autonomous vehicles: Opportunities and Challenges.

Senator Beale (D-San Jose) chaired the hearing, which was also attended by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and Senators Skinner, Glazer, Wieckowski, Dodd, Gaines, and Allen.

Auto manufacturers and tech companies like Google, plus Uber and other ride-sharing companies and their investors are pushing in Congress and in Sacramento to roll back safety standards, so they can sell unlimited numbers of semi-autonomous and driverless cars without having to meet even the most basic safety standards, such as being able to be driven safely in construction zones, or all kinds of weather.

Representatives of CARS, General Motors (Cruise), Waymo (Google), and Lyft testify before California Senate Committee on Transportation about the future of autonomous vehicles.
CARS warned about the hazards posed by allowing autonomous vehicles to be sold to consumers, before ANY federal or state safety standards are in place. Currently, there are no safety standards specifically for autonomous vehicles -- not even against their being hacked by cyber-criminals and weaponized to carry explosives or drugs. The FBI and other cyber-security experts have also been raising alarms about the vulnerability of autonomous vehicles to being hacked.

Read CARS testimony

Read more:

Consumer watchdog: Speed not safety is California senate's concern in robot car hearing

Street blog: Autonomous vehicles are coming and California isn't ready
 
 
Warning Consumers about Car Dealers Selling Dangerous Recalled Cars,
especially in Tennessee, which now has the worst law in the nation

 
"Groups Warn that Tennessee Could Become Dumping Ground
for Dangerous Cars"
Public News Service
January 11, 2018
 
Stephanie Erdman was blinded in one eye by an exploding Takata airbag in a recalled Honda. Other victims have bled to death. Tennessee's new law makes it easier for car dealers to get away with selling recalled used cars with this life-threatening safety defect.
"NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There's one more reason to read the fine print when buying your next car in Tennessee.

A new law in the Volunteer State allows used car dealers to sell vehicles that are under a safety recall, as long as the buyer signs a disclosure form.

The Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Act is the first and only one of its kind in the country – after similar bills failed in four other states.

Andy Spears, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, is concerned about the potential impact on consumers.

"Dealers are incentivized to send their cars they know are dangerous to Tennessee, because if you're making a car deal and you can convince someone to sign this form, and there's no requirement that this has to be done at any time in the process," Spears states. "After you've already agreed to everything and you've worked out the financing – and then, they hand you a form and say, 'Yes, sign this form' – and most people don't read those documents."

Spears says his isn't the only group concerned that the state will become a dumping ground for dealers in other states to send cars they're unable to sell.

He cites the Takata airbag recall as one example of serious potential problems. It affects more than 1 million cars...."

Read full report: Public News Service: Groups Warn that Tennessee Could Become Dumping Ground for Dangerous Cars

Read more, including how to avoid being victimized by dealers who sell unsafe, defective recalled cars
 
 
"Law Could Turn Tennessee into Dumping Ground for Dangerous Cars"
News Channel 5
January 10, 2018
By: Sarah McCarthy
 
"NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new law could put countless dangerous cars on Tennessee roads by allowing dealers to easily sell cars under safety recall, according to consumer advocates.

'It basically makes Tennessee a dumping ground for unsafe cars that will kill people,' said Andy Spears with Tennessee Citizen Action. 'And now there's an incentive for dealers in other states to ship their dangerous cars here to our dealers, because now we have a way to get rid of those cars.'

The Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Act allows used car dealers to sell vehicles under safety recall as long as the buyer signs a disclosure form. But advocates like Spears argue a majority of buyers will overlook that sheet of paper, which will likely be lumped in with the dozens of other forms a person is asked to sign while buying a car.
 
News Channel 5: "Law Could Turn Tennessee into Dumping Ground for Dangerous Cars"
 
 
Spears said the law reverses important protections for car buyers and puts every driver on the road at risk....

'This is the first state in the nation to pass a law this dangerous,' Spear said. 'These types of laws were denied in California, Maryland, and Virginia. So other states have seen this law but rejected it when they found out what the law does.'

Spears said the only way for Tennessee consumers to protect themselves now is to do your own research. Run the VIN number of any car you want to buy through www.safercar.gov.

If you find a dealer willing to sell you a car under safety recall, Spears said to walk away from the business altogether."

Read more, including how to avoid being victimized by dealers who sell unsafe, defective recalled cars
 
 
Tennessee Law Fuels Used-Car Recall Fight
Automotive News
December 27, 2017
by Eric Kulisch
 
"Proponents of a new Tennessee law regulating sales of recalled vehicles call it a step forward in closing what some call the used-car loophole. Consumer and safety groups call it a sham that's written not to protect consumers from dangerous cars, but to shield dealers from lawsuits.

At issue is whether disclosure of an open recall offers the consumer enough protection against a safety defect.

Under federal law, new vehicles with open recalls cannot be sold. But the ban doesn't extend to used vehicles. That gap has frustrated efforts by manufacturers and safety regulators to improve recall repair rates, as vehicles under recall get harder to track as they pass from owner to owner. Efforts in Congress to close the loophole sputtered amid opposition from dealer groups, as did an effort by AutoNation to withhold recalled used cars from the retail market.

The Tennessee measure, which takes effect Jan. 1 and was supported by the state's dealer lobby, doesn't bar the sale of used vehicles with pending recalls. Rather, it requires dealers to check a recall database before selling a vehicle and either perform the recall repair or notify the customer of any defect. Customers would have to sign a form acknowledging they were notified. (Vehicles subject to a manufacturer's do-not-drive order would have to be repaired before sale.) ....

Yet safety advocates say the policy is a cop-out. They warn that the disclose-and-sell rule sets a precedent for other states to roll back safeguards for used-vehicle purchases, which are governed in many states by consumer protection laws. Rather than increase transparency, they say, the law attempts to shield dealerships from responsibility if a vehicle sold with a recall is involved in an accident.

'They are trying to legalize fraud,' Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, told Automotive News. 'It's written to protect unscrupulous car dealers.'

While there's no federal law barring sales of used vehicles under recall, used-car buyers are indirectly protected by state and federal laws against unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Tennessee law is designed to nullify those types of protections, Steven Taterka, a former assistant state attorney general who represents consumers in auto fraud cases, said during a conference call for reporters."

Read full report: Automotive News, Tennessee Law Fuels Used-Car Recall Fight

Read more, including how to avoid being victimized by dealers who sell unsafe, defective recalled cars
 
 
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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
protect consumers from
auto-related fraud and abuse.

THANK YOU!
to everyone who has supported CARS' work, including the more than 573,500 people who have contributed financially to CARS, signed or shared CARS' petitions, and / or posted personal comments.

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CarMax sells cars with deadly
safety defects.
More than 630,000 viewers have
watched this ABC 20/20 excerpt
on CARS' YouTube channel,
catching CarMax on camera:

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Buyer Beware! Auto dealers use
forced arbitration
to get away with cheating customers
Even when car dealers flagrantly violate consumer protection laws, you may not be able to get justice. That's because almost 100% of car dealers stick "forced arbitration" clauses into their contracts. If they cheat you, and you try to take them to court, they can just laugh at you. That's because they can get your case kicked into arbitration -- a secret, rigged process that favors big, corrupt lawbreakers. The dealer often gets to choose the arbitration firm, and even the arbitrator who hears your case. Unlike judges, arbitrators are perfectly free to ignore the law.

Dealers claim that arbitration is quick. But Jon Perz in San Diego had to wait over 8 years in "arbitration limbo" before he finally got justice, after Mossy Toyota sold him an unsafe car. CARS produced a short video exposing what happened. More than 1.3 million people have watched our video on YouTube:
See the billboard CARS displayed
right next to Mossy Toyota's car lot,
and read more about how Jon finally won.

 
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