General Motors issued a rare apology, after being hit with a barrage of news reports about faulty ignition switches in the popular Chevy Cobalt, that led to at least 13 deaths. GM engineers first discovered the defect in 2004. Merely jostling the key in the ignition could lead the car to shut down, including disabling the air bags. But for years, GM denied that any defect existed and failed to issue a safety recall. Instead, the company merely issued a "technical service bulletin," while their customers continued to die. The defect means that at the very moment when drivers and passengers need the lifesaving protection air bags provide -- in the milliseconds after a crash -- the air bags would not inflate.
Twenty-nine year old Brooke Melton of Georgia was killed when she was driving to her boyfriend's house. A 16-year-old died in a crash in Maryland where the ignition switch turned off and the air bag failed to deploy.
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
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:
Here's what we're doing to bring
more attention to Jon's plight:
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.