Consumers for
Auto
Reliability and
Safety

Resources for Car Buyers

TOP TWELVE TIPS FOR BUYING A USED CAR
Save thousands of dollars
Get a better, safer car
Avoid common auto dealer scams
To make sure that your hard earned money buys you a car that is safe and that you can feel assured is a good value for the money you spent, follow these guidelines so that you can be prepared before you sign that bill of sale.
 

 
How to buy a new or used car without getting ripped off:
 
NHTSA Crash Testing
Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety photo.
Get auto safety information:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Find out about vehicle safety recalls. Get advice about safer cars for teenagers. Check crash tests results. Learn about how to properly secure child safety seats. Get technical service bulletins from auto manufacturers that document common problems. File a safety complaint.
 

 
Search vehicle history:
Don't get stuck with an unsafe rebuilt wreck. Check here before you buy. The U.S. Department of Justice established this database to provide lifesaving information about cars so severely damaged they were "totaled" by insurance companies. This is the most important used car database, and it's also the least expensive. No other database has the same information. Note: Even if a car has a "clean" vehicle history report, get it inspected by a trusted technician and body shop before you agree to buy it, and take it for a test drive. An online check is only the first step.
 

 
Find a consumer attorney:
The National Association of Consumer Attorneys lists pro-consumer attorneys by state and area of expertise. Many are willing to talk with consumers for free and give you some idea what your rights are. Be sure to ask them if they will represent you on a contingency basis, which makes getting legal help more affordable and less risky for you. Many consumer protection laws provide for you to get your attorneys fees paid by the business that harmed you, if/when you win.
 

 
NHTSA Crash Testing
C.A.R.S. archive photo.
Find a reliable mechanic:
National Public Radio's Car Talk's Mechanics Files is a great place to find a skilled auto technician who gets rave reviews. Look here before you go car shopping, to find auto experts who will give cars a thorough inspection before you buy. You're going to need a reliable mechanic anyway. Shop for the mechanic before you shop for the car, and save yourself a lot of money and headaches.
 

 
NHTSA Crash Testing
Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety photo.
Get more auto safety information:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performs more crash tests and makes recommendations for safer cars. Find ratings of child booster seats. Find which cars offer better protection from whiplash or other devastating injuries from rear-end collisions. Learn which cars have energy-absorbing bumpers that can save you thousands in repair costs.
 

 
Avoid cancer hazard related to auto repairs:
Consumers, auto repair technicians, car enthusiasts, and anyone who does their own auto repairs -- especially brake repairs -- are at risk of contracting Mesothelioma cancer -- as a result of asbestos exposure. For important information about how to protect yourself and your family, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, at:
 
 
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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?
GM recalled car repair parts -- delays put customers at risk
GM and its dealers have started to perform the safety recall repairs on over 2.6 million vehicles with ignition switches that can turn off in traffic without warning, leaving drivers unable to steer, and causing the air bags to fail to deploy in a crash. However, some owners of recalled cars are likely to experience lengthy delays while they wait for repair parts to arrive at dealerships, and have appointments scheduled for the repairs.

GM has predicted that it may take until October for some repairs to be completed. Meanwhile, CARS recommends that if you own one of the recalled vehicles, you should insist on getting a loaner car -- and check the safety recall status of the loaner car yourself, by entering the Vehicle Identification Number on the manufacturer's website, where the manufacturer provides access to safety recall information. NEVER trust a car dealer to ensure that a loaner car is safe. Auto dealers are OPPOSED to laws that would stop them from loaning out unsafe, recalled cars.

Read More:
Detroit Free Press: GM says replacement ignition switch parts arriving at dealerships
 
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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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