AutoNation Announces it Won't Sell Cars with Open Safety Recalls

AutoNation Announces it Won't Sell Cars with Open Safety Recalls
Image: NCCC
September 09, 2015

While legislators argue about whether used car dealerships should repair open safety recalls before a car is sold, national car dealer AutoNation this week announced it would not sell, lease or wholesale any new or used vehicle that has an open safety recall.

Last month an amendment that would have required used car dealerships to fixed recalled vehicles was struck down in a Senate committee with large auto dealers like CarMax coming out strong in opposition.

Since large dealerships like CarMax aren't certified by manufacturers, it can't repair recalls in their own service centers. Cars would need to be brought to competing dealerships to be remedied. Groups opposed to the amendment said it would diminish a car's trade-in value and recalled cars would remain on the sales lot awaiting fixes.

In a statement, the AutoNation admits that the policy will come with a cost as franchises will have to hold vehicles in inventory until they are repaired. Sometimes parts aren't immediately available, increasing the length of time the car can't be sold. Cars with recalls are to be physically pulled from the inventory and marked with "Not for Sale" signs.

The company did not outline details as to how it would work with competing dealerships to have cars fixed.

The company writes that safety concerns won't take a back seat to economics, which is why the company will not wholesale any vehicle with an open safety recall. Wholesaling could be used to rid dealerships of this kind of inventory.

For customers looking to trade in a car, AutoNation will accept them even if they have open safety recalls and value them according to standard guidelines, despite additional the time and investment.

"We make it our responsibility as a retailer to identify those [recalled] vehicles and remove them from the market until their safety issues have been addressed," said Mike Jackson, Chairman, CEO and President of AutoNation said in a statement.