A California Assembly committee temporarily blocked a bill that would prohibit California car dealers from selling used cars that were covered by open safety recalls. You would think car dealers would be interested in making sure they were selling safe used cars, but NO, car dealers only think of their own convenience and profit. Shame on them.
Yesterday's hearing was before an Assembly committee that had been heavily lobbied by the California New Car Dealers Association. Not having a majority of the votes, the author of the bill, Senator Jackson, did not call for a vote instead opting to change the bill to a two year bill meaning she will bring it up next year in the Assembly.
During the hearing, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson asked the dealers' representative if that meant they were OK with selling unsafe cars. The rep refused to answer the question. A Sacramento TV station reported on the hearing.
The bill, SB 686, passed the California Senate a few weeks ago.
We lost the battle today, but I will continue to fight for this vital consumer protection,” Senator Jackson said. “Californians who buy used cars should have the same confidence in the safety of the vehicles they’re buying as those who buy new cars. And until they’ve been fixed so that known safety defects have been corrected, recalled cars shouldn’t be on the road, and they shouldn’t be for sale. It’s as simple as that. This bill will prevent senseless tragedies and make our roads safer for all of us.”
Current federal law already prohibits car dealers from selling new cars when they are under a federal safety recall. This bill would extend the same prohibition to the sale of used cars.
Testifying in support of Senate Bill 686 today was Fe Lastrella of Vallejo, CA, mother of the late Cleofe Lastrella Saylor and Chris Lastrella, grandmother of Mahala Saylor, and mother-in-law of CHP Officer Mark Saylor. Her family members were killed in a car crash in Santee, CA, on August 28, 2009, when a used 2009 Lexus that a dealer in El Cajon loaned to CHP officer Mark Saylor accelerated out of control while his family was en route to 13-year-old Mahala's soccer game. The 911 recording of Chris Lastrella calling for help has been heard worldwide.
Although the car was not under a safety recall at the time of the crash, Lastrella spoke as an advocate for car safety as a result of her experience with the deadly crash. In committee, Lastrella testified, “As a mother, and a grandmother, I cannot comprehend why anyone would oppose this bill. Everyone should care about the safety of their customers. Everyone should be able to trust that when they buy a car, rent a car, or are loaned a car by a licensed dealer, the car is safe. I hope and pray that you will vote for passage of SB 686. No family should have to suffer the type of horrific loss that we have been through.”
SB 686 will be amended to be named The Saylor - Lastrella Auto Safety Act.
“It’s only a matter of time before California stops car dealers from engaging in recalled, used car roulette,” said Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, the sponsor of the bill.
SB 686 is supported by consumer groups, safety organizations including the Safe Kids California coalition, and the nation's largest auto insurer, State Farm. Its major opposition is the California New Car Dealers Association and AutoNation.
Watch the hearing testimony here:
Here is Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson testimony in support of SB 686
Testimony of Salvatore Cerrito, a former car dealer, in support of SB 686 is here.
Testimony of Fe Lastrella, whose family members were killed in a tragic crash in 2009, in support of SB 686 is here.
The bill was recently amended to delay its implementation pending the creation of a federal database of safety recall information by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. NHTSA is expected to issue a ruling on the federal database by July 7
- See more at: http://sd19.senate.ca.gov/news/2013-07-02-jackson-vows-continue-fight-consumer-car-safety#sthash.uLgZLxlj.dpuf
The dealers' excuses that the bill did not cover rental car companies or private sellers are lame. The dealers have easy access to safety recall information. The manufacturers (except BMW) makes its recalls available on their websites. The federal safety agency is poised to require all manufacturers to make the information available on websites.