New Jersey may require used-car retailers to disclose recall information

Row of cars (Big Stock photo)

Row of cars (Big Stock photo)

Used-car dealers would have to tell a potential buyer about any safety recall a previous owner ignored, if a bill advancing in New Jersey’s legislature becomes law.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty said his bill would require that dealers gather information from the car manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check for any recalls and notify a potential purchaser before a sale is finalized.

“At that point, the consumer has several options. They can say, ‘Forget it, I don’t want it.’ They could say, ‘You fix it, and then I’ll buy it.’ They could buy it as is. Or maybe even negotiate a lower price,” said Moriarty, D-Gloucester.

Defects that have not been repaired are a safety risk, he said.

“Sometimes, when you go and you buy these cars at a dealership, they’ve gone through a 100-point inspection, and everything is supposed to be in perfect shape,” he said. “It might only be a 2-year-old car with low mileage, and they think, ‘I’m in a good safe car.’

“But it might not be, and they should know that before they drive off the lot.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.