Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler November 17, 2016

If you’re in the market to buy a used car, you should know there’s a chance that any such pre-owned vehicle has been part of an auto safety recall. As a prospective buyer, you need to know if a vehicle has had any defects which caused a recall, and also if the vehicle ever was brought to a dealer for recall repairs.

It’s unlikely you will learn this information from a used car dealer or an individual selling the car. A car’s original owner is under no legal obligation to have any recalled parts repaired before selling the car, and also isn’t required to notify potential buyers of any recalls. The prospective buyer thus has full responsibility to check for used car recalls.

NHTSA Service Has Recall Answers

There’s a quick and easy way to do this. Simply visit the website of safercar.gov, which is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA is an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation whose chief responsibility is to enhance and ensure safe driving.

On the NHTSA web page linked above, you will find a field for entering the car’s VIN, or vehicle identification number. The NHTSA then will alert you if that specific vehicle “has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.”

An exception is that, if a recall has just been issued affecting the vehicle, its VIN may not be available yet in the NHTSA’s database for determining recall answers. From Acura to Volvo, virtually all auto manufacturers which sell vehicles in America participate in this service by providing VIN numbers to the NHTSA, but that can take time.

An alternative is to check with CARFAX for recall information provided by the same manufacturers.

Millions of Cars Have Recalls

CARFAX reports that in 2016 alone, more than 47 million cars on our roads have an open safety recall. That means they may or may not have been repaired — and many will be cars that are placed on sale as used cars, especially since some owners of recalled vehicles try to unload them rather than drive them with safety defects or get them repaired.

An estimated 1.4 million used cars for sale in a recent year had been recalled but not yet repaired. That’s about 3 per cent of all used cars sold yearly, according to usedcars.about.com. These are vehicles you should avoid buying without more knowledge about them.

Clearly, it’s vital that you check for recalls before buying a used car. After all, driving a defective vehicle with bad airbags or other problems could cost you your life.

Keep Checking for Used Car Recalls

Even after buying a used car with a clean profile in terms of auto recalls, periodically you should keep checking for used car recalls with the NHTSA. That’s because future recall notices will be sent by the manufacturer only to the original owner on record, even if that person no longer owns the vehicle. The manufacturer has no way of knowing about subsequent owners, including you.

Sometimes years pass before a car is determined to have a defect and is recalled. The used car you buy today may not have been subject to an auto recall when you bought it, but it still could be recalled in the future.

If you find a used car that you want to buy, and then learn it’s part of a recall and hasn’t been repaired, you may insist that the repair be made prior to purchase, or ask that the price be lowered instead. After that, you can take the car in for recall repairs yourself.

If that’s the case, an auto dealer will not care if you weren’t the original owner. If the vehicle is identified as being part of a recall, the dealer has a responsibility to make free repairs of the defect which spurred the recall, whether the car belongs to its original owner or was sold as a used car.

There — now you’re ready to buy that used car with full knowledge about any recalls and whether it’s been repaired. As always: Safety first.

FREE Case Review
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
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